Please change the INS Shikra crest!

Commenters brought it up in the post about the commissioning of INS Shikra, and it’s something I noticed then as well, though I didn’t really have the time to blog about it. All I can say is that it’s a damn shame the Navy hasn’t bothered to commission some faithful artwork for something as important as the crest of the newly commissioned base.

The INS Shikra crest is not just inappropriate (considering that the Bald Eagle is the national bird and globally recognised symbol/metaphor of the United States), but irresponsible and careless to the extreme. The Shikra (see photo) is a small bird from the hawk family (we saw plenty of these during bird-walks in boarding school in the early 1990s in South India — feisty little killers). The Bald Eagle is found only in North America. The Shikra is found largely in South Asia, particularly India.

It would be easy to dismiss this as someone’s error, or oversight. But then stop and think. An error in the creation of something as enduring and permanent as an official crest? Choosing any old bird of prey and passing it off as a bird as singular as the Shikra is irresponsible and tacky to the extreme. I really wish the Navy would take it under consideration to have a re-look at the Shikra crest.

And it’s not as though the Navy doesn’t have crests of relatively obscure or little known animals. For example, the Navy’s Kilo INS Sindhuvijay has a crest that faithfully depicts the decidedly unfamiliar Cuvier’s Beaked Whale, and the Class 209 INS Shankul’s crest depicts a Skate, which could easily have been made a manta or any of the other familiar rays.

This isn’t nitpicking. A crest is a form of military heraldry that carries a great degree of identity and pride. And if that’s based on an error, well, you know I mean.

19 thoughts on “Please change the INS Shikra crest!”

  1. Shiv,

    Krishnaparinth(KrishnaEagle) a common sight in Kerala, has a bald head like the American one’s!! A little more research from your side will help!

  2. Good find Shiv, you should bring it to the notice of the highest authority in the Navy. Such mistakes are ridiculous and shameful for something as big as Indian Navy.

  3. first anon: the Brahminy Kite found all over Konkan is also a dark rust coloured raptor with a white bald head. so should we all just assume that the shikra is any damn raptor found in india? i know my birds, brother. you should get some love for what’s right and wrong. the bird in the shikra is a bald eagle. and it were a krishnaeagle or whatever it is you’re referring to, does that make it closer to a shikra? you call that research!

  4. Another incident happened during the IA exhibition. The Army showed a Chinese AGTM as used by the Indian Army. This kind of errors must not happen with the Indian military. Precision is a must.

  5. shiv please stop posting these unnessecary things and cincentrate on far more serious issues.,.

    1. the brahmos has botched up its user trials
    2.akula subs not coming
    and all you can find to write about is the navy hammy atwork???

  6. shiv please stop posting these unnessecary things and cincentrate on far more serious issues.,.

    1. the brahmos has botched up its user trials
    2.akula subs not coming
    and all you can find to write about is the navy hammy atwork???

  7. Shiv, Why do you think it is a mistake??

    It is obvious that a American Eagle on Blue and white of ….you know who, is now the crest of our forces.

    The Shikra name is just to hoodwink you and aam janta.

  8. Shiv dont investigate into krishna parunth as you peoples are not that matured or wont be to analyse our idihaasas parunthu means eagle in sanskrit the oldest language in world now u dont make it as a kite any how u have done agood work in showing actual bird and navy is lagging in their perfection.

  9. This only goes to show what kind of material we have got in the services ,A mistake is a mistake which sould be corrected at the earliest .Shikra is a very strong & a beautiful hawk or rather handsome would be more appropriate . There is saying in UP , BHAINS KE AAGE BEEN BAJAI BHAINS KHADI PUGURAI , ( play been in front of a buffalow & it just stands around cudding ) –

  10. The Navy’s proclivity to goof up on symbolism is not new.For the uninitiated the Navy has changed its ensign design three times in the last decade.In the Services,there is little time for organisers to research and validate – most people involved in a new project are overoccupied.Therefore ‘cut-copy and paste’ is the norm.It is possible that the bald eagle was picked up from the net by some young officer and went up the hierarchy as a ‘great logo’ without anyone bothering to check its authenticity!

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