Prime Minister Narendra Modi today imparted to the Indian Navy a new civilizational identity—a pathbreaking step that will mentally attune the country’s premium maritime force to project power in the Indo-Pacific region to protect India’s interests.
In an address during the commissioning of the INS Vikrant—India’s first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier—the Prime Minister unveiled navy’s new Ensign, inspired by the maritime valour of Shivaji Maharaj.
The Prime Minister said that the new Ensign, departing from a British-India symbol, was a step to decolonise the mind, which was essential to spur India’s rise a fully developed civilizational state. He also pointed out that shedding the slavish mentality was central to India’s emergence as a developed nation—a point that he had raised as part of five Pranas (commitments) during his August 15 address.
“Today on the historic date of September 2, 2022, another history-changing act has happened. Today India has taken off a trace of slavery, a burden of slavery. Indian Navy has got a new flag from today.”
He added: “Till now the identity of slavery remained on the flag of Indian Navy. But from today onwards, inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji, the new Navy flag will fly in the sea and in the sky.”
The Prime Minister stressed that the commissioning of the Vikrant was part of an effort to address India’s geostrategic concerns in the Indo-Pacific region. “In the past, security concerns in the Indo-Pacific region and the Indian Ocean have long been ignored. But today this area is a major defence priority of the country for us. That’s why we are working in every direction, from increasing the budget for the Navy to increasing its capability.”
He also spotlighted that “Nari Shakti” is now central to national security and identity of a rising New India.
“When Vikrant descends to protect our maritime zone, many women soldiers of the Navy will also be stationed there. With the immense power of the ocean, boundless female power, it is becoming the lofty identity of New India.”
He added that, “Just like there are no boundaries for strong waves, there will be no boundaries or restrictions for the daughters of India”.
PM Modi pointed out that with the commissioning of the Vikrant, India had entered a select league of countries that were capable of building aircraft carriers.
“Today INS Vikrant has filled the country with a new confidence, and has created a new confidence in the country.”
PM Modi highlighted that the Vikrant symbolised the Atmanirbhar Bharat doctrine in action.
Every part of INS Vikrant has its own merits, a strength, a development journey of its own. It is a symbol of indigenous potential, indigenous resources and indigenous skills. The steel installed in its airbase is also indigenous, developed by DRDO scientists and produced by Indian companies, he said.
He also noted the happy and auspicious occasion of Onam that is imparting greater joy to the occasion.