Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Pride of the Nation

In a feature in the IE today, a retired Admiral pointed out that while land invaders had mixed with India's culture and become Indians themselves, invaders from the sea had always hurt the people of the land and plundered it wealth. And it was the sea-blindness of those days that left us open to foreign occupation and prevented us from propagating our own ideas.

But that was then. Today, December 4, is Navy Day, which commemorates the successful completion of an operation by the Indian Navy during the 1971 War. The Indian Navy today could be described as an adolescent: it has strength spunk and the courage to take risks, but it is not strong enough to take on the world. Yet.

Rising from a small armada to defend the East India Company's interests, to the Royal Indian Navy and finally the Indian Navy, the institution has a legacy of over 400 years. But it is the future that is really exciting. As the IN prepares to commission INS Arihant and the first indigenous Air Craft Carrier is being built at Kochi, the IN is preparing to acquire an even greater Blue Water Capability. This is essential to India's economic and geopolitical interests in an increasingly globalized world.

Simultaneously, the Navy is looking to strengthen its Brown Water Capabilities to ensure that something like 26/11 never happens again. Thus, the Indian Navy, with its thousands of Officers, Sailors and support staff, is set to become a major pillar of India's defence and growth.

On this, Navy Day, I take pride in the fact that I too was associated with the Institution and am proud of its legacy, discipline and way of life. The nation salutes the brave men and women of the Indian Navy.

Sha Noh Varunaha!
Jai Hind!

No comments: