Gave ‘befitting’ reply to those who eyed our territory in Ladakh: Modi

TNN Bureau. Updated: 6/29/2020 11:27:51 AM Front Page

‘India honours friendship but can retaliate to adversary too’

JAMMU: Asserting that India has given a befitting reply to those who cast an evil eye on its territory in Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that while the country honours the spirit of friendship, it is also capable of giving an appropriate response to any adversary.
Paying tributes to the 20 army men killed in the violent stand off with China's People's Liberation Army earlier this month, Modi also said that India's brave soldiers have shown that they will not allow the nation's pride to be hurt.
The prime minister's strong words on his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' broadcast came amid a standoff between Indian and Chinese armies in eastern Ladakh, with the opposition Congress constantly attacking the central government over the issue.
"Those who cast an evil eye on Indian soil in Ladakh have got a befitting response. India honours the spirit of friendship. It is also capable of giving an appropriate response to any adversary, without shying away," he said in his address without naming China.
“Our brave soldiers have proven that they will not let anyone cast an evil eye on the glory and honour of Mother India,” he said.
The entire country comes together in paying tributes to the bravery of our soldiers who attained martyrdom in Ladakh. The entire country bows them in reverence, with gratitude, he said.
The prime minister also made a vigorous push for the use of locally made products, saying being "vocal for local" is also a way to strengthen the country and to serve it.
Modi said India's aim is to become self-reliant. Its tradition is trust and friendship and its spirit is brotherhood. "We will keep moving ahead abiding by these principles," he said.
The prime minister also referred to an old saying which means that a person who is wicked by nature uses education to foster conflict, wealth for conceit and strength to trouble others whereas, a gentleman uses education for knowledge, wealth for helping and strength for protecting.
"India has always used her might, echoing the same sentiment," he said.
The prime minister felt that a self-reliant India would be true tribute to the slain soldiers.
"We should strive towards enhancing the country's capabilities and capacities in safeguarding our borders. A self-reliant India would be a tribute to our martyrs in the truest, deepest sense," he said.
Modi also referred to a woman from Assam who wrote that she has resolved to buy only local products after watching what happened in east Ladakh. "I am receiving messages on these lines from every corner of the country," he said.
There have been calls for boycotting Chinese products in the wake of the Ladakh incident.
Responding to another letter, he said before Independence, India was ahead of many nations in the defence sector with a multitude of ordnance factories.
"Many countries that lagged behind us then, are ahead of us now. After Independence, we should have made efforts in the defence sector, taking advantage of our prior experience we did not," he lamented.
"But today, in the fields of defence and technology, India is relentlessly endeavouring to advance on those fronts .India is taking strides towards self-reliance," he said.
He also pitched for people's participation in making India self-reliant. "When you buy 'local', become 'vocal for local' you play a role in strengthening the country," he said.
The Prime Minister also underscored the need to keep guard against the deadly coronavirus, saying that the country will have to focus on defeating it and bolstering the economy as it exits from the lockdown and enters the "unlock" phase.
He also stressed that India has always transformed adversities into stepping stones to success and this year won't be different.
"During this unlock period, one will have to focus on two points -- defeating coronavirus and strengthening the economy," Modi said.
He said as people move out during the unlock period, they have to remain more vigilant compared to the lockdown period.
His remarks come against the backdrop of rising cases of coronavirus in some parts of the country.
"Always remember, if you do not wear a mask, do not observe the two-yard social distancing norms or do not take other precautions, you are putting others at risk besides yourselves, especially the elderly and children at home," he cautioned.
Referring to the recent decisions taken by his government, Modi said during this unlock phase, "many other things are getting unlocked", which had shackled the country for decades.
He referred to reforms in the mining, space, agriculture and other sectors, saying these will not only pace up the movement towards self-reliant India, but also boost the advancement of technology in India.
On the various challenges thrown up during the year 2020, Modi said people often discuss as to when the year will end. Referring to coronavirus, the prime minister said as if one calamity wasn't enough, the country has had to face an unending slew of challenges.
"A few days ago, our east coast had to face the fury of cyclone Amphan; on the West coast it was cyclone Nisarg. In many states, farmers had to bear the brunt of swarming locust...many parts of the country have been witnessing intermittent earthquakes," he said.
The prime minister was of the view that despite adversities, people should not consider 2020 as a bad year.
"Historically, India has always emerged brighter and stronger, ensuring victory over all kinds of disasters and challenges. For centuries, myriad tyrants invaded India pushing her to the edge of such an abyss of adversities that people once used to feel that the very idea, the fabric of Bharat would be wiped out: her culture would be annihilated. But India overcame the scourge, and more gloriously so," he said.
India has always transformed adversities into stepping stones to success, he said, adding that this year will prove to be a "record setter, path breaker on new fronts for the country".
Referring to the onset of monsoon, the prime minister reminded people of their duty to help the earth rejuvenate by making some extra efforts.
"As human beings exploit natural resources, nature in a way, during rains, replenishes and restocks them," he said. But this refilling is possible only if people support the earth and carry out their responsibilities.
"A little effort by us helps nature and environment quite significantly," he said giving a few examples to drive home his point.

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