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More women to be inducted in armed forces: Modi on Indian Navy Day

The small coastal town of Malvan also witnessed an impressive demonstration of the navy’s prowess on the occasion.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi addresses a gathering at the ‘Navy Day 2023’ celebrations, in Sindhudurg in the western Indian state of Maharashtra on December 4, 2023. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (4) asserted his government is committed to increasing the strength of women in the armed forces and said Indian Navy ranks would be renamed according to the country’s culture.

Paying tributes to 17th century Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for his vision and warfare strategy in the coastal town of Malvan in the western state of Maharashtra, he noted the king knew the importance of naval power.

The PM was speaking at a Navy Day event held at Malvan in coastal Sindhudurg district of the western state, located around 500 kilometres from state capital Mumbai. The historical Sindhudurg Fort built by Shivaji is located in Malvan.

“We are emphasising on increasing the number of women in the armed forces,” he said.

In a post on X, Modi said, “Glimpses from the spectacular Navy Day programme at Sindhudurg. It’s wonderful that we have been able to mark this special day in a place so closely associated with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.”

Modi lauded the Navy following the announcement that a woman officer would be commanding a naval ship for the time time. He said ranks in the Indian Navy would be renamed according to the Indian culture. Modi also announced the epaulettes (rpt epaulettes) adorned by naval officers will have reflection of Chhatrapati Shivaji, credited for building the country’s first modern Navy.

The legendary founder of the Maratha empire knew the importance of naval power for a country and built a strong maritime force during his reign, Modi said.

Taking inspiration from Chhatrapati Shivaji, India has left behind the mentality of slavery and racing forward on all fronts, he asserted. Modi maintained today, India is setting bigger targets for itself and utilising its full potential to achieve those goals.

The world is seeing India as a ‘Vishwa Mitra’ (universal friend) the prime minister said.

He added that India is giving an unprecedented support to port-led development.

“Merchant shipping is also being encouraged. India is moving towards utilising the potential of its oceans,” he said. Shortly before taking part in the Navy Day event, Modi unveiled a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Rajkot Fort in Sindhudurg district. Modi later witnessed ‘operational demonstration’ conducted by Indian Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and Special Forces from the Tarkarli beach.

The small coastal town of Malvan also witnessed an impressive demonstration of the navy’s prowess. The Navy deployed an array of its assets — frontline warships, submarine, aircraft and helicopters for the drill. Warships INS Vikramaditya, INS Kolkata, INS INs Kochi, INS Visakhapatnam, INS Chennai, INS Brahmputra, INS Beas, INS Betwa, INS Tabar, INS Subhadra INS Vinash and INS Vipul were part the drill. The Navy also deployed submarine Khanderi, helicopters Chetak, Kamov 32, Seakind 42B, and Dornier, P8I surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft, Light Combat Aircraft and Mig29K during the display of its operational prowess and capabilities.

(With PTI inputs)

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