The commissioning of India’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is a huge landmark in the history of this great country. With this India joins a band of select few nations who have the capacity of conceptualising, implementing and building an aircraft carrier. So far the indigenisation level is at just over 70%, however, I am sure that this gap will surely be covered soon through our own exceptional industrial acumen and zeal.
The idea of an aircraft carrier may not be appealing to many conservative-minded people, but one must remember that when a nation is able to extend its sphere of influence way into the deep blue sea, and for a considerable period of time, the spread of influence not only helps the country, but also provides enough support to smaller nations in the neighbourhood. This, in turn, acts as a boon when bilateral trade and political deals are struck.
A recent act of a spy Chinese ship docked at a Sri Lanka port – to which India protested vehemently – is a case in point, where Indian influences must be expanding across the peninsula and further deeper into the Indian Ocean. More importantly, as a part of the Quad nations, India’s role has been further defined to be more international than that of just protecting its shores. If Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of lifting this country to a ‘developed’ state level has to come true, we must forcefully make our presence felt, even across the seas.
Vikrant also showcases to the world India’s technical abilities. So far, India’s software prowess was the talk of town across countries. Now, our advanced engineering skills and also related skills in organising and implementing a major project are also on show. This has a huge impact across countries who are friendly and even those who aren’t so friendly at the moment.
We welcome many more such milestones that will lift our nation to greater heights.