Navy Day in India is celebrated on 4 December every year to recognize the achievements and role of the Indian Navy to the country. 4 December was chosen as on that day in 1971, during Operation Trident, the Indian Navy sank four Pakistani vessels including PNS Khaibar, killing hundreds of Pakistani Navy personnel. On the day, those killed in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 are also remembered.
Navy Day in India originally coincided with the Royal Navy’s Trafalgar Day. In 1944, the Royal Indian Navy celebrated Navy Day in October, the month of its commissioning in 1944. In 1945, after World War II, Navy Day was celebrated on 1 December. Navy Day in India is now celebrated to commemorate the attack on the Karachi harbor during the Indo-Pakistan war (on 4 December 1971) by the Indian Naval Missile boats as well in to reverence all the martyrs of that war. No Indian sailors were killed in the attack.
During the days leading up to Navy Day, during Navy Week and the days prior to that, various events take place 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.
Navy Day is celebrated using a particular theme of the year:
- Theme of 2019 is “Indian Navy – Silent, Strong and Swift”.
- Theme of 2018 was “Indian Navy, Mission-deployed and Combat-ready”.
The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff, a four-star admiral, commands the navy.
The Indian Navy traces its origins back to the East India Company’s Marine which was founded in 1612 to protect British merchant shipping in the region. In 1793, the British East India Company established its rule over eastern part of the Indian subcontinent i.e. Bengal, but it was not until 1830 that the colonial navy was titled as His Majesty’s Indian Navy. When India became a republic in 1950, the Royal Indian Navy as it had been named since 1934 was renamed to Indian Navy.
The primary objective of the navy is to safeguard the nation’s maritime borders, and in conjunction with other Armed Forces of the union, act to deter or defeat any threats or aggression against the territory, people or maritime interests of India, both in war and peace. Through joint exercises, goodwill visits and humanitarian missions, including disaster relief, Indian Navy promotes bilateral relations between nations.
While the President of India serves as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces, the organizational structure of Indian Navy is headed by the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), who holds the rank of Admiral. While the provision for the rank of Admiral of the Fleet exists, it is primarily intended for major wartime use and honour. No officer of the Indian Navy has yet been conferred this rank. The CNS is assisted by the Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS), a Vice-Admiral; the CNS also heads the Integrated Headquarters (IHQ) of the Ministry of Defence (Navy), based in New Delhi. The Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (DCNS), a Vice-Admiral, is a Principal Staff Officer, along with the Chief of Personnel (COP) and the Chief of Materiel (COM), both of whom are also vice-admirals. The Director General Medical Services (Navy) is a Surgeon Vice-Admiral, heads the medical services of the Indian Navy.
The Indian Navy operates three operational Commands. Each Command is headed by a Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the rank of Vice-Admiral. The Eastern and Western Commands each have a Fleet commanded by a Rear Admiral, and each also have a Commodore commanding submarines. The Southern Naval Command is home to the Flag Officer Sea Training.
Additionally, the Andaman and Nicobar Command is a unified Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and Indian Coast Guard theater command based at the capital, Port Blair. Commander in Chief Andaman and Nicobar (CINCAN) receives staff support from, and reports directly to the chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) in New Delhi. The Command was set up in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 2001.
Sub-lieutenant Shivangi became the first woman pilot for the Indian Navy on Monday. Shivangi was born in the city of Muzaffarpur in Bihar. She was commissioned into the Indian Navy last year after her initial training. Shivangi joined operational duties at the Kochi naval base today, who had been undergoing training at the Southern Naval Command in Kochi, will get authorisation on December 2 to fly dornier aircrafts.
Father of the Indian Navy
- The 17th-century Maratha emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is considered as the ‘Father of the Indian Navy’. Shivaji was born in the hill-fort of Shivneri, near the city of Junnar in Pune district of Maharastra on or 19 February 1630. Shivaji demonstrated great skill in creating his military organisation .He built a strong naval presence across the coast of Konkan and Goa to protect sea trade. The navy under Shivaji was so strong that the Marathas coule hold their against the British, Portuguese and Dutch. Shivaji realised the importance of having a secure coastline and protecting the western Konkan coastline from the attacks of Siddi’s fleet. His strategy was to build a strong navy to protect and bolster his kingdom.
- In 1664-67 AD, Shivaji develops a new Fort. The main object was to counter rising influence of foreign colonizers (The English, Dutch, French and Portuguese merchants) and to curb the rise of Siddis of Janjira. Shivaji built ships in towns such as Kalyan, Bhivandi, and Goa for building fighting navy as well as trade. He also built a number of sea forts and bases for repair, storage and shelter. Shivaji fought many lengthy battles with Siddis of Janjira on coastline. The fleet grew to reportedly 160 to 700 merchant, support and fighting vessels. He started trading with foreigners on his own after possession of eight or nine ports in the Deccan.