"Auctioning of Vikrant is a matter of national shame"

A day after The Hindu reported that the iconic Indian naval ship (INS) Vikrant was sold by the Navy to a private ship breaking company in Mumbai for Rs. 63.2 crore, the clamour to save the warship has been revived.

Over 200 defence correspondents spread across the country have launched the ‘Save Vikrant Campaign.’ They are planning to meet the Defence Minister, seeking his immediate intervention to stop the sale of India’s first aircraft carrier. The majestic-class aircraft carrier, purchased from Britain in 1957, played a key role in enforcing the naval blockade of East Pakistan during the India-Pakistan War of 1971.

“Save Vikrant campaign representatives will seek an appointment with Defence Minister A.K. Antony to step in to cancel the deal. We will also knock at the door of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to garner their support to stop the sale of Vikrant,” their press statement stated.

BJP candidate from Mumbai’s north east constituency Kirit Somiaya has also expressed his displeasure over the auctioning of the war memorial. In a letter to the President, Mr. Somaiya has requested him to cancel the auction.

INS Vikrant is a symbol of valour and courage. It was Vikrant that fought many battles on the high seas, notably the 1971 war. The auctioning of Vikrant is a matter of national shame. It could have been our national heritage and war memorial. All over world, war memorials are preserved for future generation …,” Mr. Somiaya’s letter reads.

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