Thursday 24 June 2021
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Modi slams ‘expansionist’ China in Diwali speech

Modi also recalled the fierce fight Longewala had witnessed in the 1971 war against Pakistan and saluted the heroes who had saved the day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an indirect reference to China, said today that the expansionist force is troubling the entire world. The prime minister said India stood against such a mindset. He said expansionism showed a “distorted mindset” which belongs to the 18th century.

“India believes in the policy of understanding others and making them understand but if an attempt to test it is made, then the country will give a fierce reply,” Modi asserted. His unambiguous message came amid continuing standoff with China at Ladakh border.

The current prime minister spends the occasion of Diwali with soldiers every year and this year it was Longewala’s turn. At the post in Jaisalmer, he paid tributes to the valour of India’s armed forces. Speaking to jawans during his visit, the prime minister said that the sacrifices of our jawans taught the country discipline and a sense of service.

On the occasion, Modi recalled the fierce fight the post had witnessed in the 1971 war against Pakistan and paid tributes to Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri, a hero of the battle, saying he became “rashtradīp” (the lamp of the nation) with his feat of bravery. “Whenever history on the excellence of our soldiers will be written, the Battle of Longewala will be remembered,” he said.

“The saying ‘Jo bole so nihāl, sat sri akāl’ comes to mind every time we think about it (Longewala),” the prime minister said.

The prime minister said the 1971 war against Pakistan was one example of the exemplary coordination among army, navy and air force. India had defeated Pakistan in the war, leading to the independence of Bangladesh.

Modi credited the soldiers for turning India into a country that gives a befitting reply to those challenging its sovereignty.

“Today India kills terrorists & their leaders by entering their homes. The world now understands that this nation won’t compromise with its interests, not at any cost. This repute and stature of India is all due to your strength & valour,” the prime minister told the soldiers.

Referring to his custom of celebrating Diwali with soldiers since he assumed office in 2014, Modi said his resolve to serve and protect the country becomes stronger by spending more time with them. He urged troops also to innovate, practise yoga and learn an Indian language they don’t know from colleagues.

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