The Indian Navy put up a memorable display of its aerial and maritime hardware comprising warships, frigates, submarines, aircraft, helicopters, and soft power of men and women giving well-orchestrated musical and physical performances against the backdrop of the picturesque Arabian Sea and the Tarkarli Beach.
Official sources said this was the first time the Indian Navy organised a full-fledged Navy Day event at an obscure location, though it is a prominent tourist attraction in Maharashtra. The two nearest major naval bases from Sindhudurg are in Goa (160 km) in the south and Mumbai (590 km) to the north.
The effort entailed several months of planning, huge logistics involving the transportation of the naval men-women, equipment, machines, security and other aspects for the impressive show put up on Monday evening.
It was intended to be a tribute to the vision and glory of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1630-1680), considered the beacon of naval strategy and warfare, whose 350th Coronation year (June 6, 1674) is being currently celebrated.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi said that India is giving an unprecedented impetus to the ‘blue-economy’ with emphasis on the ‘Make in India’ policy, for the all-round progress of the country, with special focus on the coastal communities dotting the nations’ coasts.
The Prime Minister said that the country is engaged in a massive ‘port-led development’, boosting merchant shipping, the ‘Sagar Mala’ for maritime trade and transport involving the coastal communities in a big way, and in the past few years, the number of sea-farers has shot up by 140 per cent.
Lauding the naval prowess of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, whose statue he unveiled at the nearby Rajkot Fort, Modi said that the great Maratha ‘veer’ was a visionary who had realised in that era that anybody who can command the oceans is the most powerful ruler.
“Inspired by him, India has initiated the ‘Sagar Mala’, a port-led development for the ‘maritime vision’ to exploit the full potential of the oceans for the country’s progress and development,” said Modi.
The Prime Minister said that last year, the Indian Navy got a seal inspired by the Chhatrapati, and very soon, the Indian Navy will coin its ranks and designations as per Indian traditions.
Even the epaulettes on the uniforms of the Naval soldiers will get a design of the Chhatrapati’s royal emblem – which will replace the colonial Nelson’s Ring that is the hallmark of the navies of the Commonwealth countries.
Dwelling on the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Prime Minister said that it has become the topic of discussion world over, and now India’s contribution is visible in all spheres, whether the space or the oceans, from Tejas aircraft to ‘Kisan Drones’, in every field the mark of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ is seen.
Praising the Indian Navy for its services and contributions to securing the country’s maritime borders, Modi said India has a glorious history of victories, bravery, knowledge, sciences, skills and its naval strength.
He added that the country is soon going to induct women in the armed forces in a big way, and congratulated the Indian Navy for appointing the first woman as the commander of a warship, INS Trinkat, last week.
Earlier, the Prime Minister unveiled the Chhatrapati’s grand statue installed at the Rajkot Fort nearby, visited an exhibition at the famed Sindhudurg Fort in the Arabian Sea, and then went for the Navy Day function at the Tarkarli Beach, clapping at several of the exciting exercises and performances put up.
Present on the occasion were Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, MSME Minister Narayan Rane, state ministers, parliamentarians and legislators, top naval officers, dignitaries from different fields and other invitees.