Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attends program marking Navy Day 2023 celebrations in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra
Witnesses Operational Demonstrations by Indian Navy’s ships and special forces
“India salutes the dedication of our navy personnel”
“We are committed to increasing the strength of our Nari Shakti in the armed forces”
“India has a glorious history of victories, bravery, knowledge, sciences, skills and our naval strength”
Strong Navy must for any major global power; PM Modi-led Government upgrading Naval capabilities & providing necessary resources: Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh
“We have become a ‘builder Navy’ from ‘buyer Navy; Transforming it from Coastal Navy to Blue water Navy”
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the program marking ‘Navy Day 2023’ celebrations at Sindhudurg, Maharashtra on December 04, 2023. He also witnessed the ‘Operational Demonstrations’ by Indian Navy’s ships, submarines, aircraft and special forces from Tarkarli beach, Sindhudurg. Shri Modi inspected the guard of honor.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that the historic day of 4th December along the magnificent fort of Sindhudurg on the coast of Malvan, Tarkarli, the splendor of Veer Shivaji Maharaj and the inauguration of his spectacular statue at Rajkot Fort along with the roars of the Indian Navy has filled every citizen of India with passion and enthusiasm. Shri Modi conveyed his best wishes on the occasion of Navy Day and bowed before the brave hearts who laid down their lives for the country.
Prime Minister Modi said that it is indeed a moment of unprecedented pride to celebrate Navy Day from the victorious land of 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 Shivaji Maharaj’s acclamation that those who have control over the seas hold the ultimate power, the Prime Minister said that he had drafted a powerful navy. He also bowed before warriors like Kanhoji Angre, Mayaji Naik Bhatkar and Hiroji Indulkar, and said that they remain an inspiration even today.
Inspired by the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Prime Minister said, the India of today is moving forward abandoning the slavery mentality. He expressed happiness that the epaulettes donned by the Naval Officers will now highlight the heritage and legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as the new epaulettes will be similar to the naval ensign. He also recalled unveiling the Naval Ensign last year. With the feeling of taking pride in one’s heritage, the Prime Minister announced that the Indian Navy is now going to name its ranks in line with Indian traditions. He also emphasized strengthening Nari Shakti in the armed forces. Shri Modi congratulated the Indian Navy on the appointment of India’s first woman commanding officer in a naval ship.
The Prime Minister said that the trust of 140 crore Indians is the biggest strength as India is setting big goals and working to achieve them with full determination. The Prime Minister said that a glimpse of positive outcomes of unity of resolutions, emotions and aspirations are visible as people of the diverse states are being driven by the spirit of ‘nation first’. “Today, the country has taken inspiration from history and is busy preparing a roadmap for a bright future. People have pledged to move forward in every field by defeating the politics of negativity. This pledge will take us towards a developed India”, he added.
Reflecting on India’s widespread history, the Prime Minister emphasized that it is not about slavery, defeats and disappointments alone, but also comprises 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 Sindudurg 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.
Emphasizing the importance of the present time, the Prime Minister said, “This is that period of India’s history, which is going to write the future not just of 5-10 years but for the coming centuries.” He informed that in the last 10 years, India became 5th largest economy from 10th place and rapidly moving towards 3rd spot. “The World is seeing the rise of a ‘Vishwa Mitra (friend of the world) in India”, Shri Modi said measures like India Middle East European Corridor will recreate the lost spice route. He also touched upon the strength of Made in India and illustrated that with the mention of Tejas, Kisan Drone, UPI system and Chandrayaan-3. Self-reliance in defence is also visible by the imminent start of production of transport aircraft, aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.
Reiterating the government’s approach of treating the coastal and border villages as the first villages instead of the last, Shri Modi said “Today, it is the priority of the Central Government to improve the life of every family living on the coastal areas.” He mentioned the creation of the separate fisheries ministry in 2019 and 40 thousand crore rupees investment in the sector. He informed that after 2014 fishery production increased by 8 percent and exports increased by 110 percent. Furthermore, insurance cover for the farmers has been increased from 2 to 5 lakh and they are getting the benefit of the Kisan Credit Card.
Concerning the value chain development in the fisheries sector, the Prime Minister said that the Sagarmala Scheme is strengthening modern connectivity in the coastal areas. Lakhs of crore rupees are being spent on this and new business and industry will come to the coastal areas. Seafood processing-related industry and modernization of the fishing boats are also being undertaken.
“Konkan is a region of unprecedented possibilities”, the Prime Minister said. Highlighting the government’s commitment to the development of the region, the Prime Minister mentioned the inauguration of medical colleges in Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Alibaug, Parbhani and Dharashiv, operations of Chipi Airport, and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor connecting till Mangaon. The Prime Minister also mentioned special schemes being drafted for the cashew farmers here. He underlined the government’s priority is to safeguard the residential areas situated on the sea coast. In this effort, he mentioned the emphasis being laid on expanding the scope of mangroves. Prime Minister Modi informed that the many sites of Maharashtra including Malvan, Achara-Ratnagiri, and Devgarh-Vijaydurg have been selected for mangrove management.
“Heritage as well as development, this is our path to a developed India”, the Prime Minister underlined. He said that central and state governments are determined to preserve the forts and forts built during the period of Chhatrapati Veer Shivaji Maharaj where hundreds of crores of rupees are being spent on the conservation of these heritages in the entire Maharashtra including Konkan. The Prime Minister stated that it would also increase tourism in the area and create new employment and self-employment opportunities.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister talked about the new tradition of holding armed forces day such as Army Day, Navy Day etc outside Delhi as this expands the occasion to all over India and the new places get new attention.
Speaking on the occasion, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh termed the unveiling of the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as a moment of privilege. “Chhatrapati Shivaji’s life continues to serve as an inspiration to everyone. He was a statesman who foresaw the future possibilities. He recognised the relevance of the Navy and added a new chapter to India’s rich naval tradition. In line with the Prime Minister’s call to get rid of the colonial mindset, the new ensign was adopted by the Navy, which is inspired by the glorious legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji,” he said.
The Raksha Mantri pointed out that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is moving ahead on the path paved by Chhatrapati Shivaji. He emphasised that it is essential for any major global power to possess a strong Navy; therefore, for a leader to upgrade Naval capabilities and provide them with necessary resources to strengthen Swarajya, shows visionary statesmanship.
Shri Rajnath Singh was of the view that till a decade ago, the Navy was not considered important and it was believed that the only threat the country faces was land based. But, PM Modi rose above this limited thinking and focused on all the three wings of the Armed Forces alike.
The Raksha Mantri highlighted the strides being made in the Navy to achieve ‘Aatmanirbharta’, making special mention of the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, which was commissioned by the Prime Minister in September 2022. “Earlier, most of the Navy’s equipment imported, but today we have become ‘builder Navy’ from ‘buyer Navy’. Today, we are transforming it from Coastal Navy to Blue water Navy. This transformation truly shows the visionary leadership of our Prime Minister,” he said.
Shri Rajnath Singh asserted that the nation has been witness to the unprecedented progress and achievements made in the last 9-10 years under the Prime Minister’s leadership. He pointed out that the villages adjacent to the border were once called the last villages of India; but today next generation infrastructure development is taking place in far-flung areas, making these villages as the first villages of the country. He added that efforts are not only being made to ensure the safety of women, but today they are equal partners in the development of the country in every field from the Armed Forces to Parliament.
The Indian Navy celebrates 4th December as Navy Day every year to acknowledge the role of the Indian Navy and commemorate its achievements in ‘Operation Trident during the 1971 Indo-Pak War. The Navy Day Celebrations were conducted outside any major naval station, for the first time, at Tarkarli beach in Sindhudurg Taluk of Malvan District of Maharashtra. The backdrop for the event was the iconic Sindhudurg Fort built in 1660 by the iconic Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj which boasts of India’s rich maritime history.
Significantly, the event also included the unveiling of a spectacular 43 feet high statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at the Rajkot Fort by the Prime Minister. The statue was conceived and conceptualised by the Indian Navy and funded by the government of Maharashtra.
The Prime Minister thereafter witnessed the Operational Demonstration as the Chief Guest conducted at Tarkarli Beach. 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.
The Operational Demonstration showcased capabilities of Indian Naval ships, submarines, aircraft, helicopters and Special Forces. The event saw participation of more than 15 major and minor warships (mostly indigenous) along with over 40 aircraft comprising MIG 29 K, indigenous LCA Navy and Advanced Light Helicopter, as well as the newly inducted multi-mission helicopter MH 60 R. Other major attractions included performance by the Naval Band, Continuity Drill by the Naval contingent and Hornpipe dance by the Cadets of Sea Cadet Corps. The grand event culminated with the traditional illumination of ships at anchorage followed by laser show and illumination of Sindhudurg Fort.
The magnificent event was also witnessed by Shri Ramesh Bais, Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Eknath Shinde, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the Deputy CM Shri Devendra Fadnavis and Shri Ajit Pawar. Also in attendance were Union Minister Shri Narayan Rane, General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Defence Staff and a host of dignitaries from the Armed Forces, Foreign Service Attaches, Central and State government, as well as local populace in large numbers.
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.