Ranks in Navy to be named in line with Indian traditions
New Delhi: Indian Navy will henceforth name its ranks in line with Indian traditions to shed its colonial legacy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Monday. He said that the epaulettes donned by the naval officers would highlight the heritage and legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The new epaulettes would be similar to the Naval Ensign which the Prime Minister had unveiled last year, inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji and dropping the colonial era St George's Cross.
Among other, naval ranks like Master Chief Petty Officer and Chief Petty Officer are likely being changed according to Indian tradition.
Speaking at the Navy Day event at the historic Sindhudurg fort, Modi said that inspired by the ideals of the Maratha emperor, India of today was moving forward and abandoning the mentality of slavery.
"With the emotion of feeling pride in our heritage, I am proud to announce that the ranks in the Indian Navy would be renamed as per the Indian culture. We are also working on increasing women's power in our defence forces. I want to congratulate the Navy for appointing the country's first woman commanding officer on a naval ship."
He also witnessed the operational demonstrations by Indian Navy’s ships, submarines, aircraft and special forces from the Tarkarli beach at Sindhudurg.
“The Sindhudurg Fort instills a feeling of pride in every citizen of India”, the Prime Minister said as he underlined Shivaji Maharaj’s foresight in recognizing the importance of naval capabilities for any nation. Reiterating Chhatrapati Shivaji’s acclamation that those who have control over the seas hold the ultimate power, the Prime Minister said that the Maratha emperor had drafted a powerful navy.
Reflecting on India’s history, the Prime Minister emphasised that it was not about slavery, defeat and disappointment alone, but also comprised the glorious chapters of India’s victories, courage, knowledge and science, art and creative skills, and India’s maritime capabilities. He highlighted India’s capabilities by giving the example of forts like Sindhudurg which were erected when technology and resources were next to none.
He mentioned the heritage of the Indus Valley Civilization port found in Lothal, Gujarat and the docking of more than 80 ships in the port of Surat. The Prime Minister credited India’s maritime strength for the expansion of trade to countries of South East Asia by the Chola Empire.
Lamenting that it was the maritime power of India that first came under attack by foreign powers, the Prime Minister said that India which was famous for making boats and ships, lost control of the sea and thereby lost strategic-economic strength.
As India is moving towards development, the Prime Minister emphasized regaining the lost glory and highlighted the government’s unprecedented impetus to the Blue Economy. He mentioned the port-led development under 'Sagarmala' and said that India is moving towards harnessing the full potential of its oceans under the 'Maritime Vision'. He informed that the government has made new rules to promote merchant shipping, leading to the number of seafarers in India increasing by more than 140 percent in the last 9 years.
Reiterating the government’s approach of treating the coastal and border villages as the first villages instead of the last, Mr Modi said: “Today, it is the priority of the Central Government to improve the life of every family living on the coastal areas.”