Prime Minister Narendra Modi heaped praise on the Indian Navy while commissioning the Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari in Mumbai on Thursday morning.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi said it is a moment of great pride for India. "Today is a day of pride for the 125 crore people of India. I congratulate all the citizens and the Indian Navy on this historic achievement. Dedicating the INS Kalvari submarine to the nation is a huge honour for me," Modi said. This is his second public appearance since the campaigning for the second phase of Gujarat election ended.
Describing it as big step forward in the defence sector, Modi said INS Kalvari is a shining example of 'Make In India'. "This is the perfect example of 'Makes In India'. I wish to congratulate every worker, every employee whose sweat is involved in the creation of Kalvari," he said.
The prime minister also thanked France for extending cooperation in the building the Scorpene-class submarine. "I also thank France for its cooperation in building Kalvari. The submarine is also an excellent example of the rapidly growing strategic partnership between India and France. The 'tiger shark's strength will strengthen our navy," said Modi.
Kalvari, the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines handed over by shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited, was commissioned into the Navy by Modi in Mumbai on Thursday.
The submarines, designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS, are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai as part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy.
Hailing the 21st century as the Asia's time to shine, Modi underscored the geopolitical importance of India in the Indian Ocean. "The 21st century is India's belongs to India. And the development in the 21st century is today taking place through the Indian Ocean. As a result, the Indian Ocean occupies a special place in the government's vision and policies," he said. Modi further addded that the Indian Ocean stands for "S.A.G.A.R: security and growth for all in the region."
Modi lauded the Indian Navy and it's efforts to strengthen ground in the Indian Ocean. "We are fully vigilant about our global, strategic and economic interests in the Indian Ocean. Therefore, India's modern and multi-dimentional navy leads stability for the whole region. The country's regional framework is also being strengthened," he said.
The prime minister called the Indian Ocean an important asset for the world. "The strategic power of the sea provides us with economic clout for developing the nation. India is serious about the challenges the countries face in the region as well," said Modi.
"Be it terrorism via sea, piracy, drug smuggling or illegal fishing, India is playing an important role to combat them," he added.
Modi also said that India's role in the Indian Ocean is to ensure development for all in the region. "Our mantra of development with everyone is the same in the water. Considering the entire world as a family, India is constantly performing its global responsibilities. We are first responders for neighbour countries in times of their crisis," he said, mentioning the Sri Lanka floods, Nepal earthquake, Yemen crisis etc.
He also called the Indian Navy a custodian of humanity in the Indian Ocean and said that countries around the world are keen to work with India. "We are matching shoulders with military from around the world. Nations want to walk with India on the path of peace and stability," Modi said.
Talking about the defence sector and the government's approach to it, Modi said, "In the past three years, defence and security has been leading a change in the entire ecosystem. Our attempt is to create a synergy between defence, economic, international relations, public confidence; a change that is demanded from the times we are in."
"Our government's security policies have had a favorable impact not only on the external security of the country but also on the interior. You all know how terrorism is being used as a proxy war against India," said Modi in his address.
Hailing the INS Kalvari, Modi said it took 12 lakh man days to construct the submarine and that the skill set Indian companies and engineers obtained in the process is a treasure which will prove fruitful to the nation in times to come.
Besides Kalvari, Modi also hailed security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, northeastern states and Naxal-hit states for stabilising the regions.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Dec 14, 2017 10:27 AM