Navy Day
4 December 2018

1950 was a momentous one for India in more ways than one. While the year saw the people of the nation formally adopting the Indian Constitution and officially becoming a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, there is another historic but often overlooked event that occurred in that year. That was also the year that the Indian Navy finally became the 'Indian Navy'.

Prior to the people of India formally giving unto themselves the constitution of India, the naval force of the country was referred to as the 'Royal Indian Navy'. Once we became a republic however, the 'Royal' prefix was dropped and our naval force officially became the Indian Navy.

The first Indian Chief of Staff of the Naval Staff however, would be a long time coming. While we became independent of Britain in 1947, their citizens continued to serve our newly free nation in various capacities, as we simply did not have the wherewithal to find Indian counterparts with sufficient experience and/or tenure. It would not be until 11 years after independence, in 1958 that India would get its first Indian Chief of Staff of the Naval Staff in V Adm. R. D. Katari who assumed office on April 22nd of that year.

Though the naval force of a relatively young country, the Indian Navy did not let that minor detail hamper it in the path to glory. Over the years, the navy has been a part of several naval battles, returning victorious in the majority of them. One such encounter was the courageous attack on Karachi harbour during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. Indeed this was such dramatic victory that the nation decided to commemorate it as Navy Day. That's why since then, Navy Day has been celebrated with great fanfare on the 4th of December every year.