By Krishna Kataria, Project Research Associate, Maritime History Society (MHS)
“Nature has ensured that India’s geographic configuration makes her as reliant on the seas as any island nation. Geopolitical imperatives have in the recent past served to confirm the importance of the maritime domain in our national security matrix.”\
– Adm Arun Prakash (Retd) [Indian Naval Despatch, Winter 2020]
Throughout history, the maritime domain has been a crucial space in establishing new and emerging powers shaping regional dynamics. India’s maritime strategy represents the new strategic reality of the twenty-first century. The opening up of economies, growing seaborne trade, and the seamless connectivity in the maritime sector conveys India’s emerging role in maritime domain. As emphasized by K.M Panikkar, “It is the geographical position of India that changes the character of the Indian Ocean.” By the 21st century, Indian Navy’s global maritime outlook has become palpable in terms of trade, connectivity and security dynamics. Against this backdrop, the maritime strategy of India reflects the country’s maritime aspirations.