Can’t become superpower if you neglect navy: Parrikar

Panaji: A nation which neglects its navy cannot become a superpower, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Sunday.

“A nation which neglects sea power doesn’t really become a superpower and India needs to achieve this superpower status for which we need this kind of spirit in our people to really become a Blue Navy,” Parrikar said during the keel-laying ceremony of a sailing vessel being built in Goa for the first circumnavigation of the globe by Indian Navy’s women crew.

Once built, the yet-to-be-named sailing vessel will be manned by an all-women crew which will undertake circumnavigation of the globe.

“This is a first women’s team and though I do not differentiate between men and women, still I think something (which) is first, you have to appreciate their courage,” Parrikar said.

Before embarking on the circumnavigation a year from now, the all-women team will be training 2,000 km off the Indian coast near Mauritius.

Regarded as one of the best beach tourism destinations in the world, Mauritius also inspired a quip from Parrikar, who called it a “nice place” to go for training.

“You selected a nice place. You can go to Mauritius. I hope you will allow them to enjoy Mauritius,” Parrikar said, wishing the team well and urging them to complete the circumnavigation in record time.