Exalting their valour in defending the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid tributes to the 20 Indian soldiers who had died in the violent clashes with Chinese troops on June 15 in Galwan Valley and asserted that India had given a befitting reply to those who cast an evil eye on its territory.
While addressing the nation during his monthly radio show Mann ki Baat, Modi said: “Those who cast an evil eye on Indian soil in Ladakh have got a befitting response. India honours the spirit of friendship… she is also capable of giving an appropriate response to any adversary, without shying away. Our brave soldiers have proven that they will not let anyone cast an evil eye on the glory and honour of Mother India.”
The Prime Minister also said that the “entire country comes together in paying tributes to the bravery of our soldiers who attained martyrdom in Ladakh” and added that “the entire country bows them in reverence, with gratitude”.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 28, 2020
“Just like their family members, every Indian painfully regrets the loss. The pride and devotion to country felt by the family members on the sacrifice made by the soldiers, is the strength of the country,” he said in his address.
Modi’s remarks came more than a week after he said that there was no intrusion into the Indian territory and no one had captured any military posts. “Na wahan koi hamari seema mein ghus aaya hai, na hi koi ghusa hua hai, na hi hamari koi post kisi doosre ke kabze main hai. Ladakh mein hamaare 20 jaanbaaz shaheed hue, lekin jinhone Bharat mata ki taraf aankh uthakar dekha tha unhe wo sabak sikhakar gaye,” the Prime Minister had told top political leaders in his concluding address after a nearly three-hour-long all-party meeting that discussed the situation on the India-China border.
Referring to the remarks of father of one of the soldiers, Kundan Kumar of Bihar, who was killed in the clashes, Modi said that “he had mentioned sending even his grandsons to the army to defend the country”.
“This spirit permeates across all martyrs families. Truly, the sense of sacrifice displayed by these family members is worth veneration. The resolve with which our soldiers made the supreme sacrifice for the security of Mother India, should be the aim of our lives, and it applies to each an everyone of us,” he said.
In vigorous push for the use of locally made products, Modi said that making the country self-reliant will be a tribute to the soldiers. “Our pursuits and endeavours should be in the same direction,” he said, adding that “we should strive towards enhancing the country’s capabilities and capacities in safeguarding our borders.
“A self-reliant India would be a tribute to our martyrs in the truest, deepest sense,” he stressed.
He also said that “India’s solemn resolve is to safeguard her honour and sovereignty” and to be self-reliant. “India’s tradition is -trust and friendship. India’s spirit is brotherhood.”
On the defence sector, Modi said that before independence, “our country was ahead of many countries in the world” as there were “multitude of ordnance factories”. Many countries that lagged behind India then, he said “are ahead of us now”.
The Prime Minister, however, did speak about the standoff with China which began in early May. There has been a significant military build-up in eastern Ladakh by China in their depth area, which has been matched by India as well.
The clashes of June 15 took place after Indian troops, led by Colonel B Santosh Babu had gone to remove tents from an observation post that China had erected on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines