December 4 – Navy Day
Navy day in India is observed on 4th of December every year to celebrate the magnificence, achievements and role of the naval force to the country. Indian navy is the marine branch (means naval branch) of the India’s armed forces which led by the President of India as a Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Navy. The Maratha emperor, Chhatarpati Shivaji Bhosle of the 17th century is considered as “Father of the Indian Navy”.
Navy of the India plays a great role in securing the marine borders of the country as well as enhancing the international relations of India through many ways like seaport visits, joint exercises, humanitarian missions, calamity relief and etc. Modern Indian navy has as undergone speedy renovation in order to improve the position of navy to the Indian Ocean region. According to the report, the strength of the Indian Navy includes of 58,350 personnel, an aircraft carrier, a big transport dock, 15 frigates, 8 guided missile destroyers, 24 corvettes, 13 conventional submarines, 1 nuclear attack submarine, 30 patrol vessels, 7 mine countermeasure vessels including variety of auxiliary ships.
The special stamp depicting INS Nilgiri, issued on December 15, 1968 honouring the “Navy Day”, The ‘Navy Day-1968’ was very special, in this year the launching of India’s first Leander class Guided Missile Frigate ‘INS Nilgiri’ took place (23 October,1968) at Mazagon Dock Ltd., Bombay.
In the year 1971 India got engaged in a war with Pakistan. On December 4, the Indian Navy carried out a stunning attack on the Karachi harbour.Indian Navy’s six ‘Osa-I’ class Missile boats were deployed spear heading the attack on Karachi, code named ‘Operation Trident’.
INS Khukri (F-149)
INS Khukri – a British Blackwood class Frigate was commissioned into Indian Navy on 20 November 1956. On December 8/9, 1971, INS Khukri was deployed on a mission to hunt enemy submarines present in sea lanes used by Indian submarines. Unfortunately, INS Khukri was hit by torpedoes launched by the Pakistan Naval SubmarineHangor. As INS Khukri started sinking,40 nautical miles off Diu Coast taking down with her a crew of 18 officers and 176 sailors, its Commanding Officer Capt.Mahendra Nath Mulla recipient of Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) (posthumous) did not try to save himself. He went down with his ship, observing the greatest traditions of the Indian Navy.
The act of Capt. Mullah and his crew is a shining example of the unyielding spirit and indomitable courage glorifying the highest traditions of the Indian Navy. In memory of the ship crew who laid down lives for the country, a memorial named ‘Khukri Memorial’ was set up in Diu in 1999. The memorial depicts the scale model of the frigateINS Khukri.
The Pakistan navy’s submarine PNS Ghazi (SS 479) (ex.USS Diablo) was lost in the Bay of Bengal off Fairway buoy of Visakhapatnam harbour during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
In May 1972, at the Senior Naval Officers Conference, it was decided that hence forth; “Navy Day” would be celebrated on 4th. December in commemoration of the very successful Naval actions in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal during the “Indo-Pak War of 1971”.
The first “Navy Day” on December 04 was celebrated in 1972.
On this Day when the Navy dedicated itself anew to the service of the nation, the Army Postal Service Corps (56 APO) brought out a Special Cover to commemorate the Navy Day on 4 December 1972.
Indigenously built Missile Frigate INS Taragiriappears on the NAVY DAY stamp issued on 4 December,1981.
This special cover was issued at Bombay to commemorate 30 years of Naval Aviation in Indiaon Navy Day on 4 December 1983. The Naval aviation formally saw the light of day with the commissioning of INS Garuda, a Naval Air Station at Cochin (now Kochi) on May 11, 1953. The cover has the picture of INS Vikrant (R11), ex. HMSHercules (R49)) -a Majestic-class light aircraft carrier, the first aircraft carrier in the Indian Navy acquired in 1957.
Slogan Postmark “INDIAN NAVY THE NATION’S PRIDE” provided from some select Post Offices on “Navy Day”- 4th. December 1987.
50th. Anniversary of ‘I.N.S. Netaji Subhas’(formerly INS Hooghly), the Naval establishment in Kolkata was celebrated on ‘NAVY DAY-2004’.
Navy Queen contestants on board the INS Mumbaiin Kochi on the occasion of Navy Day on December 04, 2007.
Navy Day stamp of 04 December 2008
Dedicated to the stellar role of the Indian Navy in “Reaching Out to Our Maritime Neighbours” in peace and in war in the Indian Ocean. Smaller Navies in the Indian Ocean Region like those of Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Mauritius and Maldives, look up to India and it’s Navy as a source of help, support and assistance. The theme “Reaching Out to Maritime Neighbours” is essentially framed on these lines.Indian Navy wants to reach out and extend a hand of genuine friendship to all these nations for mutual benefit.