Why is Indian Navy day celebrated on 4th December?

Every year on December 4th, India celebrates Navy Day to honor the achievements and role of the Indian Navy in the country. On that date in 1971, during Operation Trident, the Indian Navy sank four Pakistani ships, including the PNS Khaibar, killing hundreds of Pakistani Navy personnel. On this day, those who died in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war are also remembered.

Various events take place in the days leading up to Navy Day, during Navy Week, and in the days preceding it, such as an open sea swimming competition, ships open to visitors and school children, a veteran sailors lunch, performances by the Naval Symphonic Orchestra, an Indian Navy Inter School Quiz Competition, a Navy Half Marathon, an air display for school children, and the beating retreat and tattoo ceremonies.

Background

The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the Indian Armed Forces, and its Commander-in-Chief is the President of India. Shivaji, the Maratha Emperor, is regarded as the “Father of the Indian Navy.” The Indian Navy plays an important role in securing the country’s maritime borders as well as enhancing India’s international relations through seaport visits, joint exercises, humanitarian disaster relief, and so on. To improve its position in the Indian Ocean region, the modern Indian Navy is undergoing a rapid renovation. The Indian Navy has over 67,000 personnel and approximately 150 ships and submarines.

The reason why Indian Navy Day is commemorated on 4th December

Originally, Navy Day in India coincided with the Royal Navy’s Trafalgar Day. The Royal Indian Navy celebrated Navy Day for the first time on October 21, 1944. The goal of celebrating Navy Day was to increase outreach and awareness of the Navy among the general public. Navy Day celebrations have traditionally included parades in various port cities as well as public meetings at inland Naval installations. After World War II, Navy Day was observed on December 1st beginning in 1945. On the night of November 30, 1945, on the eve of Navy Day, Indian ratings painted slogans such as Inqualab Zindabad.

Given the public’s enthusiasm, Navy Day was eventually moved to 15 December, and the week in which 15 December fell was designated as Navy Week. Old traditions gave way to new reasons to celebrate the day in 1972. In May 1972, the Senior Naval Officers Conference 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.

Given the public’s enthusiasm, Navy Day was eventually moved to 15 December, and the week in which 15 December fell was designated as Navy Week. Old traditions gave way to new reasons to celebrate the day in 1972. In May 1972, the Senior Naval Officers Conference 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 is now celebrated in India to commemorate Operation Trident, which was the attack on Karachi harbor by Indian Naval Missile boats during the Indo-Pakistan war (on 4 December 1971), as well as to honour all the martyrs of that war. To avoid detection, Indian sailors communicated in Russian during the attack. No Indian Soldiers were killed in the attack.

Navy Day 2022

This year, as India celebrates 75 years of independence with the start of the ‘Amrit Kaal,’ the Indian Navy is preparing to demonstrate India’s combat prowess and capability through an ‘Operational Demonstration’ at Visakhapatnam on Sunday, December 04, 2022. Smt. Droupadi Murmu, the Hon’ble President of India and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, will be the Guest of Honour at the event. The event will be hosted by Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, and will be attended by several dignitaries from the Central and State Governments.

The Navy Day celebrations are traditionally held in New Delhi in the presence of the Hon’ble President and other dignitaries. Navy Day celebrations are being held outside of the National Capital for the first time this year. Indian Naval ships, submarines, aircraft, and Special Forces from the Eastern, Western, and Southern Naval Commands would demonstrate the Indian Navy’s capability and versatility. The event will conclude with a sunset ceremony and ship illumination at the anchorage.

The Navy Day celebrations aim to increase outreach, renew maritime awareness among our citizens, and highlight the Navy’s contributions to national security.

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Siddhant Sandhu

    Defence Content Blogger at SSBCrackExams, An avid reader, UPSC aspirant and curious about international realtions. Pursuing my Masters in Computer Applications, National Cyclist, Ex NCC SUO.

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