Amid the escalating tension between India and Pakistan on the border, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday praised the valour and sacrifices of the Indian soldiers and dedicated Diwali to the country’s security forces in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, his monthly-radio address to the nation. “Our jawans have been sacrificing their lives in the last last few months. We should celebrate this Diwali in their name,” PM Modi said, during the 25th edition of the popular radio programme.
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Highlighting the message of Diwali — the triumph of light over darkness, PM Modi called on the countrymen to let go of their conservative thinking and advocated gender equality. He also thanked everyone for making the #Sandesh2Soldiers hastag popular, saying “India has shown what a single message can do to boost morale of our forces.”
Paying tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, PM Modi said, “October 31 marks the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel and death anniversary of Indira Gandhi.” He, however, lamented at the turn of events in the wake of former PM Indira Gandhi’s assassination.
“But on Sardar’s birthday, history remembers how Sikh people all over the country faced violence and pain after Indira Gandhi’s assassination,” he said. Highlighting the contribution of Vallabhbhai Patel, popularly known as the Iron Man of India, in uniting the country, Modi said Vallabhbhai Patel significantly contributed in strengthening the cooperative movement in the country and dedicated himself to the welfare of farmers.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, the prime minister said the time demands that rising aspirations of the poor are fulfilled, while emphasising that discrimination against women should be eradicated. He also expressed happiness over the progress being made in all states of India to make the country Open Defecation.
During the last episode, PM Modi had stated that tremendous anger has been simmering within the nation following the terrorist attack in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir which left 19 jawans dead. “Those responsible for Uri attack will not go unpunished,” Prime Minister Modi said, adding that he had huge respect for the Indian Army and had full faith in them.
The already strained relationship between India and Pakistan frayed further post the Uri attack. The Indian Army announced on September 29 that it had conducted surgical strikes against terrorist launch pads along the Line of Control. Ever since then Pakistani troops have been resorting to ceasefire violations everyday along the working boundary and the Indian Army has been returning the fire.
Earlier on Saturday, the Indian Army announced that it had carried out a massive assault across the LoC and destroyed four Pakistani posts and inflicting heavy casualties, a day after an Indian soldier was killed and his body mutilated by terrorists who came from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir with the help of cover fire provided by Pakistani troops.