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HomePoliticsIndiaPrime minister celebrates 8th Diwali in a row with soldiers

Prime minister celebrates 8th Diwali in a row with soldiers

Since becoming prime minister, Modi has made it a point to meet troops in a border region on Diwali, starting with his Siachen visit in 2014


Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today India must enhance its military capabilities in line with the changing world and modes of war. He noted that modern border infrastructure had been built to augment connectivity and troop deployment.

Modi made the remarks while addressing soldiers on Diwali, the occasion in the Ramayana of the return of a victorious Rama to Ayodhya with Sita after defeating Ravana, at the Nowshera sector in the border district of Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir.

The prime minister hailed the courage of soldiers and said their capability and strength has ensured peace and security for the country. “I want to spend Diwali with family members, so I join you in celebrating this festival,” he said.

Since taking over his current office, Prime Minister Modi has made it a point to meet troops in a border region on Diwali, starting from a visit to Siachen in 2014. Official sources shared photographs of him at an army post in Nowshera.

  1. 2014: Siachen
  2. 2015: Amritsar
  3. 2016: Lahaul-Spiti
  4. 2017: Gurez
  5. 2018: Chamoli
  6. 2019: Rajouri
  7. 2020: Jaisalmer
  8. 2021: Nowshera

“I have brought the wishes of the 130 crore Indian for you,” the prime minister told the soldiers. He talked also about the growing ‘atmnirbharta‘ (self-sufficiency) in defence resources as opposed to the earlier period of dependence on foreign countries. He said 65% of the defence budget was being used inside the country.

A list of 200 products, a positive list, which will be procured only indigenously, has been prepared. The list is going to be expanded soon, he said. He talked also of the seven new defence companies launched on Vijayadashami as the old ordnance factories will now make specialised sector-specific equipment and ammunition.

Defence corridors are coming up too, he said. India’s youth is involved in vibrant defence related startups. All this will strengthen India’s position as a defence exporter, the prime minister said.

The prime minister lauded the role played by the brigade here in the surgical strike. India had conducted the military operation on 29 September 2016, across the Line of Control (LoC) as a response to a terrorist attack on an army base in the Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

The prime minister said many attempts were made to spread terrorism in India after the surgical strike, but they were given a befitting reply. India must enhance its military capabilities in line with the changing world and modes of war, he said.

The prime minister said that connectivity in border areas had improved — be it from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, Jaisalmer to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Borders and coastal areas lacking normal connectivity now have roads and optical fibres, and this boosts deployment capabilities as well as facilities for soldiers, the prime minister said. He said that earlier the country had to depend mostly on imports in the defence sector but with his government’s attempts indigenous capabilities have gotten a boost.

Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane had carried out aerial reconnaissance of the forward areas, including Rajouri, yesterday and he was briefed about the prevailing security situation along the in the Jammu region.

An army operation against terrorists has been going on through the forest belt in the Poonch-Rajouri area. This has been the longest such operation in the recent past and it entered the 26th day on Thursday.

Meanwhile, when the prime minister left his residence in the morning, there were minimal security arrangements in place and no traffic route was blocked in order to minimise any inconvenience, official sources said.

The prime minister concluded today’s address to the soldiers with “if our armed forces are blessed with sky-touching valour, their hearts are an ocean of human kindness also, that is why our armed forces not only defend the borders but are also always ready to help during calamity and natural disasters. It has grown as a strong trust in the heart of every Indian. You are the custodians and defenders of India’s unity and integrity and the emotion of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’. I am fully confident that with the inspiration of your bravery, we will take India to the zenith of growth and progress.”

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