“India’s goal is to seek a climate of trust and transparency; respect for maritime rules and norms for all countries; sensitivity to each other’s interest; peaceful resolution in maritime issues; increase in maritime cooperation. We seek a future for Indian Ocean that lives up to the name of ‘SAGAR’ – Security and Growth for all in the Region.” – S. Jaishankar, Foreign Minister of India
India has a multi-millennial history of maritime influence across the Indian Ocean traversing culture, commerce and connectivity in a largely conflict-free journey. This influence has continued even post-independence, with the Indian Navy playing a key role in major military operations and disaster relief operations after 1947. The Swarnim Vijay Varsh (50th Anniversary) of Indian humanitarian intervention of 1971 led to the birth of the maritime nation of Bangladesh. It is apt to commemorate application of maritime power to usher peace and good order at sea.
Come another December and the season saw Indian Naval Ship Kiltan reach across to Vietnam and to Cambodia at the end of December 2020 to provide relief to flood-ravaged nations. Mission SAGAR III was a continuing testament to a long journey of India’s maritime assistance to usher peace and good order across the Indo-Pacific. The concept of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) builds an effective response mechanism to address crises and disaster relief intervention as the most visible element in India’s evolving Indian Ocean strategy. It is time to commemorate by flagging some key waypoints in this voyage.
The Chola Naval Expedition and Gulf of Aden Deployment
India’s prowess in naval warfare can be traced to the pre-modern era Cholas Empire that ruled the southern part of ancient India (984-1042 CE). While Rajaraja Chola was the first king with a naval fleet, his successor Rajendra continued the expansion of the empire in the far East. T