The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today said a nation's maritime strength is a vital input for its emergence as a global economic power. He was speaking at a function in New Delhi, for the release of the book Pre-Modern Kutchi Navigation Techniques and Voyages. The Prime Minister referred to his recent visit to nations in the Indian Ocean. He described this as an effort to revitalize relations with the countries with whom India shares a common ocean. The Prime Minister said historically, India has been a strong maritime power, which gave her economic strength.
The book is a depiction and transcription of "Malam Ni Pothis" – a collection of Gujarati manuscripts which describe the pre-modern navigation technology of Gujarat. The book describes expeditions undertaken by the Malams (navigators) of Kutch. The original Pothis are dated from the 17th to 19th century.
The book, Pre-Modern Kutchi Navigation Techniques and Voyages, has been transcribed and edited by Mr. Ashok B. Rajeshirke. It is a collaborative effort by the National Museum, New Delhi, and the Darshak Itihas Nidhi – a Foundation for Research and Studies in History.
The Prime Minister complimented all those involved with the preparation of the book, and said such efforts are an essential part of every culture which is conscious of its history. The Prime Minister said India has usually not been a history-conscious society, and therefore, many great accomplishments of the past have remained anonymous. He said in today's age of patents and IPRs, it was vital for India to be conscious of its history and culture.
The Union Minister for Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma, and the Chairman, Darshak Itihas Nidhi, Shri Hasmukh Shah, were present on the occasion.