On the occasion, PM Modi recalled the words of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam explaining why defence prowess was necessary even for peace-loving nations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday recalled former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s words on ‘strength and peace’ as he commissioned India’s largest indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in Kochi. Addressing the ceremony at the Cochin Shipyard, PM Modi heaped praises on the capability of INS Vikrant and the country’s unique feat.
Today, India has joined an elite league of nations that develops such a huge aircraft carrier through indigenous techniques. INS Vikrant has instilled a new confidence in the country. Our Navy will be strengthened and India will soon become a preferred choice of trading-friendly neighbours,” he said.
On the occasion, PM Modi also recalled the words of Missile Man Dr APJ Abdul Kalam explaining why defence prowess was necessary even for peace-loving nations.
He said, “Once someone asked APJ Abdul Kalam that you have a peace-loving personality, why then do you need weapons? To this Kalam replied, “shakti aur shanti, dono ko ek dusre ki zarurat hai (power and peace, both need each other).”
The PM asserted, “This is the reason that today, India is walking hand in hand with bal aur badlav (strength and transformation). I am sure that India will lead the way to a peaceful and secure world.”
Speaking from a geopolitical perspective, he observed, “In the past, security concerns in the Indo-Pacific region and the Indian Ocean have long been ignored. But, today this area is a major defense priority of the country for us. That is why we are working in every direction, from increasing the budget for the Navy to increasing its capability.”
He said INS Vikrant is an example of the Indian government’s thrust to make its defence sector self-reliant and has made the country part of the select group of nations that can
indigenously make aircraft carriers.
PM Modi unveils Navy’s new ensign
PM Modi also unveiled the Indian Navy’s new ensign which drops the St George’s Cross and incorporates the royal seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He said with the new ensign, the country has shed its colonial past.
Till today Indian Naval flags carried a sign of slavery which has been replaced with a new one inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” he said.
Modi also spoke about certain features of the aircraft carrier — which he described as a floating airfield, a floating town — and said that power generated in it can light up 5,000 houses.