Underlining the ever-evolving nature of warfare in global scenario and in an apparent reference to the impact of social media in conflicts between nations, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Friday said the range of a mobile phone now is bigger than that of a missile.
“As times change, the nature of threats and wars is also changing. In the future, other security-related issues may come before us. “Today the maarak kshamta (range) of a mobile has crossed even the reach of a missile,” said Rajnath.
Addressing the 2020 edition of annual three-day Military Literature Festival (MLF) after inaugurating it virtually, he said conflicts are gradually becoming “comprehensive” in the manner never imagined earlier and warned that different kinds of security threats may emerge in the future.
He added that the enemy can now reach people even without crossing any borders, and urged everyone to play the role of a soldier. “We should remain alive to these dangers and save ourselves from wrong and misleading information and save others too, and festivals like this can play a key role in this,” he said.
Underlining the ever-evolving nature of warfare in global scenario, Rajnath urged people, especially youngsters, to acquaint themselves with defence way of life to act as a formidable shield in case of need. He said youngsters must leverage and complement our forces by leading research in cyber, biological and information domain.
The minister urged the youth to follow in the footsteps of soldiers who are living legends and added that the war games played on mobile phones were no match to their real-life experiences.
Rajnath said he was scheduled to participate in last year’s edition of MLF but could not come to Chandigarh due to a Parliament session. “I was keeping track of all the activities including book discussions, panel discussions and daredevil feats being performed by our soldiers at MLF last year,” he said. “All these events give a close insight to the people, especially the youth, into military life”.
MLF, a joint initiative of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and Governor VP Singh Badnore in collaboration with Western Command, has earned brand presence in the region since inception in 2017.
“Punjab for decades has been the land of the brave and it is only natural that such festivals started from here. The festival is also a tribute to those warriors who gave up everything for the nation’s sake,” Rajnath said, adding that the current MLF edition was special as the nation is celebrating Golden Jubilee of 1971 War against Pakistan.
The minister lauded the wide range of topics chosen for MLF 2020, including Jai Jawan-Jai Kisan, self-reliance in defence and Bollywood, and expressed confidence that the platform would keep providing stimulating conversations of regional and national significance.
Earlier, Badnore said Punjab has rich martial tradition and it comes as no surprise that it is a treasure trove of military events since times immemorial, “thus simmering in unlimited tales of military invasions, campaigns and battles with the natural abundance of battlefield heroics, sacrifices and events that’s steered the course of not only the region, but the country as a whole”.
He said events like the MLF highlight the military’s history, values and traditions that would otherwise be never known to the public. “These events invite an overwhelming response from the people and it is truly a people’s festival which is eagerly awaited each year by the people of the region,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Senior Advisor to CM Lt Gen TS Shergill (Retd) said former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri infused a new life and invigorated the nation by giving the slogan ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ emphasizing the importance of both the farmer and soldier.
The most enduring facet of the defence forces of the country is their multi ethnic and multi faith character which Punjab has proudly manifested ever since, in the service of nation, General Shergill added.
Former Jammu and Kashmir governor N N Vohra said earlier a sense of secrecy surrounded defence-related issues, such as sharing war experiences and keeping documents that shed light on military matters away from the public glare. But now the scenario is changing and if this continues, the young generation, particularly the cadets at military academies, can be really inspired, he said.