New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Kargil victory was a victory of the bravery of India’s son’s and daughters, of India’s resolve, and of India’s capability and fortitude. He further described it as a victory of India’s dignity and discipline; and a victory of the hopes and devotion to duty of each Indian.
The Prime Minister was addressing a commemorative event to mark Kargil Vijay Diwas at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on July 27.
In his address, the Prime Minister said that every Indian is remembering today an inspirational saga of valour and dedication to the nation. He paid homage to the Martyrs, who laid down their lives defending the heights of Kargil. He also appreciated the people of Jammu and Kashmir who fulfilled their duty towards the nation and added that the victory achieved in the mountains of Kargil 20 years ago will continue to inspire us for generations.
Prime Minister Modi asserted that wars are not fought by Governments alone but by the entire nation. He said soldiers sacrifice their all for future generations and added the deeds of these soldiers are a matter of pride for the each and every Indian.
The Prime Minister said that he had visited Kargil just a few months after assuming office in 2014. He also recalled that he had visited Kargil 20 years ago at the height of the Kargil war. Recalling the valour of the jawans in Kargil, he said that the entire country stood together with the soldiers. Youth were donating blood, and even children were donating their pocket money for the soldiers.
On this occasion he recalled that the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said that “we would be failing in our duty towards our Motherland, if we cannot care for our soldiers throughout their lives.” He expressed satisfaction that in the last five years, the Union Government has taken a number of decisions for the welfare of soldiers and their families. In this context, he mentioned One Rank One Pension; enhanced scholarship for wards of martyrs and the National War Memorial.
The Prime Minister said: “Pakistan has repeatedly resorted to deceit in Kashmir, and we did not allow them to succeed in 1999 either.” He recalled the resolve of Prime Minister Vajpayee for an effective response to Pakistan, which the enemy had no answer to and added that the earlier peace initiative of the Vajpayee government had created a better understanding of India’s position across the world.
Prime Minister Modi asserted that India has never been an aggressor in history. The Indian Armed Forces are perceived as defenders of humanity and peace across the world. He recalled the liberation of Haifa in Israel by Indian soldiers, and the memorial in France for the Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during World War 1.
He said over a lakh Indian soldiers were martyred during the World Wars; and even in UN peacekeeping missions, it is Indian soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice in the highest number. He also mentioned the dedication and service of the Armed Forces in natural calamities.
The Prime Minister said that terrorism and proxy war pose a threat to the entire world today. He said those defeated in war, are resorting to proxy war, and supporting terrorism today, to achieve their political objectives. He said the need of the hour is for all those who believe in humanity to stand in support of the Armed Forces and said this is essential to effectively counter terrorism.
Mr Modi said conflicts have reached space and the cyber world. Therefore, he added, the Armed Forces must be modernised. He said that when it comes to national security, India will not bow to pressure, or be found wanting in any manner. In this context, he mentioned the establishment of India’s nuclear triad through Arihant, and the testing of A-SAT – the anti-satellite test.
He said the Armed Forces are being rapidly modernised, and efforts are being made to increase the participation of the private sector for Make in India in the defence sector. He stressed on the importance of “jointness” among the three wings of the Armed Forces.
He said infrastructure is being strengthened in the border areas and spoke of steps being taken for the development of border areas and the welfare of people living there.
In his concluding remarks, the Prime Minister emphasised that it was the entire nation that won freedom in 1947; it was the entire nation for which the Constitution was written in 1950; and it was for the entire country, that more than 500 brave soldiers laid down their lives in the snowy heights of Kargil.
He called for a collective resolve to ensure that these sacrifices do not go in vain, and seeking inspiration in the deeds of these martyrs, ‘we make the India of their dreams’.