Dr. Ved Pratap Vaidik
Indian Navy has stunned India’s power all over the world by landing an aircraft carrier named INS Vikrant in the sea. India had an aircraft carrier earlier as well but it was taken from Britain but this aircraft carrier itself is India’s own made. At present, only half a dozen countries can build such ships. The whole world calls them a superpower nation. This Vikrant of India has brought it into the category of superpower nations like America, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany.
This achievement is as big as the nuclear explosion in the era of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but there is such a difference between it and that at the time of that explosion of Pokhran, almost all the nuclear-powered nations were horrified and Pakistan also imitated India. But now there is no superpower, nor is Pakistan in a position to build any aircraft carrier like Vikrant in the next several decades.
Our engineers, experts, soldiers, government and hundreds of private companies are to the credit of this pride given to India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it an unprecedented achievement of India, it is right. If it was ready during his tenure, if he had not released it, then who would have done it? This is not an individual’s achievement, it is India’s achievement.
Hundreds of our officers have gone to Britain and received training in building this ship. It has been prepared after many decades of effort. More than 40,000 people have been employed during its construction. It has 1500 tonnes of steel. 30 aircraft can be deployed on this ship. It will have 1600 employees. 20 thousand crores for its construction. It has been spent but 85 percent of its money has returned to India.
It is true that countries like America, China and Britain have much bigger aircraft carriers than this, but in India it has just started. We can imagine the enthusiasm that will arise in making other military equipment in India. Vikrant Ship will make a special contribution in strengthening our national self-confidence. This ship will not only secure India’s water borders, but now it will also have a strong contribution in controlling the grandeur of foreign nations in the Indian Ocean.
On this occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered the maritime valor of Chhatrapati Shivaji and deposited a coin of Indian war-talent in front of the world. He did another important thing. That is, after removing the British insignia ‘Cross of St. George’ from the flag of our Navy, in its place, along with the octagonal symbol of Shivaji, ‘Sham No Varunah’ Veda Mantra was also installed. Just as the tricolor was hoisted from our Rashtrapati Bhavan in place of ‘Union Jack’, similarly this historical mistake has been rectified.
(The author is a senior journalist and well-known columnist.)