28 February, 2021

Warm Surface Currents

Admiral Arun Prakash had an exemplary record, but at the helm it's been one scandal after another

Jitender Gupta
Warm Surface Currents
A man of impeccable integrity and vision. That’s the description that befits Admiral Arun Prakash, chief of staff of the Indian navy. Many from the IAF remember his time there as brilliant, one of the few naval fighter pilots posted to an air force squadron to be rated so highly. After the 1971 war, Prakash was awarded a Vir Chakra for gallantry. In 1983, he was among the first naval pilots ferrying the newly acquired Sea Harriers from the UK to India.

So on July 31, 2004, when Admiral Prakash drove into naval HQ to formally take over as its 20th chief, there was great hope that the navy, traumatised by the Admiral Bhagwat episode, would finally get some stability. But since then the navy has seen more upheavals. In December ’05, stealth ship INS Trishul collided with commercial ship Ambuja Laxmi off the Mumbai harbour. In April ’06, missile corvette INS Prahar sank after colliding with merchant ship Rajiv Gandhi. In Kashmir, an overcrowded naval boat sank in the Wullar lake, killing 21 children...

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