Indian Navy safeguarding country’s economic interests

 Indian Army and Border Security Force are responsible for ensuring that the country's land borders.
Indian Army and Border Security Force are responsible for ensuring that the country's land borders.

By Sumit Kumar Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh emphasised the Navy's responsibility in ensuring a secure and open Indo-Pacific, thereby defending the country's economic interests, at the induction ceremony in Visakhapatnam on November 21, 2021.

In light of this, now is a good moment to consider how our waters affect everyone of our lives, even those who live in the hinterland.

What is it about the Navy that makes it the favoured tool for preserving the nation's and the world's economic ambitions?

Throughout recorded history, maritime channels have been used to conduct trade and cultural exchange. Historically, the seas have served as highways for trade and discovery.

Also read: Indian Navy Day

Maritime trade and commerce are economic activities that require a secure and favourable environment in order to develop. It was in response to this need that fleets were created.

Until the 13th century, the Cholas possessed a formidable navy that allowed them to trade and expand their influence all the way to Southeast Asia. The world's biggest temple, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, bears witness to this fact. Vasco Da Gama, a Portuguese explorer, found India via the maritime route in 1498.

He founded India.wikipedia

Until there was a genuine fleet defending the Indian coastline, European nations' imperialistic aims were held in check. In the mid-eighteenth century, the loss of Maratha naval might permitted European nations, notably the British, to exercise their muscles.

The British conquest and pillage of the vast Indian subcontinent that followed took place on the high seas as well.

As a consequence, it is abundantly obvious that the existence of strong naval forces has allowed us to grow throughout the years, while'sea blindness' resulting in weakened naval strength led to the final conquest, ruin, and exploitation of the Indian subcontinent.

What relevance does this historical lesson have in today's world?

Simply put, the world's reliance on marine trade in general, and India's in particular, has never been stronger. Maritime commerce accounts for 95 percent of all Indian trade volume and 70 percent of all trade value.

To put it another way, around 80% of the fuel we put in our cars at the gas station comes in via the marine route.

Similarly, practically all semiconductor chips integrated gadgets and components like as batteries and display components are imported into the nation by water, whether it's a smartphone, a television, or a computer.

On the other hand, all autos made in India, as well as raw materials, food grain, and other products made in India, are sent throughout the world by sea.

The ramifications of a well-coordinated terror assault with such devastating results are nearly unimaginable.wikipedia

Let's take a look at what happened in the Suez Canal on March 23, 2021, to get a better idea of how important maritime trade.

While the Ever Given tragedy may have been caused by human error, the risk of a similar disaster occurring in other congested waterways as a result of purposeful military action or a planned terror assault remains a frightening possibility.

The ramifications of a well-coordinated terror assault with such devastating results are nearly unimaginable. Consider the impact on a country like India, which is heavily reliant on imports. Without a doubt, the world's marine trade is susceptible to a variety of challenges and requires security.

As the country moves closer to being a global industrial centre, it will require more and more marine trade to bring in raw materials, oil, and petroleum, as well as to transport completed goods to their final destinations throughout the world, resulting in more employment, growth, and wealth.

A wide and diversified marine trade needs defence against both classic and non-traditional dangers. Only a capable and professional navy can provide such security, as history has shown.

The Indian Navy is tasked with ensuring the safety of the country's maritime trade through safeguarding sea lines of communication (SLOCs). This is still the principal military duty of the Indian Navy. The goal is accomplished by ensuring that navy ships and planes monitor and patrol the SLOCs.

In periods of peace and conflict, commerce trade departing from and heading for Indian ports is unaffected by prolonged presence and continual observation.

While the Indian Navy's primary duty is to defend trade, it also has a critical responsibility to protect the country's enormous coastline, offshore development regions, and island territories that are far from the mainland.

Indian Army and Border Security Force are responsible for ensuring that the country's land borders.wikipedia

The Indian Navy takes continuous measures to ensure that anti-national elements do not infiltrate our country via the sea route, just as the Indian Army and Border Security Force are responsible for ensuring that the country's land borders with neighbouring countries are well guarded and protected from external attacks.

Following the Mumbai terror attacks on 26/11, an extensive coastal radar network and surveillance system were put in place. The Indian Navy's ships, planes, RPAs, and boats are constantly patrolling the coastal areas.

(IANS/PR)

(keywords: Indian Navy, Indian Army and Border Security Force, Mumbai, anti-national elements, sea lines of communication (SLOCs), petroleum)

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