Indian Navy Day 2022: History, Significance, Celebrations and Theme

Indian Navy Day is annually celebrated on 4th December. This day celebrates the achievements of the India’s Naval Forces and recognizes its importance in safeguarding the nation. 

The day is also observed to commemorate the launch of Operation Trident against Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistan War in 1971. Hence this day also pays respect and remembers the sacrifice and service of the Navy personnels who served in the war. 

The Indian Navy is a three-dimensional force that operates above, on, and under the ocean’s surface to safeguard the interests of the nation. Its main agenda is to improve its state of affairs in the Indian Ocean Zone and protect it from any threat. 

Event Indian Navy Day
Date December 4, 2022
Day Sunday
Significance The day celebrates the achievements of the India’s Naval Forces
Observed by India

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Indian Navy Day History: 

The maritime history of India dates back 6,000 years to the Indus Valley civilisation. Throughout the times, India had been a great naval power in the world. Many Indian empires were largely into naval power. The most prominent one which comes to mind is the Chola Empire around the 10th Century AD as this empire largely used navy for its expansion and had the most powerful navy of that time through which it was able to conquer and influence large portions of South East Asia. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj of the Maratha Empire is considered the ‘Father of the modern Indian Navy’ as he revolutionalized nation’s Navy during fights with foreign invaders Portuguese and then the British.  

However, the origins of modern Indian Navy date backs to 1612, when an English vessel under the command of Captain Best encountered the Portuguese. Although the Portuguese were defeated, this incident along with the trouble caused by the pirates to the merchant vessels, forced the British to maintain fleet near Surat, Gujarat. East India Company (HEIC) formed a naval arm, and the first squadron of fighting ships reached the Gujarat coast on 5 September 1612. Since then the Royal Indian Navy played a critical role in many major conflicts including both world wars. 

Following independence and the partition of India on 15 August 1947, the RIN’s depleted fleet of ships and remaining personnel were divided between the newly independent Dominion of India and Dominion of Pakistan. The Indian share of the Navy consisted of 32 vessels along with 11,000 personnel. When India became a republic on 26 January 1950, the Royal prefix was dropped and the name Indian Navy was officially adopted. The prefix for naval vessels was changed from His Majesty’s Indian Ship (HMIS) to Indian Naval Ship (INS) and thus the Indian Navy under it’s current form was established in 26th January, 1950. 

Navy Day in India originally coincided with the Royal Navy’s Trafalgar Day. On 21 October 1944, the Royal Indian Navy celebrated Navy Day for the first time. The idea behind celebrating Navy Day was to boost outreach and increase awareness about the Navy amongst the general public. From 1945 onwards, after World War 2, Navy Day was celebrated on 1 December. In due course and until 1972, given the enthusiasm among the public, Navy Day was celebrated on 15 December, and the week in which 15 December fell was observed as Navy Week. In 1972, old traditions gave way to new reasons to celebrate the day. 

At the Senior Naval Officer’s Conference in May 1972, it was decided that Navy Day would be celebrated on 4 December to commemorate the actions of the Indian Navy during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War, and Navy Week would be observed from 1 to 7 December. Navy Day in India is now celebrated to commemorate Operation Trident, which was the attack on the Karachi harbor during the Indo-Pakistan war (on 4 December 1971) by the Indian Naval Missile boats as well in to reverence all the martyrs of that war. During the attack, Indian sailors communicated in Russian to avoid detection. No Indian sailors were killed in the attack. 

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Indian Navy Day Significance: 

The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the Indian Armed Forces and it is one of the most powerful Navy in the world today. The Indian Navy has an important role in securing the marine borders of the country as well as enhancing the international relations of India through seaport visits, joint exercises, humanitarian calamity relief and so on. The modern Indian Navy is undergoing a speedy renovation in order to improve its position in the Indian Ocean region. The strength of the Indian Navy includes over 67,000 active personnel thus it is also one of the largest Navy. 

Ever since its formation, the Indian Navy have played a critical role in securing the interests of the nation. After Independence, the Indian Navy first played a huge role during the Indo-Portuguese war of 1961 for the liberation of Goa. After this the Indian Navy has also participated in various conflicts and wars which includes Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. Bangladesh Liberation War 1971, Operation Cactus and Kargil War. Not just that Indian Navy also played a critical role in many major evacuation operations. Today, the Indian Navy is undergoing expansion and modernization regarding the threats posed by the adversaries. 

This day also commemorates very important event in Indian Navy’s history and hence it also celebrates that achievement and salutes the bravery and selfless service of the navy personnels. During this event, the Indian Navy targeted the Pakistan Naval Headquarters of Karachi and it was called Operation Trident. It launched three missile boats towards Karachi and sank three Pakistani Navy ships, including PNS Khaibar. There were hundreds of Pakistani Navy personnel killed during the attack. Commodore Kasargod Pattanashetti Gopal Rao led the whole operation of the Indian Navy. 

Indian Navy Day is celebrated to signify the victory of Operation Trident in Karachi by the Indian Naval Missile boats. That’s why to celebrate the success of the Indian Navy, Indian Navy Day is observed in the whole country. People wish happy Indian Navy Day to each other, marking the sign of tribute to the Navy and creating awareness about the difficulties faced by the personnel in the war. Hence this day creates awareness about the historical importance behind the day do that people can remember about the glorious past of Indian Navy which feels the people with pride and honor for the country. 

It is important to educate the children and the citizens of India about the significance and victory of Indian Navy. Celebrating Indian Navy Day is about increasing awareness about the Navy among the general public. As it is very important to celebrate the legacy of the Indian Navy because of the all the contribution and sacrifices made by these Navy personnels and hence they should not be forgotten and respect must be offered to them for their selfless service for the nation. So we must be respectful towards them for keeping us safe from any threats. 

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Indian Navy Day Celebrations: 

During the days leading up to Navy Day, during Navy Week and the days prior to that, various events take place such as an open sea swimming competition, ships are open for visitors and school children, there is a veteran sailors lunch, performances by the Naval Symphonic Orchestra take place, an Indian Navy Inter School Quiz Competition happens, a Navy Half Marathon as well as an air display for school children and the beating retreat and tattoo ceremonies happen. 

With headquarters in Mumbai, the Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy celebrates this great occasion by assembling ships and sailors. Throughout the celebration, Navy Day activities will be coordinated by the Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam. In addition to wreath-laying ceremonies at the war memorial (at RK Beach), the navy subs, ships, aircraft, and other forces will demonstrate their skills and energy in a practical demonstration.

On Navy Day, the general public can get an opportunity to see the warships and aircrafts of the Indian Naval at the Naval festival. Also, the Military Photo Exhibition is organised by the journalists of the Ernakulum in the festival. Other events such as blood donation camps are also held for the day. People use this opportunity to salute the efforts of the sailors for the contribution which they makes through their service for the nation and hence they are Navy personnels are also honoured at various places for the day. 

Additionally, the Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT) organises a community service from the 24th to the 26th of November at Good Hope Old Age Home at Fort Kochi in which the students from the Navy Children School Chair take turns to entertain the inmates and Naval doctors (from INHS Sanjivani) provides medical checkup to the inmates. The Navy Ball and Navy Queen contests including the Navy fest are held to celebrate Navy Day.  

Indian Navy Day Theme: 

Every year, a different theme is proposed to celebrate Indian Navy Day. The theme for Indian Navy Day 2022 is “Swarnim Vijay Varsh”, marking 50 years of India’s victory in the Indo-Pakistan war in 1971. 

Most Searched FAQs on Indian Navy Day: 

1. When is Indian Navy Day celebrated? 

Indian Navy Day is annually celebrated on 4th December. 

2. Who is the ‘Father of the Indian Navy’? 

The Maratha Emperor, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, is considered the Father of the Indian Navy.

3. What is the theme of Indian Navy Day 2022? 

This year, the Indian Navy Day 2022 theme is “Swarnim Vijay Varsh”. 

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