The ranks of officials in the Indian Navy will be renamed to reflect the country’s traditions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.
He made the announcement while addressing a Navy Day function at the Sindhudurg Fort in Maharashtra. He said that India is taking inspiration from Maratha king Shivaji to leave behind the mentality of slavery and move forward.
The Maratha ruler holds significance for the Indian Navy as he had laid the foundations of a modern naval force in the 17th century.
“I am happy that the new epaulettes our naval officers wear will now have a symbol of Shivaji Maharaj’s navy,” Modi said. “I had the opportunity to connect the Naval flag with the heritage of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj last year.”
Last year, the Indian Navy adopted a new naval ensign bearing the seal of the Maratha ruler. The seal comprises a blue octagonal shape with the national emblem on top of an anchor superimposed on a shield.
“We are also working on increasing women’s power in our defence forces,” Modi said. “I want to congratulate the Navy for appointing the country’s first woman commanding officer on a naval ship.”
On December 2, Lieutenant Commander Prerana Deosthalee became the first woman naval officer to command a warship. She is the commanding officer of INS Trinkat.