Riding on the popular sentiment in favour of the armed forces ever since the Director General of Military Operations announced the surgical strikes along the Line of Control last month, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has launched a campaign asking people to reach out to them for Diwali. The #Sandesh2Soldiers campaign will be spearheaded by Narendra Modi himself, a senior source at the PMO said.
“Holistic campaign will be launched to urge and invite people to send letters and messages to the armed forces,” confirmed the source. The idea, according to sources, came from Modi earlier this week, “to explore how we can make sure that citizens write to soldiers and convey their emotions and gratitude”. It will focus on the “need to involve the entire population in the cause and increase public interaction with the armed forces.”
The 360-degree campaign includes a four-minute video featuring Modi, that the PMO hopes will “make waves” across social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The video, which was released on Saturday, opens with a child writing a letter to an unknown soldier. In the video, Modi asks people to send greetings to the armed forces, who “spend their lives” for “our happy and peaceful lives” trying to “defend” the country.
According to sources, Modi will read out some of the messages sent by people during his Mann ki Baat address. Doordarshan and All India Radio will also have special programmes for the campaign, which will be endorsed by many celebrities too, said the source.
Apart from letters, people can send their messages to the soldiers through the Narendra Modi mobile app, MyGov app, and through radio. While MyGov is the official app for the PMO, developed by the Information and Technology Ministry, the Narendra Modi app was developed by the BJP.
The campaign comes on the heels of Modi’s comments in Bhopal earlier this month where, while inaugurating a war memorial, he asked people to “develop a tradition to show respect to our defence forces,” through small gestures like applauding a soldier.
This is not the first time that Modi is focussing on the armed forces. He spent his last two Diwalis as the Prime Minister with the Army. Moreover, senior women ministers from his cabinet spent Raksha Bandhan with soldiers.