Amidst an ongoing debate on intolerance, Admiral R K Dhowan on Thursday said the Navy is a “secular” force and that every Naval unit or ship is a “microcosm” of India.
Replying to a question regarding the intolerance debate — a defence ministry think tank has called for a seminar on radicalisation — Dhowan said, “I would like to talk about how it is in the Navy. Every ship of the Indian Navy is a microcosm of India where we have personnel from every single state and religion. Therefore, the Navy is totally secular in nature and it starts from our individual and smallest unit. That trend and that feeling, and that spirit, is maintained in the Navy.”
Commenting on the increasing Chinese footprint in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Dhowan said the northern neighbour is carrying out activities as per its areas of interest, whereas the Indian Navy has
its own plans and is acting in accordance with them. He said the incidents of piracy in the IOR have come down to zero over the past one year.
Referring to the ongoing development of submarines for the Indian Navy, Dhowan said while the magic figure of 24 is much desired, impetus is being laid on maintaining the operational capability of the existing fleet. While the first of the six Scorpene class conventional submarines is slated to be commissioned next year, the Navy is yet to identify torpedoes for the Scorpenes.
Dhowan said the Navy has asked the ministry to “expedite” the matter. He also said the configuration of the planned Indian Aircraft Carrier (IAC)- II is under consideration and is being designed by Naval designers.