The India Navy Day is celebrated every year on the 4th of December. It is observed with the purpose of celebrating the magnificent achievements of the Indian Navy, as well as celebrating the immensely-important role played in maintaining peace for the country on the maritime front.
The marine branch of India’s armed forces, Navy, is led by the Indian President, who plays the role of the Commander-in-Chief. Chhatrapati Shivaji Bhosle is regarded as the originator of the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy plays a major role in making sure that our marine borders are properly safeguarded. It also improves India’s foreign relations by way of seaport visits, humanitarian missions, joint exercises, calamity relief programmes, and the like. It has four bases in Vizag, Kochi, Mumbai, and Chennai. There is also a naval base in Karwar that is around 100 km from Goa.
Why is Navy Day celebrated?
The festival is celebrated in order to commemorate the daredevil attack, known as Operation Trident, which the Indian Navy pulled off at the Pakistani naval base in Karachi — during the Indo-Pakistan War — on December 4, 1971. The attack was launched by three Vidyut class missile boats (INS Nipat, INS Veer and INS Nirghat), a tanker, and a couple of anti-submarines; and it was successful in bringing about major damage to the Pakistani Navy by sinking a minesweeper, ammunition supply ship and destroyer.
The Indians did not suffer any casualties but five Pakistani soldiers were injured, along with 700 other people. The operation was carried out at night since the Pakistani warcraft did not possess night-bombing capacities. Incidentally, this was also the first time that anti-ship missiles were used in the region. It is also regarded as the most successful attack by the Indian Navy.
The festival also pays homage to the soldiers who laid down their lives during the war. Every year, the Indian Navy Day has a theme, and in 2015 the theme was, ‘Indian Navy – Ensuring Secure Seas for a Resurgent Nation’; in 2012 it was, ‘Indian Navy – Maritime Power for National Prosperity’, and in 2008 it was, ‘Reaching Out to Maritime Neighbours’.
How is it celebrated?
The celebrations of the festival start a few weeks before and last for a week or 10 days post the actual date. On this occasion, the Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command, whose head office is at Mumbai, gets its ships and sailors. The planning of the event is done primarily by the Eastern Naval Command, which is stationed at Vizag. It all starts with a wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial in RK Beach. Post this, there is an operational demonstration by the naval submarines, aircraft, ships, and soldiers to exhibit their resourcefulness and potency.
Since various kinds of aircraft fly over the beach on this day, the authorities normally ask people to keep the beach litter-free; the throwing of waste food items is discouraged and avoided to keep away the birds, so the air-planes and other aircraft can demonstrate their wares without any problem. The Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT) conducts a community service from 24th-26th November. This is done as a community service at Good Hope Old Age Home in Fort Kochi. Here students from the Navy Children School Choir take part and entertain the residents.
The events are held to entertain the inmates as well as Navy doctors from INHS Sanjivani. The doctors also conduct medical check-ups of the inmates. Contests such as Navy Ball, Navy Fest and Navy Queen are held in order to celebrate this special day. The day also sees visitors like school children visit aircraft and warships of Indian Navy as they are made open for public viewing. At the Navy Fest, photojournalists from Ernakulum perform a military photo exhibition. Ships, placed along the coast, are also lit up. There are performances by the naval band as well.
How has the Indian Navy progressed?
In recent years, the Indian Navy has renovated itself at the speed of light in order to make sure it enjoys a stronger position in the region in and around the Indian Ocean. India today has around 58,350 people working in the Navy. The following table gives a relative idea of the strength of the Indian Navy in different facets:
|Amphibious transport dock||1|
|Nuclear attack submarine||1|
|Mine countermeasure vessels||7|
|Landing ship tank||9|
|Torpedo recovery vessels||1|
|Research and survey vessels||3|
Indian Navy Chases Chinese Ships Away
The Indian Navy showed a high level of courage and pushed the Chinese ship recently to their territory when it entered in the Indian waters west of Port Blair. India along with international laws have not allowed foreign countries to carry out research activities in their water. The Navy officials said the Chinese Navy’s research ship was forced to leave the area as it had not sought permission to come there.