Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrating Diwali with soldiers in the Nowshera sector of Jammu & Kashmir, on November 4, 2021.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrating Diwali with soldiers in the Nowshera sector of Jammu & Kashmir, on November 4, 2021.

Modi says India's military power needs to be expanded according to changing needs

New Delhi, November 4, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today emphasized that Indian military power needed to be expanded and transformed according to the changing needs, pointing out that the fast-changing technology landscape demanded new responses.

"That is why it is critical to ensure coordination in the integrated military leadership. CDS and Department of Military Affairs are steps in that direction," he said in an address to personnel of the Indian Armed Forces in the Nowshera sector in Jammu & Kashmir.

"Similarly, modern border infrastructure will enhance the country’s military muscle," he said.

Modi said that connectivity in the border areas, from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, from Jaisalmer to Andaman Nicobar, has been established with modern infrastructure, leading to unprecedent improvement in the infrastructure and convenience for soldiers.

This is the eighth year in a row that the Prime Minister, since assuming office in 2014, has celebrated Diwali with the Armed Forces.

He told the soldiers that spending Diwali with them was, for him, like celebrating the festival with his family. He said he had brought with hiim the wishes of 130 crore Indians.

He told the soldiers they were a "living security shield" of the country and serving the country, as they were doing, was a good fortune not given to everyone.

Modi said Nowshera’s history celebrates the bravery of India and its present is the embodiment of the bravery and determination of the soldiers. The region has stood strongly against the aggressor and encroachers. Modi paid rich tribute to the heroes of Nowshera, Brig. Usman and Naik Jadunath Singh, who made the supreme sacrifice for defending the motherland. He saluted Lt. R R Rane and other bravehearts who set unprecedented examples of valour and patriotism. The Prime Minister also described his feelings for taking blessings of Baldev Singh and Basant Singh who supported the armed forces steadfastly. He also praised the Brigade stationed there for their role in the surgical strike. He recalled the moment of relief when all the brave soldiers returned safely from the strike.

The Prime Minister said that the responsibility of protecting the freedom of the county vests with everyone and today’s India, in the 75th year of independence, Amrit Kaal of the freedom is alert about its capabilities and resources. He also talked about the growing "Aatmnirbharta" (self-reliance) in defence resources as opposed to the earlier period of dependence on foreign countries. He said 65 per cent of the Defence Budget is being used inside the country. A list of 200 products, a positive list, that will be procured only indigenously has been prepared. The list is going to be expanded soon, he said.

He also talked of the seven new defence companies launched on Vijaya Dashmi as the old ordnance factories will now make specialized sector specific equipment and ammunition. Defence Corridors are also coming up . India’s youth is involved in vibrant defence-related start-ups. All this will strengthen India’s position as a defence exporter, he said.

Modi expressed happiness that the participation of women in the country’s defence is touching new heights. After being deployed on the frontlines in the Navy and the Air Force, the role of women is now being expanded in Army also. Along with opening up of the Permanent Commission, NDA, National Military School, National Indian Military College for women, the Prime Minister mentioned his Independence Day announcement of opening up Sainik Schools for girls.

The Prime Minister said that in the Armed Forces, he not only saw boundless capabilities but also unwavering spirit of service, strong determination and incomparable sensitivity.

"This makes Indian Armed Forces unique among the armed forces of the world. Indian Armed Forces are as professional as the top armed forces of the world but their human values make them distinct and extraordinary," he said.

“For you, this not just a job for salary, for you this is a calling and worship, a worship in which you channel the spirit of 130 crore people,” he said.

"Empires come and go but India was eternal thousands of years ago and remains so today and will remain eternal after thousands of years later. We don’t perceive the nation as government, power or empire, for us, it is a living, present soul, defending this is not limited to defending just the geographical boundaries. For us national defence means defending this living national vibrancy, national unity, and national integration," he said.

"If our Armed Forces are blessed with sky-touching valour, their hearts are ocean of human kindness also, that is why our Armed Forces not only defend the borders but are also always ready to help during calamities and natural disasters. It has grown as a strong trust in the heart of every Indian. You are the custodians and defenders of India’s unity and integrity and the emotion of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat. I am fully confident that with the inspiration of your bravery, we will take India to the zenith of growth and progress," he added.


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