When discussing naval strategies in India, it is necessary to address the Indian Navy’s international collaboration to support positive relationships on the ocean. Discussing the crimes, this Navy faces and how it combats these occurrences is essential. Moreover, all navies face other enemies and risks. Here, we discuss all these issues, starting with a brief history and ending with the future of this Navy.
History of the Indian Navy
After gaining its independence on August 15, 1947, authorities split the Royal Indian Navy (RIN) on April 22, 1958, retaining two-thirds of its assets and handing the remainder to the Royal Pakistan Navy. The first Flag Officer to command the RIN was Rear Admiral JTS Hall. The RINs first Chief of Naval Staff of the nave was Vice Admiral R D Katari.
When the country gained independence on January 26, 1950, it became the Indian Navy. It adopted the Ashoka Lion Motif as its emblem and the motto, “Sam no Varunah” (be auspicious unto us Oh Varuna). The Navy also added the “Satyamev Jayate” inscription on the State Emblem as part of its crest.
The country celebrated its first Navy Day on October 21, 1944. This date was later changed in 1972 to December 4. Navy Day celebrates the country’s war heroes from the Pakistani war in 1971, the missile attack on the Karachi harbor, and its successes in the Bay of Bengal in the Arabian Sea during World War II.
Collaborations, Crime Fighting, and Threats
Following the rich history of this Navy, the focus turns to modern-day activities.
Indian Navy Collaborations
Delhi agrees with the policy of Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR) to protect its maritime interests. To achieve this goal, it divides the Indian Ocean into sections on its west, east and southern coasts. Its neighbors on its northern borders are China and Pakistan.
Because China uses the Indian Ocean as a transport route and is a threat to India and most western countries, the Navy collaborates with multiple nations to protect joint interests. Consequently, the Navy has alliances such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), INDOPACOM, and the Colombo Security Conclave. It has formed collaborations or agreements of varying levels with:
- The U.S.
- The U.K.
- Sri Lanka
- Indian Ocean littorals and islands
How this Navy Fights Maritimes Crimes
The Indian Navy fights maritime crimes by enlisting the international community’s help. It also fights crimes by building its naval capabilities and creating collaborations such as the Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) at Gurugram in 2007. This organization helps address crimes on the Indian Ocean and is a center of information and intelligence sharing.
Another way that the Navy fights crimes is through the creation of laws. In 2022, India added a new “repression of piracy” section to its 2019 Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill. New suggestions address respect for international in fighting terrorism at sea. The new law also allows the Navy and Coast Guard to arrest terrorists and prosecute them domestically to protect vital sea-trade lanes in Indian waters and the vicinity.
Threats and Enemies
Following incursions into Ladakh in 2020 by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, this country has proven that it is an enemy of India. Since this time, India has focused on developing its defensive resources. The country’s strategy has turned to building its equipment to face international threats, including strengthening its Navy and air force.
Another threat the Indian Navy faces is insufficient funds to build its nautical resources. Its technology is aging, and a lack of planning has negatively impacted its capabilities.
Other ongoing threats include human trafficking in the Indian Ocean, illegal fishing and its impact on marine ecology, and drug smuggling.
The Future of the Indian Navy Operations
With the constant threat of China on its doorstep, the Navy must adequately prepare to face this danger. To do so, it must focus on the modernization of its fleet. It is doing so through a naval strategy that has changed from buying equipment to building equipment.
As this Navy continues to deal with local threats, it must strengthen its neighborhood and international ties. It can do so by reinforcing its military. The Navy is also focusing on strengthening its military fortifications in Lakshadweep in the west and the Nicobar and Andaman Islands to the east.
The Navy must also bolster its northern protection network (the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal). This bolstering strategy will help develop a more robust network of island bases in the region and ultimately offer greater protection of its territories.
To further boost its strategy, it should seek additional international partnerships and alliances with historic supporters.