BANGALORE: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) put the pride of Kannada one notch up by naming its first inshore patrol vessel (IPV) after Rani Abbakka, a legendary queen of Ullal in Mangalore. Rani Abbakka is the first of a series of five IPVs, designed and built by Visakhapatnam-based Hindustan Shipyard Limited. The news of the IPV being named after a Kannada brave heart was welcomed by former Karnataka Ithihasa Academy president Suryanath U Kamath. “It was during my tenure that a resolution was passed that Rani Abbakka should find a prominent place in today’s time and space. She was a lady who defeated the Portuguese during the fierce naval battle in 1618. She belonged to the Chawta family, originally from Moodbidri. We are happy that our request to name one ship in memory of her naval victory is finally fulfilled,” Kamath said.
He said along with the Samithi, the Kannada Shakthi Kendra too wanted a ship named after the queen. “We had published our resolution in local dailies then and was extremely happy to see a newspaper advertisement recently announcing the commissioning of ICG Ship Rani Abbakka. This is a matter of great pride for each one of us in Karnataka,” said Kamath, who was the chief editor of Karnataka State Gazetteer (1981-1995).
Giving a glimpse of Rani Abbakka’s exemplary will in taking on the mighty Portuguese, he said here planning and war tactics left the invading forces clueless. “The Portuguese (over 200 of them) came to coastal areas of Karnataka and demanded goods be sold at a price fixed by them. Rani Abbakka (whose mother was also the Queen of Ullal), protested the demand. She asked the people to not yield to the men and with the help of Prince Venkatappa Nayak of Keladi (a town in Shimoga district), she took the
Portuguese head on,”
On Monday, a statue of Rani Abbakka (riding a horse) was installed at Ullal, while another one (standing next to a canon) was erected at Yeshwanthpur in Bangalore. “It is a matter of great pride for the people of Karnataka that a Coast Guard ship now carries the name of the great warrior Rani Abbakka. I am delighted that the announcement of the ship’s commissioning came at a time when the whole nation is gearing up for the Republic Day. Her story is really inspiring and I salute the spirit at which she took on the Portuguese,” Governor H R Bhardwaj told Express.
If Rani Abbakka’s is a story of valour, then the ship boasts of state-of-the-art features. It has onboard navigational/communication sensors and next generation equipment. Among the special features are an integrated bridge system, machinery control system and a home-grown gun mount with fire control system. To be manned by five officers and 34 men under the command of Commandant C Vivekananda, Rani Abbakka will be based at Chennai.