The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today dedicated the ultra-modern aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya to the navy, off the coast of Goa, and asserted that India would neither threaten any country, nor be intimidated by any power – but would engage with all nations as equals. (“Hum kisiko naa aankh dikhaayenge, naa aankh jhukaayenge, duniya se aankh milaa ke baat karenge”)
The Prime Minister lauded the dedication and bravery of the jawans of the army, navy and air force. He said “a secure India” was the first requirement for the country to progress and achieve new heights. He said the navy had today written a golden chapter in the history of India’s maritime security.
Shri Narendra Modi, witnessed a three-hour long breathtaking display of naval capabilities aboard the Navy’s biggest and newest acquisition – which included a rocket firing demo, an air power demo and a steam past by naval ships. He was given a briefing on the ship’s capabilities. Earlier, the Prime Minister was received by the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R.K. Dhowan, at INS Hansa Naval Base.
Addressing the naval sailors onboard INS Vikramaditya, the Prime Minister said that he had stepped out of Delhi for the first time since taking over as Prime Minister, and had flown straight to meet them onboard the Vikramaditya.
Shri Modi said that technology was now as important as skill and bravery for superiority of the armed forces, and asserted that India would move towards self-reliance and indigenization in the defence equipment manufacturing sector. He added that Indian-made arms and equipment should also serve as protectors for small nations across the world.
Shri Modi said that the spirit of the nation’s leadership was as important for a strong nation as the armed forces. He announced that the Government has decided to construct a National War Memorial to salute the courage of the brave martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the motherland.The Prime Minister said the Government is committed to implementing the “One Rank, One Pension scheme.”
Speaking of the historical context of the navy, Shri Modi said that in India, the great King Shivaji was the first one to operationalize a navy, to secure India’s maritime trading interests. He said a network of naval NCC should be formed in each block along the coastline.
May INS Vikramaditya imbibe the radiance of the sun, and the confidence of victory in each one of you, the Prime Minister told the sailors. ("Vikramaditya, jiske naam ke saath surya jaisi tejaswita judi hai, aap sab ke jeevan mein bhi surya ki prakharta aaye aur vijayee hone ka vishwas paida ho")
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Shri Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister, Goa; Shri Inderjit Singh Rao, MoS Defence and Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, MoS(IC) (Tourism and Culture), Admiral R.K. Dhowan, Chief of Naval Staff, and Shri Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser.