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Indian Navy Day 2023

Context:

On Indian Navy Day 2023, the Prime Minister announced reforms to shed colonial vestiges in the Navy’s ranks, realigning them with Indian heritage. The PM also commemorated Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by inaugurating his statue at Sindhugarh fort in Maharashtra.

Relevance:

GS III: Security Challenges

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Navy Day Declarations
  2. Maratha Empire’s Maritime Heritage under Shivaji

Navy Day Declarations

Renewal of Naval Insignia and Embracing Indigenous Heritage
  • Naval officers’ epaulettes to bear Shivaji Maharaj’s emblem.
  • Naval flag linked to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s legacy as an emblem of inspiration.
  • Acknowledgement of Shivaji Maharaj’s maritime dominance ideals, now reflected in the Navy’s ethos.
  • Introduction of a new ensign in 2022, shedding colonial remnants and honoring Shivaji Maharaj.
Tributes to Maritime Pioneers and Historical Acknowledgment
  • Prime Minister’s homage to naval figures Kanhoji Angre, Mayaji Naik Bhatkar, and Hiroji Indulkar.
  • Naming of the naval training facility in Lonavla as INS Shivaji and the Western Naval Command center in Mumbai as INS Angre, in honor of the Maratha admiral Kanhoji Angre.

Maratha Empire’s Maritime Heritage under Shivaji

Establishment of Naval Strength
  • Shivaji initiated the development of a formidable navy and ports, influenced by the naval prowess of the Siddis and Portuguese.
  • He commissioned key maritime fortresses such as Vijaydurg and Sindhudurg for defense purposes.
Expansion and Decline of Naval Forces
  • The Maratha navy saw its peak under Shivaji with more than 500 vessels, holding off Portuguese and British forces effectively for 40 years.
  • Post-1680, following Shivaji’s demise, the naval force experienced a significant downturn.

-Source: Indian Express


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