Witnessing operational demonstrations by the Indian Navy’s ships, submarines, aircraft, and special forces from Tarkarli beach, Sindhudurg, the Prime Minister spoke of the historical significance of December 4th against the backdrop of the magnificent Sindhudurg Fort in Malvan, Tarkarli. Acknowledging the splendour of Veer Shivaji Maharaj and the unveiling of his statue at Rajkot Fort, Modi noted that the resonance of the Indian Navy’s roars has ignited passion and enthusiasm among every Indian on the occasion of the Navy Day 2023 celebrations.
Prime Minister Modi expressed unprecedented pride in celebrating Navy Day from the triumphant land of Sindhudurg, emphasising the fort’s role in instilling a sense of pride in every Indian. Modi underscored Shivaji Maharaj’s visionary understanding of naval capabilities’ vital role in a nation’s strength. Quoting Shivaji Maharaj’s assertion that mastery over the seas equates to ultimate power, Modi highlighted the establishment of a formidable navy during his reign.
Drawing inspiration from the ideals of Shivaji, the Prime Minister lauded contemporary India’s progress in abandoning a subservient mindset. He expressed joy in the Naval Officers’ epaulettes reflecting the heritage and legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, mirroring the naval ensign. Modi announced that Indian Navy ranks would now be named in alignment with Indian traditions, symbolising pride in one’s heritage. Emphasising the empowerment of “Nari Shakti” (women power) in the armed forces, he congratulated the Indian Navy on appointing its first woman commanding officer aboard a naval ship.
He informed that over the past decade, India has ascended from the 10th to the 5th position in the global economy, with a swift trajectory toward the 3rd position. “The world is witnessing the emergence of a ‘Vishwa Mitra’ (friend of the world) in India,” remarked Modi, citing initiatives like the India Middle East European Corridor aimed at reviving the historic spice route. Highlighting the robustness of the Made in India campaign, he exemplified this strength with references to Tejas, Kisan Drone, UPI system, and Chandrayaan-3. The imminent commencement of production for transport aircraft and the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant underscored India’s self-reliance in defence.
A ‘Builder Navy’ from ‘Buyer Navy, Transforming from Coastal Navy to Blue Water Navy says Defence Minister
Addressing the gathering, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh noted that a decade ago, the Navy was not accorded significant importance, with the belief that the country’s sole threat was land-based. However, Prime Minister Modi transcended this limited perspective by emphasising the importance of all three wings of the Armed Forces. Singh underscored the significant progress in achieving ‘Aatmanirbharta’ (self-reliance) within the Navy, specifically highlighting the Prime Minister’s commissioning of the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, in September 2022. He pointed out the shift from being a ‘buyer Navy’ heavily reliant on imports to becoming a ‘builder Navy.’ Singh emphasised the ongoing transformation from a Coastal Navy to a Blue Water Navy, attributing this paradigm shift to the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Modi.
Indian Navy’s Spectacular Display of Power
Indian Navy’s maritime mastery was on full display as Sindhudurg beaches echoed with naval grandeur, witnessed by the large number of locals and foreign defence delegates participating in the event.
The operational Demonstration showcased the capabilities of various components of the Indian Navy, including ships, submarines, aircraft, helicopters, and Special Forces. The showcase featured over 15 significant and minor warships, predominantly of indigenous origin, and over 40 aircraft, including the MIG 29 K, indigenous LCA Navy, Advanced Light Helicopter, and the newly introduced multi-mission helicopter MH 60 R.
The program also featured captivating performances such as the Naval Band, a Continuity Drill by the Naval contingent, and a Hornpipe dance by the Cadets of Sea Cadet Corps. The grand finale included the traditional illumination of ships at anchorage, followed by a laser show and the illumination of the historic Sindhudurg Fort.
The event was hosted by Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff and conducted by Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command. Navy Day celebrations are aimed at fostering greater outreach, renewing maritime consciousness amongst the citizens and highlighting the Navy’s contributions towards national security and nation-building.
Ravi Shankar from Sindhudurg