According to a recent report, the Union government has approved the induction of 56 new warships and six submarines for the Indian Navy. This has apparently been done to augment the Indian Navy’s overall prowess while the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant has entered its final phase of construction. Addressing a press conference on the eve of Navy Day, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lamba said on Monday that “a great deal of progress” had been made on ensuring synergy and “jointness” among the three services. He also listed the various steps being taken to modernize his force including the induction of a large fleet of military jet planes and helicopters, adding that the construction of a second aircraft carrier is expected to start within three years. Admiral Lamba’s statements on the expansion of the Indian Navy could well lead people to wonder whether the Indian Navy was expecting an attack from some enemy country. All world leaders had realized the futility of war in an age when so many countries had acquired nuclear weapons. There was every reason to believe that the entire world had learnt its lessons from Nagasaki and Hiroshima. So why does a country like India need 56 additional warships or an additional aircraft carrier? Fifty-six new warships and six more submarines are going to cost the kind of money that could fund a few hundred health centres and schools. Does a ‘peace-loving’ country need so many more warships and submarines unless it is planning for war or expecting an attack from some enemy country?
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