PM Narendra Modi to soldiers: Country can sleep because you are awake

To the jawans, who raised slogans of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram”, PM Modi said: “Because you guard our borders, people sleep at night. If you were not on the borders, people couldn’t have slept.”

Written by Anand Mishra , Ashwani Sharma | Shimla/new Delhi | Updated: November 2, 2016 1:18 pm
pm modi, narendra modi, pm modi, pm modi meets soldiers, modi diwali, modi meets jawans, modi indian border, modi at border, modi army, modi indian army, modi meets jawans, modi greets jawans, india news, indian express news Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers sweets to jawans on the occasion of Diwali, at Sumdo in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday. (Source: PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent Diwali with jawans of the Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Dogra Scouts at forward posts along the Sino-Indian border in Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. At a time when tensions with Pakistan are running high, the Prime Minister also dedicated a large part of his Mann ki Baat address on radio hailing the soldiers, saluting their valour, and lauding their sacrifices. He called upon people to remember their gallantry while celebrating Diwali. “In the wake of recent events, our soldiers have been sacrificing their everything for the safety and security of the country. Their dedication and valour has overwhelmed me completely. Let us dedicate this Diwali to our armed forces,” Modi said.

WATCH VIDEO:Ex-Serviceman Allegedly Commits Suicide in Delhi: Here’s What Happened

“Our forces endure grave hardships for our security. Someone is stationed in a desert, someone on the Himalayas, someone is guarding our industrial installations and someone is protecting our airports. Everyone is fulfilling a mighty responsibility. If we remember them while being in a festive mood, our remembrance will give them strength and renewed energy,” he said. The PM’s visit to Himachal Pradesh was kept a closely guarded secret until the time his chopper landed at Chango, near Sumdo, a base camp of the Army and ITBP in Lahaul-Spiti. He later travelled to Sumdo in Kinnaur district, where he spent 15-20 minutes with jawans and distributed sweets. “We had no information about the Prime Minister’s visit. There were media reports about him celebrating Diwali with ITBP jawans in Uttrakhand,” Chief Secretary V C Pharka said.

To the jawans, who raised slogans of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram”, the PM said: “Because you guard our borders, people sleep at night. If you were not on the borders, people couldn’t have slept.” Modi recalled that ‘One Rank, One pension’ (OROP) had been one of his first moves on assuming charge as PM. “When I asked for the file, I realised the liability was not Rs 200 crore or Rs 500 crore. It was Rs 10,000 crore. I consulted Army officers, suggesting that the arrears be paid in four instalments. I compliment the Army officers who agreed, and now the arrears were being deposited in instalments,” he said.

On the way back, Modi stopped at Kinnaur’s Chango village, and extended Diwali greetings to them. Ramlal Markande, a former BJP minister and Lahaul-Spiti MLA, said the Army had invited local villagers after the Prime Minister expressed a desire to meet them. “Around 25 people including several women met him by roadside, and offered him Himachali cap, which the Prime Minister happily accepted,” Markande said. In his radio address, Modi lauded Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel a day before his 141th birth anniversary, and also expressed anguish that on that very day several decades later, so many sardars — Sikhs — had lost their lives in the riots that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

“We do commemorate the death anniversary of great human beings. We should do that also… But a phone call from a gentleman of Punjab, his pain has touched me,” Modi said, recalling his conversation with one Jasdeep. October 31 is the birth anniversary of Patel, who dedicated his life to uniting the nation and succeeded in bringing its peoples together, it was the country’s bad luck that it was the same day on which Indira Gandhi was assassinated, Jasdeep said. “And all of us know what kinds of incidents happened in the country after her assassination. How can we check such unfortunate events, incidents?” Modi quoted Jasdeep as saying.

This, the PM said, is “not the pain of one person”. “A Sardar, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel… History is witness to it that after Chanakya, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel made the stupendous effort to unite the country. Greetings to the man, who accomplished this huge task, who made a successful attempt to bring independent India under one banner. “But there is also this pain that while Sardar Sahab lived and fought for unity, even remained a victim of anger of some people because of his priority for unity but never left the path of unity, on the birth anniversary of the same Sardar, thousands of Sardars, families of thousands of Sardars were killed after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. A page of history, the atrocities on Sardars on the birth anniversary of Sardar, the great person who dedicated his whole life for unity, pains all of us.

(“Lekin yeh bhi to peeda hai ki Sardar Sahab ekta ke liye jiye, ekta ke liye joojhte rahe, ekta ki unki praathmikata ke karan kaiyon ke narajagi ke shikar bhi rahe, lekin usi sardar ki janm-jayanti par hazaron sardaron, hazaron sardaron ke parivaaron ko Shrimati Gandhi ki hatya ke baat maut ke ghaat utaar diya gaya. Ekta ke liye jeevan bhar jeene waale us mahapurush ke janmdin par hi, aur Sardar ke janmdin par hi Sardaron ke saath zulm, itihaas ka ek panna, hum sabko peeda deta hai.”) The Prime Minister added “but amid these crises, we have to move forward with the mantra of unity”, stressing that “unity in diversity” is the strength of the nation.

“Every generation has one responsibility. Every government has the responsibility to find out the opportunities of unity from every corner of the country and highlight the elements of unity. We should keep ourselves as well as the nation from the thinking and tendency of divisions. Sardar Sahab gave us one India (ek bharat), and it is our responsibility to make it great India (Shrestha Bharat). It is the basic mantra of unity that builds the foundation for a great India ,” the Prime Minister said.

The PM also talked about the contribution of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev to end social vices like casteism and untouchability and said his teachings are still the guiding path not only for India but the entire human race. Referring to the upcoming Prakash Utsav, which is celebrated by Sikhs to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the Prime Minister said that there can be no better guide than Guru Nanak Dev if one has to move forward with “sabka saath, sabka vikas” to end discrimination.

On his pet theme of Swachhata, he said that the festival of Diwali is a symbol of “swachhta” with every family taking it upon themselves to clean their houses. The PM, however said, “the call of time is to extend this campaign of cleanliness out of one’s house to one’s surroundings.” Modi also talked at length on how the festival of Diwali is being celebrated across the globe, and the importance it is being given by the heads of various countries.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

First Published on: October 31, 2016 1:00 am
  1. D
    Dini.vino
    Oct 31, 2016 at 2:22 am
    Every single soldier should accompany Modi once in his foreign visit. By 2019, all soldiers would have got a chance!
    Reply
    1. A
      Amar Akbar
      Oct 31, 2016 at 6:35 am
      Hujj Effect: Millions of children go hungry and pollution increases to highest due to air lifting of 300,000 hujji jihadi every year. If Muslims stop going to Mecca, this planet will have less carbon footprint as air pollution due to airlines is the highest as well as the waste generated by Muslims is highest. Since Allah is everywhere going to Mecca is a total waste. And when we spend tens of thousands of crores to lift and fly these Muslims at tax payers money in a secular country with Hindu majority needs to be banned as this can bring food to millions of children instead of paying to Saudia to fly these morons
      Reply
      1. K
        Kumar
        Oct 31, 2016 at 6:00 pm
        Happy Diwali
        Reply
        1. K
          Kumar
          Oct 31, 2016 at 5:59 pm
          To the Indian Lion solidres we are very proud of your work because in summer,in winter,rainy you all will save to us thank you to opening this app PM and HAPPY DIWALI
          Reply
          1. U
            UN
            Nov 8, 2016 at 11:39 am
            and 1 more picture taken.
            Reply
            1. A
              arc
              Oct 31, 2016 at 7:06 am
              And Dalits Muslims and Christians have to stay awake to fend off sanghi thugs because Modi and his govt sleep like kumbhkarn.
              Reply
              1. B
                bala Raja
                Oct 31, 2016 at 3:13 am
                Getting tired of Modi's endless talk about soldiers. He seems to be over compensating for the shameless chest-thumping and exploitation of the so-called surgical strikes. If this Govt has real concern for the armed forces, get them modern equipment including bullet-proof vests. Give their family decent housing. Give their sons and daughters quality education. Get rid of corruption in defence procurements. Most of all, stop talking.
                Reply
                1. B
                  Balasubramanya
                  Oct 31, 2016 at 4:32 pm
                  We can not express our graude to our armed forces because it may look so small in front of their sacrifice.
                  Reply
                  1. B
                    Binoy Mathew
                    Oct 31, 2016 at 7:00 am
                    True the PM would do better to let our brave army men to have their well earned sleep.
                    Reply
                    1. B
                      Binu Mathew Varghese
                      Nov 1, 2016 at 12:52 am
                      Its fine and thanks for your compliment Modiji. But why is your govt. not giving them their due?
                      Reply
                      1. B
                        bitterhoney
                        Oct 31, 2016 at 5:36 am
                        Gimmickry as usual.
                        Reply
                        1. B
                          bitterhoney
                          Oct 31, 2016 at 6:16 am
                          In next election Modi should be shown the exit door.
                          Reply
                          1. B
                            bitterhoney
                            Oct 31, 2016 at 6:14 am
                            Quite amusing comment but true.
                            Reply
                            1. B
                              bitterhoney
                              Oct 31, 2016 at 5:37 am
                              bhashan ke alawa modiji ki jholi mein kuchh bhi nahi hai
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                ashwin
                                Oct 31, 2016 at 11:52 am
                                Gopu beta GOOD MORNING.....LOL...WHAT KINDA CULT THUG YOU ARE MAN !! WAKE UP.....ITNA APNE AAPKO CH ....MAT BANAO.....
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  ashwin
                                  Oct 31, 2016 at 10:26 am
                                  Hey anda Andy andu...you seems like ubla hua anda...go wash your mouth in the dirt of preaching ..you thug of stupid politicians.LOL
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    ashwin
                                    Oct 30, 2016 at 10:24 pm
                                    Modi ..we knew that we could able to sleep well because of our soldiers ...and please do not preaching about it....do same for many other things ...poor transportation ...poor saftety ....unemployment.....corruption....mafia ....goons....poor roads.....no toilets.....can you also do some preaching about them.???= you preaching about our soldiers is loss like political motive....please to let you know that we love India ..we love our army. You don't create hype about it.
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Ram
                                      Oct 31, 2016 at 1:23 am
                                      PM Sir, we gaurd, border, work and live with high morale. But your Defense Minister and Babus shater our status and morale, How long this is going to happen. w country got better pay, what ever little pay 7th cpc gave that also is not availble to us. we are not only 2nd but 3rd cl citizen of our own mother land
                                      Reply
                                      1. P
                                        Pushpinder Harsh
                                        Oct 31, 2016 at 2:54 am
                                        Words are empty, unless backed by action! Sh. Modi may have conve his sincere views / feelings. However, evidently his Government does not share these sentiments. The same is amply demonstrated by series of Government actions. First was the one time pension hike, by design wrongly called OROP. Then was the extreme injustice rendered through 7th CPC. The final blow was the downgrading of the Armed Forces Officers vis-a-vis civilian officers, just days after the successful surgical strike. No Mr. Modi, words are not enough!
                                        Reply
                                        1. D
                                          Dr Rajendra
                                          Oct 31, 2016 at 11:53 am
                                          I like it... Thank you very much to our respected PM Narendra Modi Ji.
                                          Reply
                                          1. A
                                            Anthony Duart Maclean
                                            Oct 30, 2016 at 11:07 pm
                                            Modi, a courageous leader for India. Congratulations! A.D. Maclean, Canada
                                            Reply
                                            1. Load More Comments