Soon, the navy will adopt Indianized and gender-neutral nomenclature

As part of a larger effort to abandon colonial military traditions, the Indian Navy has finished a review of the ranks held by sailors that were passed down from the British era and is ready to replace them with Indianized designations. Gender-neutral changes to the ranks will also be announced shortly, two officials with knowledge of the situation said on Sunday.

Over 65,000 sailors will now get promotions.

One of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity, “Seven ranks in the navy’s personnel below officer rank (PBOR) cadre will be redesignated, including three existing titles that are not gender-neutral in a service that began inducting women as sailors for the first time earlier this year.”

The navy has made a number of adjustments in the last year to shed British imperial traditions, including adopting a new ensign, doing away with batons for commanders, and permitting traditional Indian clothing in officers’ mess rooms. The Indianized ranks will be the most recent of these changes.

According to HT, the ranks of Master Chief Petty Officer Ist Class, Master Chief Petty Officer IInd Class, Chief Petty Officer, Petty Officer, Leading Seaman, Seaman Ist Class, and Seaman IInd Class would be modified to reflect Indian customs.

“Indianising ranks for the PBOR cadre was on our to-do list,” a second official added while refusing to be identified. “British customs are embodied in the phrases as they now stand. Also necessary for creating an inclusive service environment are gender-neutral rankings. The defense ministry has been notified of the new designations, and approval is anticipated shortly.

Officer tiers will continue.

The second official stated that ranks using the petty officer nomenclature were especially despised by their holders, according to internal input.

The change to gender-neutral ranks was necessary, according to the authorities, since women were recruited into the navy’s PBOR cadre this year under the Agnipath recruiting program. Around 270 women made up the first group of Agniveers to graduate from the navy’s lakeside training base in Odisha, INS Chilka, and start duty in March.

The Agnipath model replaced the military’s long-standing recruiting process, which was discontinued when the government unveiled the new program last year. With a plan to keep 25% of them in regular duty following further screening, it intends to enlist troops for four years.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for the eradication of colonial practices and the adoption of Indian methods in the armed forces during the Combined Commanders’ Conference at Kevadia in Gujarat two years ago, a large portion of the Indianization process got underway. In the 75th year of the nation’s Independence, the three services were able to identify traditions that didn’t appear to mesh with their culture as a result.

The Indianization of military culture is evident in a number of actions, such as the navy’s adoption of a new ensign, which takes its design cues from the seal of Maratha emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the removal of the Cross of St. George. It also put a stop to the use of batons by senior officials. The defense ministry has started a campaign to rebrand cantonments from the British period as military installations.

In a parallel trend, the army recently revealed intentions to use ancient Indian treatises to teach lessons in statecraft, strategy, diplomacy, and warfare. These treatises include Kautilya’s Arthashastra, Kamandaka’s Nitisara, and the Tamil poet-saint Thiruvalluvar’s Thirukkural. A initiative called Udbhav, or emergence, is making an attempt to show the contemporary relevance of these antiquated strategic ideas.

These actions take place against the background of a flurry of government initiatives to promote Indianization in fields including science, education, and health. Modi mentioned the “panch pran” or five commitments for India to become a developed nation by its 100th anniversary of independence in his Independence Day address in 2022.

One of their goals was to eradicate all mental and behavioral remnants of colonial slavery.