Indian Navy Day – 4th December
The Navy day in India is celebrated on 4th December every year in tribute to maritime operations by the navy during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, which heralded the victory of India over Pakistan. Indian Navy plays an important role in securing the marine borders of the country as well as enhancing the international relations of India through seaport visits, joint exercise, humanitarian missions, calamity relief, and so on.
It was for the first time that an anti-ship missile was used in the operation. The operation was conducted on the night of December 4-5, during Operation Trident made by the Indian Navy sank four Pakistani vessels including PNS Khaibar, killing hundreds of Pakistani Navy personnel. The Indian Navy’s three warships — INS Nipat, INS Nirghat, and INS Veer — played an important role in the attack. The Indian Navy fleet sailed from Gujarat’s Okha Port towards Pakistani waters to attack the Karachi port.
Maratha emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj brought the navy into existence in the 16th century by building ships along the coasts of the Konkan and Goa for sea trade purposes—he is revered as the ‘Father of the Indian Navy’ for this purpose. After a period of growth, it became the marine branch of the Indian Armed Forces led by the President and Commander-in-Chief of India, officially referred to as the ‘Indian Navy’.
The Indian Navy has organized itself into four commands, namely, Eastern, Western, Southern, and Andaman, and Nicobar with headquarters at Vishakapatnam, Mumbai, Kochi, and Port Blair respectively. Since India’s Independence, its officers, and sailors have been awarded 10 Mahavir Chakras, 5 Kirti Chakras, 50 Vir Chakras, and numerous other war and peacetime awards. Indian Navy has evolved with many advanced technologies including nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.
The Naval Headquarters choose a central theme every year for planning activities for Navy Week. The theme of 2022 is ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’, marking 50 years of India’s victory in the Indo-Pakistan war in 1971.
On December 1st, 2020 Indian Navy successfully test-fired BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from its Rajput-class guided-missile destroyer INS Ranvijay (D55). BrahMos is an Indo-Russian ramjet-powered supersonic cruise missile based on the Russian P-800 Oniks supersonic anti-ship cruise missile. The missile is designed and developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s DRDO and Russia’s Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM). Today Indian Navy stands as the seventh-largest in the world.
Sub-lieutenant Shivangi Swaroop from Bihar became the first woman-pilot for the Indian Navy setting an example in women empowerment. She has joined the Indian Navy as the first female pilot on December 2, 2019.
Navy Week Celebrations
Chiefs of Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force pay homage at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate on the occasion of Navy Day to the martyrs by laying a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti and then host a reception at the Navy House that the President, PM, all Service Chiefs, and other dignitaries attend. All the warships and Aircraft are displayed in the exhibition for public display at Navy bases.
During the Navy Week, various events are held such as an open sea swimming competition, ships are open for visitors and school children, there is a veteran sailors lunch, performances by the Naval Symphonic Orchestra take place, an Indian Navy Inter School Quiz Competition happens, a Navy Half Marathon, as well as an air display for school children and the beating retreat and tattoo ceremonies, happen. On the final day, Award-winning innovations by the force will be on display at Delhi’s Navy House on the ‘Innovation Pavilion’.
The Navy also organizes a Beating Retreat ceremony at Gateway of India in Mumbai on the eve of Navy Day. The Indian Navy uses the occasion to reach out to citizens through various mass contact programs to spread awareness about the Navy and to enhance its image for National morale as well as projecting it as a much-wanted career option. Due to COVID-19 this year lot of restrictions are imposed and every event turned virtual.
We salute our silent protectors at sea, whose vigil along the sprawling shorelines of the subcontinent ensures the safety and continuity of peace in India.
Suggested Read: Important Days In December