March 1, 2021
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Show of strength
Maritime diplomacy and international fleet review of Indian Navy The International maritime fleet review, held on the vast expanse of the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Vishakhapatnam in February, showcased India’s naval might, represented by aircraft carriers and frontline warships, not only to all those who participated in  the review, but to those also who were observing the review from open sources. The maritime review included naval representatives and ships from over 50 nations, who had good opportunity to interact with each other and develop better camaraderie among themselves. In a reciprocal gesture even Chinese navy was invited, in response to last year’s Chinese invite to participate in the fleet review. Significant and obvious omission was the Pakistan navy, which was the only neighbouring country not represented in the fleet review. Explaining the significance of India’s second International Fleet Review, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R K Dhowan said, “both geographical configuration and historical antiquity bestow a unique dimension to India’s maritime disposition.” “These two factors ensured that matters maritime and its offshoots such as trade, commerce, cultural and civilizational exchanges (but not conquest) remained intrinsic aspect of our DNA for a long time.” Even during the relative period of maritime decline in the second half of the last millennium, several aspects such
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