In his address on the eve of the 74th Independence Day, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday paid tributes to those who laid down their lives for the country, including soldiers killed in the Galwan Valley clash.
“Today, I pay special tribute to the soldiers who sacrificed in Galwan (Valley). This country can never forget their bravery and his supreme sacrifice. I want to assure their families that they are not alone but the whole country stands with their families,” Singh said.
“Our forces are vanguards in the defence of the nation, so I assure you that the government is doing all that is necessary to maintain your morale high and fulfill your operational requirements,” he said.
“Today the country is confident that no force can occupy even an inch of our land while you are deployed. If anyone has dared to do it, then they have had to suffer heavy consequences and will suffer them in the future,” Singh added.
Singh said “history is a witness to the fact that India has never attacked anywhere and anytime to capture the land of another country”. But Singh emphasised, “this does not mean that we will let our self-esteem be attacked”.
“If an enemy country attacks us, then we will give a befitting reply like every time,” he said.
Speaking about the first five Rafale fighter jets that reached India in late July, Singh said “the Indian Air Force had felt the lack of new modern combat aircraft for a long time”.
He said five Rafale aircraft arrived at Ambala Air Base two weeks ago and “the rest are also coming soon”. Singh that the “touchdown of Rafale fighter aircraft in India marks the beginning of a new era in our military history”. He also appreciated the role of the armed forces in tackling all kinds of disasters the country has faced.
Singh said all arms of the Defence Ministry have been active in preventing the spread of coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic. On July 23, the Defence Ministry issued the formal approval letter to provide permanent commission to women officers in the Army, Singh said, and added that it “paves the way for empowering women officers to discharge larger roles” in the Army.