Monday, November 28, 2022

Military, economic strength essential for peace, says Modi

India stands for peace and has always considered war as not the first but last resort, but its armed forces have the strength and strategies to give a befitting reply to anyone who casts an evil eye on the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday.
Addressing soldiers here on Diwali, Modi said India is against war but also underscored the need for strength to ensure peace and asserted that its growing power boosts the chances of global peace and prosperity.
The whole world is looking at India which is a “balancing force”, he told soldiers at the site of the armed forces’ heroic feats in the Kargil war in 1999 as India beat back Pakistani forces.
Modi invoked the epics of Ramayan and Mahabharat to assert that it is in Indian tradition to avoid war be it in Lanka or Kurukshetra and the country stands for world peace.
Modi highlighted numerous measures taken by his government to boost economy and development, saying a country is safe only when its borders are secure, its economy robust and society full of self-confidence.
The armed forces are pillars of India’s security, he said.
Noting that India has become the fifth largest world economy from 10th in the last seven-eight years ago, Modi also spoke about the emergence of over 80,000 startups and the ISRO’s record of simultaneously launching 36 satellites to assert that these feats fill soldiers with pride.
The tricolour acted as a protective shield for Indians in the Ukraine war, he said.
In a swipe at previous governments, the prime minister said his dispensation has worked to remove the shortcomings of the past poor governance which constricted India’s capabilities and limited its development.
He said India has been dealing with its enemies, both external and internal, with force and recounted the steps taken to uproot the terror, naxalism and extremism from within the country.
Modi claimed that India’s war against corruption is at a decisive stage and asserted that no corrupt person however powerful will be spared.
Actions of federal agencies in alleged cases of corruption have often drawn criticism from opposition parties which have claimed that the government has been using them to target their leaders for political reasons, a charge rejected by the ruling BJP.
In his address, Modi recalled his visit to this frontier region, which is part of Ladakh that touches the border with China as well, during the war when the Indian military had “crushed the hood of terror”.
“There has not been a single war with Pakistan when Kargil has not flown the victory flag,” he said, adding that Diwali symbolised the “celebration of the end of terror”.
“I have witnessed the Kargil war closely. It was my duty that had brought me to Kargil back then. There are many memories of that time when the sounds of victory were reverberating all around,” Modi said, continuing with his custom of spending time with soldiers in different parts of the country during Diwali.
Modi said ‘atmanirbhar bharat’ is the most important aspect of the country’s security as it needs to have minimal reliance on foreign weapons and systems.
“I admire our three wings of the armed forces as they decided that more than 400 pieces of defence equipment will no longer be bought from abroad, and will now be made in India itself,” he said.
From being an importer, Indian is now becoming an exporter in defence equipment, Modi said, adding that it is also working rapidly on modern and effective technology like drones.
The ‘amrit kaal’ will be a witness to the rising strength and capabilities of India, he said.
In his speech, Modi also asserted that “slave mentality” acted as an obstacle to India and its forces for long, and the country is now getting rid of it.
In this context, he mentioned his government’s decision to change the name of ‘Rajpath’ to ‘Kartavya Path’ and the installation of Subhas Chandra Bose’s statue in India Gate besides the opening of National War Memorial and police memorial.

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