Sunday, November 23, 2014

Goodbye, INS Vikrant

Twenty seconds of heartbreak. A dozer yanks the ski jump head off of INS Vikrant as her scrapping begins in Mumbai (Vikrant was fitted with a ski jump in the late 1980s to ease Sea Harrier operations). Truly sad to see her go. Sure, some would argue that its best to let old relics fade away. Somehow, the Vikrant wasn't just an old relic. It was India's first aircraft carrier. It was involved in an unforgettable cat and mouse hunt during the 1971 war. And most of all, it was going to be possible to keep her alive as a privately funded museum with almost no public expense.

The British Majestic-class aircraft carrier, was transferred to the Indian Navy in 1961, serving 36 years before being decommissioned in 1997. Languishing as a half-hearted, mostly out-of-bounds relic at the Mumbai naval dockyard for nearly two decades, she was finally towed to a south Mumbai shipbreaking yard, where they began ripping her up late last week.

When I went on board Vikrant in 2011, she had just been cleaned up and renovated in preparation for a possible private buyout for conversion into a museum-cum-event venue. None of that worked out. 

So, over the next eight months, a ship steeped in history, will be cold rolled into those twisted steel bars for building construction work.

6 comments :

Anonymous said...

What a fuck-all horrible decision! She should've been preserved! Utterly ridiculous

Anonymous said...

RIP. THis is how Indians treat fauj and Faujis. Just a sad commentary on the state of affairs. BTW no channel, English or vernacular has spoken a word.

The simmering discontent amongst the fourth part of the fauj-the AMC- about the non implemenation of DACP has also been swept under the carpet.

Anonymous said...

Very sad indeed. What can we say more about the system and the way we operate. The govt. can find funds for Nepal, SL, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Vietnam; but they say their broke for maintaining a great part of our modern naval history. We will never learn I guess.

Anonymous said...

This is too painful to watch. India claims to be a regional superpower and an economical powerhouse. We could not find that much of money and so much of land where she could be safely grouted for the rest of her days?
Even if her hull was in a miserable condition and moving her would be dangerous, there are global specialists who handle just this sort of a job.
I would rather have a proud Vikrant as a national monument on the country's horizon than gigantic statues of Chatrapati Shivaji and Sardar Patel. Today, I and the several fellow countrymen shed tears.

Dalip Bhati said...

There should be no emotions and sentiments attached now that a new one is coming up let wait and pray for it wins even greater laurels

Dalip Bhati said...

US General Patton had said soldiers don't die they fade away similarly this ship will be converted into something useful secondly there is no place for compassion and sentiments in the Armed Forces we have something known as quarterly condemnation board wherein anything beyond repair or use is discarded for new and better