JAIPUR: Delivering an unambiguous message to India’s enemies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asserted that the country will give a “prachand jawab” (fierce reply) if provoked, as he flew to Longewala Post in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district to celebrate Diwali with soldiers, a tradition he has been following since assuming office in 2014.
Modi addressed soldiers at the historic Longewala post, which is the stuff of military legend after troops here successfully thwarted numerically higher Pakistani forces in the 1971 war. He said that there will be no compromise when it comes to border security. Without naming China, he targeted the neighbouring country for its expansionist policy, saying it exposes a “distorted mindset” that belongs to the 18th century.
Today the strategy of India is clear. Today's India believes in the policy of understanding and making others understand. But if attempts are made to test us, the reply they receive is intense: PM Modi addresses soldiers in Jaisalmer on #Diwali pic.twitter.com/Kyc0BBLLhy— ANI (@ANI) November 14, 2020
India has become a voice against forces of expansionism, he said, taking an aim at Pakistan. Indian soldiers have hit “sponsors of terrorism” in their home, referring to air and surgical strikes against terror camps in the neighbouring country.
“I have brought the greetings and love of every Indian to you. All of you are entitled to a lot of respect. In 2014, I went to Siachen after becoming the Prime Minister to celebrate Diwali and many people were surprised. One visits their loved ones on Diwali.
That is why even today, I have come among my family members. Whether you live in the snowy hills or in the desert, seeing the glow on your faces makes my Diwali auspicious,” the PM said.“No force in the world can prevent our brave soldiers from defending our borders. The world today knows that we will not compromise with our interests even one bit at any cost,” he said.
A tradition of Diwali with soldiers
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been celebrating Diwali with soldiers at forward posts since 2014. He was in Rajouri last year, in Uttarakhand in 2018, and in Gurez in 2017. “It is important that the coming generations know about the bravery with which our soldiers and security forces ensured that India is safe from the evil designs of those who eyed our territory,” Modi tweeted.