Navy Day in India
Navy day in India is observed on 4th of December every year to celebrate the magnificence, achievements and role of the naval force to the country. Indian navy is the marine branch (means naval branch) of the India’s armed forces which led by the President of India as a Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Navy. The Maratha emperor, Chhatarpati Shivaji Bhosle of the 17th century is considered as “Father of the Indian Navy”.
Navy of the India plays a great role in securing the marine borders of the country as well as enhancing the international relations of India through many ways like seaport visits, joint exercises, humanitarian missions, calamity relief and etc. Modern Indian navy has as undergone speedy renovation in order to improve the position of navy to the Indian Ocean region.
According to the report, the strength of the Indian Navy includes of 58,350 personnel, an aircraft carrier, a big transport dock, 15 frigates, 8 guided missile destroyers, 24 corvettes, 13 conventional submarines, 1 nuclear attack submarine, 30 patrol vessels, 7 mine countermeasure vessels including variety of auxiliary ships.
Navy Day 2019
The Navy Day was celebrated in India on Wednesday, 4th December 2019. It is an annual celebration to commemorate “Operation Trident”, an offensive launched by the Indian Navy against Pakistan in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
Rehearsals for the celebrations were held at every naval base and command offices of the Indian Navy. Like in Mumbai a rehearsal was held on Sunday, 1st December, where the navy personnel displayed their skills.
At Vishakhapatnam, the port city in Andhra Pradesh, which is also the head office of Easter Naval Command, an operational demonstration rehearsal was held at RK beach on Monday, 2nd December 2019. The Indian navy displayed its operational capabilities during the event. The actual event on December 4th included a large number of aircrafts flying over RK Beach.
In a celebration at New Delhi Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General MM Naravane and Vice Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal HS Arora aid tribute to the fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial. At a similar event in Kochi, Vice Admiral AK Chawla paid tribute to the war heroes at the Naval Base War Memorial.
Warships of the Southern Naval Command displayed several signal flags as a mark of the celebrations. Many politicians, bureaucrats and members of the public congratulated Indian navy personnel for being one of the most powerful forces of India. They also expressed thankfulness to them for keeping the nation’s water safe.
In 2018, the celebration of Navy Day was spread out over two months before the actual day. The Indian Navy held many events to showcase the service and to raise awareness in people about the hardship of the naval forces. The celebration of Navy Day was started by organizing a Mega Blood Donation Camp at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam on 05th October 2018. Around 268 people donated their blood in the camp.
Other activities organised as a part of Navy Day celebration included public performance of the Naval Band, an Organ Donation seminar, a medical camp and a visit of children to INS Dega and various other Fleets ships. A Vizag-Navy marathon which is the fourth edition of the marathon was also organised to commemorate the day.
Indian Naval forces also presented a Beating Retreat ceremony at Gateway of India, Mumbai showcasing the valour and courage of Indian Navy. Operational demonstrations by helicopters and marine commandos became the highlights of the event. There was also a mesmerizing performance by the Naval Band on the occasion.
Indian Navy also conducted a Naval Operational Display at the RK Beach, Vizag showcasing the advanced warfare capability of the Indian Naval Force and how they help us in protecting our international borders. The day was also used to pay tribute to all the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives to serve their motherland.
The chief of the Naval Staff also addressed the annual press meet and paid tribute to the martyrs on eve of the Navy Day. President, Prime Minister and other dignitaries also gave their warm wishes and thanked Indian Navy for their commendable role in protecting our nation.
Theme of Navy Day 2018
Theme of Navy Day 2018 was ‘Indian Navy, Mission-deployed and Combat-ready’.
The Indian Navy is a very important wing of Indian Defence body. India in its north is well protected by the mystical Himalayas. As we travel from the west towards south and from south, up towards the north-eastern direction, the boundaries of our country mainly comprise of coastal borders. This makes the role of our Indian Navy extremely important. Our Navy not only helps in securing the marine borders of the country, it also helps in enhancing the international relations of India through seaport visits.
Besides providing security at the coastal line of India Indian Navy plays a crucial role of exercising joint operations with neighbouring countries, providing support to the people living on the edges and helping them to set up their lives in such difficult regions. They are the first ones who reach the locals at the time of crisis and distress like high tides, hurricanes, extreme rains and other natural calamities. The Indian Navy has as undergone many changes and has upgraded itself in technology and infrastructure and knowledge to improve its position in the Indian Ocean region. Our Indian Navy has four bases namely, in Vizag, Kochi, Mumbai and Chennai. There is also a Naval Base in Karwar, 100 km from Goa.
In 2013, India celebrated 42nd anniversary of the Indian navy on 4th of December in order to remember the daredevil attack on the naval base of Pakistan, at Karachi. In order to celebrate this occasion, the Western Naval Command of the Indian navy (headquarter is Mumbai) bring their ships and sailors for making the celebration excellent.
All the activities which to be conducted on the celebration of the event are planned by the eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam. Wreath laying ceremony is held at the war memorial (at RK Beach) followed by the operational demonstration to show the potential and resourcefulness of the naval submarines, ships, aircrafts and unique forces. Various aircrafts are shown by flying over the RK Beach that’s why people are requested by the authorities to keep the beach clean and litter free (avoid throwing food items) to keep away the birds in that particular area for smooth demonstration of the aircraft (as presence of birds in the sky because of food items may cause hazards to the aircraft).
On the days before the actual ceremony there are a lot of entertaining activities planned for the Naval Doctors, community old homes, and the school children belonging to the navy Schools. A lot of competitions, Band performances, the Photo exhibitions and trip to visit ships and actual Fighter Air Planes for closer look are conducted.
Why is the Navy Day Celebrated
Navy Day in India is celebrated to commemorate the courageous attack on the Karachi harbor during the Indo-Pakistan war (at 4th of December in the year 1971) by the Indian Naval Missile boats as well as to reverence all the martyrs of that war. It is celebrated using a particular theme (like “Safe Seas and Secure Coasts for a strong Nation”) of the year for making it more powerful and potent.
At this day tribute is paid to all those soldiers who laid down their lives in order to protect their country’s pride and honour. On this day our courageous Indian Navy heroes pulled off at the Pakistani naval base in Karachi during the Indo-Pakistan War. The Operation Trident was launched by three Vidyut class missile boats – INS Nipat, INS Veer and INS Nirghat. Other weapons of fight that were used include a tanker, and a couple of anti-submarines. Very successfully they were able to bring about a major damage to the Pakistani Navy by sinking a minesweeper, ammunition supply ship and destroyer.
Five Pakistani soldiers were injured along with 700 other people however Indians were safe. This operation was performed at night because night-bombing facility was not available to the Pakistani Navy. This was also the first time that anti-ship missiles were used in the region that’s why it was regarded as the most successful attack by the Indian Navy.
A community service for the navy of India is conducted by the Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT) from 24th of November to the 26th of November at Good Hope Old Age Home, Fort Kochi in which the students from the Navy Children School take parts to entertain the inmates and Naval doctors (from INHS Sanjivani) provides medical checkup to the inmates. Navy Ball, Navy Queen contests including the Navy fest are held to celebrate the navy day.
How is the Navy Day Celebrated in India
The Navy Day is celebrated in a pompous manner, just like any elaborate festivities that happen for a good long period of one week to ten days. The planning of the event is done chiefly at Vishakhapatnam, by the Eastern Naval Command. The Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command which has it’s Head Office at Mumbai, get their ships and sailors to Vizag for displaying their valour and pride through a very impressive crew.
The ceremony starts with wreath lying at the war memorial situated at the RK Beach. After honouring the war martyrs, an operational demonstration of the naval submarines, aircraft and ships is made by the soldiers. This way they not only display their equipment and its capabilities but also their resourcefulness and intensity.
Thereafter there are various kinds of aircraft belonging to the Navy fly over the beach on this day. These air crafts are used to further the security provided by Navy over the seas under their surveillance. Before the celebrations and at time of the display of fighter planes, the authorities normally ask people to keep the beach litter-free so there are no birds flying nearby to cause any damage to the planes.
The Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT) conducts a community service usually at Good Hope Old Age Home located at Fort Kochi. The students from the Navy Children School take part and entertain the residents. The events are held to entertain the inmates as well as Navy doctors. The doctors also conduct medical check-ups of the inmates.
Contests such as Navy Ball, Navy Fest and Navy Queen are held and this special day is celebrated in the most entertaining way. The day also sees visitors like school children who come to the celebrations to see the aircraft and warships of Indian Navy as they are made open for public viewing for a few days. As a part of the celebrations there are photo-journalists from Ernakulum who come and display a military photo exhibition. Ships that are harboured along the coast are lit up and seem to be full of life and festivities. There are performances by the naval band, through their music in the traditional and ritualistic manner bring joy and pride yet once again.
Themes of Navy Day
Achievements and roles of the naval force to the country is celebrated at this day. Navy Day in India is celebrated to honour the memory of the courageous attack on the Karachi harbor during the Indo-Pakistan war (on 4 December, 1971) by the Indian Naval Missile boats as well as to remember all those martyrs who laid down their lives to protect our country. It is celebrated using a particular theme each year, like “Safe Seas and Secure Coasts for a strong Nation” because theme based celebration makes this event more powerful and effective occasion. Various other themes that have been used in the past years are:
- Theme of 2019 is “Indian Navy – Silent, Strong and Swift”.
- Theme of 2018 was “Indian Navy, Mission-deployed and Combat-ready”.
- Theme of 2015 was “Indian Navy – Ensuring Secure Seas for a Resurgent Nation.”
- Theme of 2012 was “Indian Navy – Maritime Power for National Prosperity”.
- Theme of 2008 was “Reaching Out to Maritime Neighbours”.