Vikrant is vishal, virat: PM

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Kochi: Friday, September 2, 2022 turned out to be historical day in the history of India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation Vikrant, the indigenously built aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. Along with it, Modi unveiled and hoisted the new flag of the Indian Navy by dumping the last vestige of colonialism in the dustbin of history.

At a solemn and elegant function held at the public sector Cochin Shipyard Ltd at Kochi on the banks of the Vembanat backwaters in the presence of union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, union Shipping Minister Sarbanand Sonowal, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Hari Kumar and Chairman of Cochin Shipyard Ltd Madhu S Nair, the Prime Minister unveiled the new Indian Navy flag with the inscription ‘Shamno Varunah’ (May Lord Varuna be auspicious).

“I dedicate the flag to Chattrapathi Shivaji Maharaj, who was the pioneer in setting up a Navy to protect the country from enemies. Shivaji Maharaj laid the foundation of India’s naval warfare and even the British who came to India were afraid and apprehensive of our prowess in naval warfare,” said the Prime Minister. He said with the phasing out of the old flag, India has got rid of the last vestiges of slavery and colonialism,” said the Prime Minister in his 28 minutes long speech which was full of praise for the resilience of Indians who fought the Corona pandemic and made self reliant India a reality despite all odds.

Prime Minister Modi pointed out that the opening of the defence forces for women was a revolutionary change. “We will have women soldiers and officers working in all branches of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Recently our women sailors undertook a journey around the globe establishing their presence and power. We will soon see more and more daughters of the nation undertaking such adventurous missions,” he said.

Paying glowing tributes to the men and women who took part in the conceiving, designing, executing and production of the Vikrant, the Prime Minister said it was yet another sign that the country was ready to take up any challenges. “We have an aircraft carrier that run on power which can light up 5,000 households, a flight deck that is as big as two football stadiums and boasts of cable which could connect Kochi with Kashi,” said the Prime Minister.

The 75th anniversary of Indian independence turned out to be a full fledged Swadeshi event as the artillery that fired the volley of shells and the Tejus aircraft that led the flight past were built in India, reminded the Prime Minister. He said 76 per cent of the components with which Vikrant has been built were indigenously developed including the special steel with which the body of the aircraft carrier has been made. “Vikrant is Vishaal, Viraat, Vihangam, Vishisht and Visesh. This is the outcome of Parishram, Pratibha, Prabhav and Pratibaddhtha. This has made Vikrant an Atulya Amrit,” said Prime Minister Modi.

While the entire audience greeted the Prime Minister’s speech with thunderous applause, the CPI(M) and Congress leaders sat glum and grim faced throughout the event.

With the induction of Vikrant into service, Indian Navy has two aircraft carriers of its own and join the select league of nations with capabilities to build indigenous aircraft carriers. The 262 meter long ship, which is 62 meters broad and has a height of 59 meters could accommodate 30 fighter aircrfaft and an equal number of helicopters.

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