New Delhi, 4th December :New epaulettes to be worn by naval officers will bear the imprint of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s maritime legacy as India leaves behind the mentality of slavery and moves ahead drawing inspiration from the Maratha ruler, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday in his Navy Day address at Sindhudurg in Maharashtra.
The current epaulettes, a shoulder piece that signals an officer’s rank, feature the Nelson’s Ring, a colonial legacy. The PM also announced that an upcoming nomenclature of naval ranks will also be in line with Indian traditions.
The new epaulettes and the Indianised ranks will be the latest in a series of changes introduced by the navy during the last year to discard traditions associated with the British empire, including adopting a new ensign, doing away with batons for commanders and allowing traditional Indian wear in officers’ messes.
“Inspired by the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, today’s India is moving forward abandoning the mentality of slavery. I am happy to announce that the epaulettes donned by the naval officers will now highlight the heritage and legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and they will be similar to the naval ensign,” the PM said.
He recalled unveiling the naval ensign last year while commissioning India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. The flag, which earlier featured the St George’s cross, now has the seal of Shivaji.
This year’s Navy Day celebrations were held at the Sindhudurg Fort, built by the Maratha ruler in the 17th century.
India celebrates December 4 as Navy Day to commemorate Operation Trident, the navy’s attack on Karachi harbour during the 1971 war with Pakistan.