New Naval Ensign

  • IASbaba
  • September 5, 2022
  • 0
Indian Polity & Constitution
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In News: Prime Minister of India unveiled the new Naval Ensign (flag) at Kochi, which bears the seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who laid the foundations of a modern navy.

How does the Indian Navy identify with Shivaji (reign 1674-80) and the great Maratha admiral Kanhoji Angre (1669-1729), and how did they ensure Maratha supremacy of the seas?

Shivaji and the seas

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj put great emphasis on sea-faring prowess, and laid the foundations of a modern naval force in the 17th century.
  • The Indian Navy has named a training establishment in Lonavla as INS Shivaji and a shore based logistics and administrative hub of Western Naval Command as INS Angre after Kanhoji Angre, the acclaimed Maratha naval commander.
  • The use of the octagonal design of the seal of Shivaji on the new Naval Ensign is a formal stamp on the umbilical ties of the Indian Navy with the navy of the Maratha empire.

Extent of naval prowess

  • Shivaji’s strategic thought ensured that a strong naval presence was established along the Konkan coast to protect the sea trade of the Maratha empire.
  • The navy under Shivaji was so strong that the Marathas could hold their against the British, Portuguese and Dutch.
  • Shivaji built ships in towns such as Kalyan, Bhivandi, and Goa, both for trade and to establish a fighting navy.
  • He also built a number of sea forts and bases for repair, storage and shelter. Shivaji fought many lengthy battles with Siddis of Janjira on coastline.
  • He started trading with foreigners on his own after possession of eight or nine ports in the Deccan.

Kanhoji Angre

  • Kanohji Angre was the commander of Maratha navy, and is credited with laying a strong naval foundation which ensured that the Marathas were a sea-faring power to reckon with.
  • Kanhoji is credited with holding his own against the English, Portuguese and Dutch naval forces.
  • He ensured that the merchants plying their trade for the Maratha empire were protected on the seas.
  • He set up a base in Colaba with more bases at Suvarndurg and Vijaydurg near Ratnagiri.

Siddis of Janjira

  • Janjira State was a princely state in India during the British Raj.
  • Its rulers were a Siddi dynasty of Habesha descent and the state was under the suzerainty of the Bombay Presidency.
  • Janjira State was located on the Konkan coast in the present-day Raigad district of Maharashtra.

Source: Indian Express


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