Navy ensures that no nation endangers strategic autonomy of another in Indo-Pacific region on the basis of economic strength or military power: RM

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, on June 14, 2024, visited the Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh to review the operational readiness of the Indian Navy, and embarked on INS Jalashwa for a ‘Day at Sea’. It was Shri Rajnath Singh’s first outstation visit after assuming charge as Raksha Mantri for the second consecutive term.

During the ‘Day at Sea’, the Raksha Mantri witnessed the dynamic operations by various ships, submarine and aircraft of the Command, showcasing the combat capability and preparedness of the Indian Navy. He was accompanied by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi and Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar.

Interacting with the officers and sailors of the Eastern Fleet, Shri Rajnath Singh commended the Indian Navy for being operationally ready, and emerging as the first responder in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). “Our Navy ensures that no nation suppresses another in the Indo-Pacific region or endangers its strategic autonomy on the basis of economic strength or military power. This is in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) wherein our friendly countries in the region remain safe and move forward together on the path of mutual progress,” he said.

The Raksha Mantri credited the Indian Navy for playing a crucial role in the country’s growth and raising its stature on the international stage. He made special mention of the Navy’s daring rescue operation in the Arabian Sea in March 2024, when it freed 23 Pakistani nationals from Somali pirates. This operation, he said, was a demonstration of humanity as well as the values imbibed in the Naval personnel, who come to the aid of everyone, irrespective of their nationality.

“It is a matter of great pride that our Navy is ensuring safe trade and promoting peace & prosperity in IOR. Securing free navigation, rule-based world order, anti-piracy and peace & stability in the region are our biggest objectives. The Navy is playing a crucial role in fulfilling them. India, with its increasing power, is committed to making the region as well as the entire world peaceful and prosperous,” said Shri Rajnath Singh.

Elaborating further, the Raksha Mantri highlighted the Navy’s growing strength which is ensuring the security of India’s maritime borders. He also underlined the fact that India’s commercial interests are linked with the IOR, and the Navy is a means of securing the maritime borders while achieving the wider national objectives. He said national interest is of paramount importance to the Government, assuring that all possible steps will be taken to safeguard them.

On his visit to the Eastern Naval Command, first of his second term as Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh stated that the maiden tour always holds special significance as it reflects the Government’s vision ahead. “I visited the Siachen Glacier at the beginning of my first term as Raksha Mantri in June 2019. I again visited the world’s highest battlefield in April 2024. Our aim was to bolster national security with focus on the northern borders. Whether it was infrastructure development or connecting the far-flung areas with the rest of the country or ensuring peace & stability at the borders, we achieved all these objectives. It, however, does not mean we did not pay heed to the  IOR in our previous tenure. We paid full attention to our Navy and maritime security,” he said.

The Raksha Mantri emphasised that, in his second term, the focus will be on further strengthening maritime security and making the presence of India’s naval power in IOR more effective and robust. “The Indian Navy is continuously becoming stronger, factored by growing industrial infrastructure. Our shipyards are expanding, aircraft carriers increasing, and our Navy is emerging as a new powerful force. We will give momentum to our efforts in the second tenure as well. Be it the Himalayas or the Indian Ocean, our priority will be to continuously strengthen the security at the borders,” he said. Shri Rajnath Singh added that the Government’s focus on land borders and maritime security has a broader vision – to bind the northern and southern parts of the nation in one thread.

The ‘Day at Sea’ culminated with the traditional Barakhana with the crew of the Sunrise Fleet. Earlier, upon his arrival at INS Dega, Visakhapatnam, the Raksha Mantri was accorded a Ceremonial welcome with a 50-men Guard of Honour.