New Delhi: In his first diktat after taking charge, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh has ordered to do away with “quasi religious” functions in the Indian Navy and has sought an end to the ‘VIP culture’ within the institution.
According to a list of 26 instructions issued Tuesday, Singh ordered for greater equality within the Navy, as he asked senior officials to ensure that their juniors are respectful but not subservient.
The instructions include a standardisation of drinks, food, cutlery and crockery for all ranks at any function.
Within the military, personnel often get different treatment at functions depending on their ranks — from food to cutlery.
Singh also asked for a reduction in ‘unnecessary ostentation’ during official events and visits of senior officers to naval locations.
“As a modern fighting force, it is important that we imbibe contemporary social and ceremonial procedures towards optimal utilisation of manpower and resources,” said Singh in his introduction to the new rules.
Singh took charge from Admiral Sunil Lanba on 31 May.
What the instructions say
“Lighting of lamp/functions of quasi religious nature/fawning gestures, garlanding and showering flower petals, on guests, invitees, dignitaries to be avoided,” the elaborate instructions sent as a signal to all Navy units said.
There is no clarity at the moment over what a ‘quasi religious’ function constitutes, and whether it would involve breaking of coconuts and recital of religious prayers at launches and commissions of new ships and submarines.
The order also called for doing away with the practice of lining up women and children to welcome and see off dignitaries at naval events. Further, it sought to end the practice of engaging multiple cars for the Navy chief during official visits.
In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instructions when he first took over in 2014, the Navy chief said bouquets should not be presented during official functions. He also called for ending the practice of having flower pots and red carpets on-board ships.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.