Speaking on the occasion, the President said that our maritime interests are directly linked to India’s economy and security, and to the well-being of our people. Over 90 per cent of India’s trade by volume uses the sea route. This enhances the role of the Indian Navy not just in national security but in the wider process of nation building. The Navy is India’s primary instrument of sea power. It is also the guardian of our maritime interests, both military and civilian. The President said that the sea is an unforgiving medium for those who do not respect it. No one knows this better than the valiant submariners of the Indian Navy, who operate their boats and perform their duties beneath the waves. All of them carry out their professional responsibilities with great skill and at grave risk. The nation is proud of their achievements and appreciates their contribution to national security. The President said that the Colour is being presented today to the Submarine Arm of the Indian Navy in recognition of extraordinary service to the nation, in peace and war, in the past 50 years. He congratulated submariners on this achievement. He also paid homage to those Indian Navy submariners who have laid down their lives in the service of India and acknowledged the sacrifice of the families of submariners – past and present.