In light of this, it is time to consider how our waters affect each of our lives, even those who live in the hinterland.
What makes the Navy the preferred tool for safeguarding the economic ambitions of the nation and the world?
Throughout recorded history, sea lanes have been used to conduct trade and cultural exchange. Historically, the seas have served as highways for trade and discovery.
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Maritime trade and commerce are economic activities that require a secure and favorable environment to develop. It was in response to this need that fleets were created.
Until the 13th century, the Cholas possessed a formidable navy which enabled them to trade and extend their influence as far as Southeast Asia. The largest temple in the world, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, bears witness to this. Vasco Da Gama, a Portuguese explorer, found India by sea route in 1498.
He founded India.Wikipedia
Until a veritable fleet defended the Indian coasts, the imperialist aims of the European nations were held in check. In the mid-18th century, the loss of Maratha naval power allowed European nations, especially the British, to flex their muscles.
The British conquest and subsequent plunder of the vast Indian subcontinent also took place on the high seas.
Accordingly, it is quite evident that the existence of powerful naval forces has allowed us to grow over the years, while the “sea blindness” resulting in a weakened naval force has led to conquest, ruin and exploitation of the Indian subcontinent.
How relevant is this historical lesson in today’s world?
Simply put, the world’s reliance on maritime trade in general, and India in particular, has never been greater. Maritime trade accounts for 95% of India’s total trade volume and 70% of total trade value.
In other words, about 80% of the fuel we put in our cars at the service station arrives by sea.
Similarly, virtually all gadgets and components integrated with semiconductor chips, such as batteries and display components, are imported into the country by sea, be it a smartphone, a TV or computer.
On the other hand, all automobiles made in India, as well as raw materials, food grains and other products made in India are shipped worldwide by sea.
The ramifications of a well-coordinated terrorist attack with such devastating results are almost unimaginable.Wikipedia
Let’s take a look at what happened in the Suez Canal on March 23, 2021, to get a better idea of the importance of maritime trade.
Although 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 deliberate military action or a planned terrorist attack remains a possibility. scary.
The ramifications of a well-coordinated terrorist attack with such devastating results are almost unimaginable. Consider the impact on a country like India, which relies heavily on imports. There is no doubt that global maritime trade is likely to face a variety of challenges and requires security.
As the country moves closer to being a global industrial center, more and more maritime trade will be needed to move raw materials, oil and petroleum, as well as to transport finished goods to their final destinations in around the world, which will create more jobs. , growth and wealth.
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A broad and diverse maritime trade must be defended against conventional and non-traditional dangers. Only a competent and professional navy can provide such security, as history has shown.
The Indian Navy is responsible for ensuring the security of the country’s maritime commerce by protecting maritime lines of communication (SLOC). It is still the main military task of the Indian Navy. The objective is achieved by ensuring that Navy ships and aircraft monitor and patrol SLOCs.
In times of peace and conflict, trade to and from Indian ports is unaffected by prolonged presence and continuous observation.
While the primary duty of the Indian Navy is to defend commerce, it also has the core responsibility of protecting the country’s huge coastline, offshore development regions and remote island territories of the mainland.
The Indian Army and Border Security Forces are tasked with securing the land borders of the country.Wikipedia
The Indian Navy takes continuous measures to ensure that anti-national elements do not infiltrate our country through the sea, just as the Indian Army and Border Security Forces are responsible for ensuring that the country’s land borders with neighboring countries are well guarded and protected against external attacks.
Following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai on 26/11, an extensive coastal radar network and surveillance system was set up. Indian Navy ships, planes, RPA and boats are constantly patrolling the coastal areas.
(Keywords: Indian Navy, Indian Army and Border Security Force, Mumbai, Anti-National Elements, Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC), Oil)