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New Delhi, June 28, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India was committed to safeguarding her sovereignty and territorial integrity and those who cast an evil eye on Indian soil in Ladakh have got a befitting response.
Delivering his monthly “Mann ki Baat” radio address over All India Radio (AIR), the Prime Minister said while India honoured friendship, she was 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 entire country has come together to pay tributes to the bravery of our jawans who attained martyrdom in Ladakh. The entire country bows to them in reverence, with gratitude. Just like their family members, every Indian painfully regrets the loss. that he wishes India to be self-reliant in the defence sector.
"Before independence, in the realm of the defence sector, India was ahead of many countries in the world. There used to be a multitude of ordnance factories. Many countries that lagged behind us then, are ahead of us now. After independence, we should have made efforts in the defence sector, taking advantage of our prior experience…. we did not.
“But today, in the fields of defence and technology, India is relentlessly endeavouring to advance on those fronts…. India is taking strides towards self-reliance,” he added.
The Prime Minister said people should not lose heart over the series of calamities like the COVID-19 pandemic, cyclones, locust attacks and disturbances on the borders.
“Friends, adversities do descend upon us; calamities do confront us…. but the question is – should they lead us into the belief that the year 2020 is not good? Is it rational to presume on the basis of the first half that the entire year would be so? Not at all, my dear countrymen, absolutely not.
“In a given year, challenges could vary between one and say 50; the number does not determine the goodness of that year. Historically, India has always emerged brighter and stronger, ensuring victory over all kinds of disasters and challenges.
“For centuries, myriad tyrants invaded India pushing her to the edge of such an abyss of adversities that people once used to feel that the very idea, the fabric of Bharat would be wiped out: her culture would be annihilated. But India overcame the scourge, and more gloriously so,” he added.
“India has always transformed adversities into stepping stones to success. With the same sentiment, we have to move on, march on, in today’s troubled times. If you advance, in step with 130 crore countrymen, this year will prove to be a record-setter, path-breaker on new fronts for the country. This very year the country will attain newer goals, reaching newer heights with all-new wings. I firmly believe in the collective might of 130 crore countrymen…..all of you…I have firm belief in the glorious heritage of the country,” Modi said.
Pointing out that no mission can be successfully achieved without people’s participation, he said that was why, on the path towards a self-reliant India, as a citizen, collective resolve, commitment and support was necessary.
“When you buy ‘local’, become vocal for local you play a role in strengthening the country. This, too, in its own way, is service to one’s country. Whatever be your profession; wherever, there is ample scope in the realm of service to the country.
While the country was entering the unlocking period, people should remain focussed on defeating the virus and also on strengthening the economy. During the unlock period, citizens have to remain more vigilant compared to the lockdown period.
“Only your alertness can save you from the corona. Always, remember, if you do not wear a mask, do not observe the two-yard social distancing norms or take other precautions, you are putting others at risk besides yourselves, especially the elderly and children at home.”
Referring to the continuing steps to revive the economy he said, "During this unlock phase, many other things are getting unlocked, which had hitherto, shackled the country for decades. For years, our mining sector was in a state of lockdown. The decision to allow commercial auction has altered the scenario completely.
“Just a few days ago, historic reforms in the space sector were brought in. Through these reforms, the sector which was in a state of lockdown for years was set free. This will not only pace up the movement towards self-reliant India, it will also boost up the advancement of technology in India.”
"Many aspects of the agricultural sector had remained in a state of lockdown for decades. This sector too has now been unlocked. On the one hand, it grants freedom to farmers to sell their produce to anyone they wish to, anywhere; on the other hand, this has paved the way for enhanced loans. There are many such sectors in which, amidst, all crises, our country is opening up new avenues of development through historic decisions," he said.
The Prime Minister also referred to instances where ordinary people came out on their own to help fellow citizens.
At Mirem village of Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh, the villagers made advance quarantine arrangements to receive the returning migrant workers from the area. They erected 14 temporary huts at a short distance from the village. The huts were equipped with toilets, water, and electricity, including essential items for daily needs.
In Uttar Pradesh, the migrant workers who returned to the village of Barabanki took an initiative to return the Kalyani river to its pristine, natural form. Upon witnessing this resolve to salvage the river, the farmers and other people from nearby areas also got enthused.
Modi quoted a report in the Financial Times of London to say that during the corona pandemic, the demand for spices including ginger, turmeric and other spices has increased not only in Asia but also in America.
“The entire world is focused on increasing their immunity at this time and these immunity-enhancing ingredients are linked with our country. We should be able to communicate about their speciality in such easy and simple language to the people of the world, that they can understand it easily and we can make our own contribution towards making a healthier planet,” he added.
The Prime Minister also touched upon the need to promote traditional indoor games that can be played with the entire family during the lockdown. The youngsters could ask the elderly about the games they used to play as children and post the information in the form of video interviews on social media.
He also referred to efforts by an octogenarian farmer in Mandavali, Karnataka, to build 16 new ponds so far in the area to overcome water scarcity during the dry months.
Similarly, the district administration and local people in Vadodara district in Gujarat have come together to ensure rainwater harvesting in 1000 schools by which it is expected to conserve around 100 million litres of water annually.
Modi also paid homage to former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao on his birth anniversary.