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Do away with ranks like petty officer to shed colonial legacies: Navy chief at Agenda Aaj Tak

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The Indian navy chief at the Agenda Aaj Tak event on Saturday reiterated that the military needs to shed its colonial legacy and suggested doing away with ranks like petty officer.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Dec 10, 2022 15:13 IST

Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar at Agenda Aaj Tak event.

By Akshay Dongare: Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar on Saturday reiterated the need to get rid of colonial practices in the armed forces and specifically in the Indian Navy. The navy chief claimed that teams have been formed in the Navy that are reviewing all the archaic rules, regulations and traditions that are irrelevant and need to be removed including some designations.

Speaking exclusively on Agenda Aaj Tak, the navy chief said, “We have formed a team to study what are the practices in the navy that are archaic and have no relevance today. Navies have evolved over many centuries and some practices are still being followed. They have no use today so why to follow them.”

Talking about changing designations of some non-commissioned ranks, Admiral R Hari Kumar questioned the designations of petty officers and chief petty officers of navy personnel.

READ | Indian Army begins review of customs, policies to erase British colonial legacy

”There is a rank in our sailors called petty officer. What is petty? Why should it be a petty officer, above that there is a rank called chief petty officer, why should it be a chief petty officer? We can give these ranks a better name,” the navy chief said.

Admiral R Hari Kumar also suggested that some ranks and designations can be same in the Tri services (Army, Air force and the Navy), making them common tri services.

The statement on changes in the navy comes days after the navy chief, during an annual press briefing, said that a process is underway to get rid of all existing rules and regulations that are part of the colonial past and redundant in the current age. He said that doing so would get rid of the “Gulami ki mansikta” (shackles of slavery).

ALSO READ | Will get rid of all rules that symbolise shackles of slavery, says Indian Navy chief

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had unveiled Indian navy’s new ensign ‘Nishaan’ in a move meant to “shed the colonial past”. The new ensign dropped the St George’s Cross and incorporated the royal seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

While unveiling the new ensign, PM Modi had said, “Till now the identity of slavery remained on the flag of Indian Navy. But from today onwards, inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji, the new Navy flag will fly in the sea and in the sky.”

Admiral Hari Kumar said the directions from the top leadership of the government prompted the idea to shed the colonial legacy of the country’s military.

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