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India celebrates 60th National Maritime Day today

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NEW DELHI : NATIONAL MARITIME DAY 2023 IN INDIA: Surrounded by the Indian Ocean at its south and the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal at the eastern and western sides, India became a prominent naval trading power in ancient times. In the present day, that tradition continues.

Observed on the last day of the National Maritime Week which begins on March 30, the National Maritime Day takes place in India on April 5. It celebrates India’s rich maritime history. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the celebrations. Below, we look at the theme, history and significance of National Maritime Day.

The theme for National Maritime Week 2023 was announced as ‘Amrit Kaal in Shipping’, which roughly translates to English as ‘Golden Era in Shipping,’ a 25-year period from 75 years to 100 years of Indian independence.

National Maritime Day: History

National Maritime Day has its origins in British India. It commemorates the maiden voyage of the first Indian Steamship “S.S. Loyalty” of the Scindia Steam, Navigation Co. Ltd., in 1919, from Mumbai to London. It was the second oldest shipping company in India and was owned by the Scindia dynasty of Gwalior.

Prior to British and Mughal rule, India was a prominent naval nation. The Rig Vedas mention Indian ships and how trade was conducted with western Asia. The Gangaridai Empire, the Chola dynasty and the Mauryan Empire were powerful maritime civilisations in ancient India.

A dry dock discovered at Lothal, Gujarat, which dates back to 2400 BC, is believed to be the oldest in the world. Later, the Marathas led by Chatrapati Shivaji became a formidable maritime force, resisting the British and the Portuguese for over 40 years.

National Maritime Day: Significance

National Maritime Day is significant since it creates awareness about India’s rich maritime history and present role in supporting India’s economy. Gratitude is expressed towards sailors who spend months at sea, away from their families.

National Maritime Day: Celebrations

The Government of India celebrates National maritime day by awarding distinguished personalities who have made notable contributions to the maritime sector. The govt. also pays tributes to sailors who sacrificed their lives at sea.

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