2023 National Maritime Day Honours India’s Maritime Trade

March 30th marks the start of National Maritime Week in India – a celebration that will culminate with National Maritime Day on April 5th. This year India observes the 60th anniversary of this event and is honouring its immense contribution to the maritime industry and its legacy as an esteemed seafaring nation.

National Maritime Day
Image for representation purposes only

It’s essential to recognize the importance of National Maritime Day in raising awareness concerning India’s maritime past and current role in bolstering the economy. We should extend our deepest appreciation to all sailors who tirelessly work at sea for months at a time, ensuring that the maritime industry runs smoothly.

National Maritime Day 2023 Theme

For National Maritime Day in India this year, no theme has been specified. However, the theme for National Maritime Week 2023 is “Amrit Kaal in Shipping.”

This 25-year period between India’s 75th and 100th years of independence is referred to as the Golden Era in Shipping. The theme emphasizes the potential of great advancement and growth in the Indian maritime industry during this time period, leading to its “golden era”.

The Origins of National Maritime Day

India’s National Maritime Day is steeped in a rich maritime heritage that dates back to ancient times; the Rig Veda even references Indian ships and trading with Western Asia. Ancient India was influential in the maritime sphere, with noteworthy empires such as the Gangaridai Empire, Chola dynasty and Mauryan Empire.

In modern times, National Maritime Day is marked with the first voyage of S.S. Loyalty from Mumbai to London in 1919. This ship was the first Indian steamship owned by the Gwalior Scindia dynasty’s Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd., India’s second-oldest shipping company.

India’s maritime story is vast and filled with incredible achievements; for instance, it was here that the world’s oldest dry dock was discovered at Lothal, Gujarat dating back to 2400 BC. Moreover, Marathas led by Chatrapati Shivaji held their own in the maritime game – managing to withstand British and Portuguese colonization for over 40 years.

Reference: CNBC TV18, The Quint

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