Indian Navy Ends Colonial Legacy: Baton Carrying Discontinued with Immediate Effect
29 July, 2023 | Don Tomslee
Ceremonial handover of the baton may be conducted within the office during a change of command
The Indian Navy, in line with the government’s directive to shed colonial legacies, has put an end to the practice of carrying batons by all its personnel, effective immediately. The Navy communicated that the symbolism of authority associated with batons, a colonial legacy, is no longer appropriate for the transformed navy of Amrit Kaal. Hence, carrying batons, including by provost personnel, has been discontinued.
To preserve the ceremonial aspect, the Navy has instructed that a ceremonial baton be appropriately placed in the office of the head of each unit. The ceremonial handover of the baton may be conducted within the office during a change of command. This move by the Indian Navy is part of several steps taken by the Indian Defence forces to discard remnants of the colonial era. Last year, the Indian Navy also introduced a new ensign or ‘Nishaan,’ unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The new ensign, inspired by the seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji, represents the country’s rich maritime heritage and signifies a departure from the colonial past.