Indian Navy Day – Why it is celebrated on 4 December?
Indian Navy Day is celebrated annually on 4th December to celebrate the achievements and role of the naval branch of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India plays a key role in the Indian Navy by leading it as its Commander-in-Chief. He is the Supreme Commander of Indian Armed forces, commanding the Indian Navy with a Chief of the Naval staff.
In India, Navy Day is celebrated to commemorate the martyr of the India-Pakistan War of 1971, held on the Karachi harbor. In 1971, an operation, named “Operation Trident” was executed by the Indian Navy on the night of 4th December which was a devastating attack on the Pakistan Naval Headquarters in Karachi. The Operation was successful as it successfully sank a minesweeper, a destroyer, and an ammunition supply ship. This lead to the infliction of many vessels and supplies. In this daredevil attack, the Indian side comprises 3 Vidyut class missile boats that are INS Nipat, INS Nirghat, and INS Veer, 2 anti-submarines, and a tanker ravaging the Karachi harbor fuel fields killing around 500 personnel of Pakistani Navy with no single loss suffered by the Indian Navy. In just 90 minutes, Indian warships fired six missiles which resulted in the sinking of four Pakistani vessels including cargo ships carrying ammunition, and destroyed the fuel storage facility at the Karachi harbor, before successfully returning to Mumbai without a single Indian casualty. The Operation Trident was followed by another attack by the Indian Navy, code-named Operation Python.
On the intervening night of 8th December in 1971, the Indian Navy launched “Operation Python” when it sent a strike group comprising two frigates and one missile boat that attacked a group of Pakistani vessels off the coast of Karachi who was trying to circumvent the Indian Navy with merchant ships.
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India again did not suffer any loss in the operation and managed to damage Pakistani fleet tanker PNS Dacca beyond repair while causing them to lose the Kemari Oil Storage facility as well.
The warships and aircraft of the Indian Navy are opened to visitors on this day. And also a Military Photo exhibition is organized in the Navy Fest by the photojournalists of the Ernakulum. All the events and activities that are celebrated on the day are being organized by the Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam. The Celebration starts with the wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial which is followed by the operational demonstration to show the potential and skills of the Naval Submarines, ships, aircraft, and the unique forces.
The Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT) conducts a community service from 24th to 26th November at Good Hope Old Age Home, Fort Kochi in which students from the Navy Children School participate to entertain the inmates and Naval doctors. In the Navy Fest, some contests like Navy Ball, Navy Queen are also held. On the eve of the Indian Navy Day, the Navy also organizes a Beating Retreat and Tattoo Ceremony at the Gateway of India, Mumbai.
The Great Maratha Emperor, Chhatrapati Shivaji, is known as the “Father of the Indian Navy”. In the 17th century, he demonstrated great skills in building a strong Naval appearance across the Konkan Coast and the Goa Coast to protect the sea trade. To strengthen his Navy, he built many ships, Sea forts, and bases for repair, storage, and shelter thereby growing its fleet from 160 to 700 merchants.
The Indian Navy plays a significant role in securing the marine borders of the Nation as well as in strengthening the International relations of India via Seaport visits, Joint Naval Exercises, Goodwill visits, and so on. The Indian Navy is considered the most powerful force in South Asia. It has around 295 naval arsenals including Ships, frigates, guided-missile destroyers, submarines, and patrol vessels, and approximately has 67,000 employees.
The Indian Navy had its origin back to the East India Company’s Marine which was founded in 1612 to protect British merchant shipping in the region. In 1950 when India became a republic, the Royal Indian Navy of 1934 was renamed the Indian Navy. The primary objective of the Indian Navy is to safeguard India’s maritime borders and it also acts to detect any threats or aggression against the territory, people or maritime zone of India, both in the war and in peace.
The present Indian Navy, by the end of 2019, expects to have over 150 ships and 500 aircraft. In addition to the existing mission of securing both sea flanks, it will also be able to respond to emergency situations far away from the mainland. With setting up of a new amphibious warfare facility at Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, it will enhance its Marine assault capabilities.
Indian Navy Day is celebrated using a particular theme which is usually “Safe Seas and Secure Coasts for a strong Nation.”
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