Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking the salute at a parade held at the Statue of Unity to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at Kevadia in Gujarat, on October 31, 2020.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking the salute at a parade held at the Statue of Unity to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at Kevadia in Gujarat, on October 31, 2020.

Modi says India fully ready to protect its sovereignty and integrity

Ahmedabad, October 31, 2020

Making a thinly veiled reference to China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said those eyeing the land of India were getting a befitting reply and affirmed that the country was fully ready to protect its sovereignty and integrity.

Participating in the Ekta Diwas celebrations to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first Deputy Prime Minister, at Kevadia in Gujarat, Modi said India's perspective and attitudes towards borders had changed.

He pointed out that India is strengthening infrastructure in the border areas by building hundreds of kilometers of roads, dozens of bridges and many tunnels.

The Prime Minister said that, amidst these efforts, there are many challenges which India and the whole world are facing today.

He said the way some people have come out in support of terrorism is a matter of global concern today. He stressed the need for all the countries of the world, all governments, all religions, to unite against terrorism.

He said a sense of peace, brotherhood and mutual respect is the true identity of humanity. He pointed out no one can ever get welfare from terrorism-violence.

Modi said India's diversity was what made the country so extraordinary. He said the unity of India was the power which kept everyone on their toes.

"They want to make this diversity our only weakness," he said, adding that such forces must be recognized and the people must remain cautious against them.

Modi also recalled the Pulwama terror attack of February 14, 2019 in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed and slammed the Opposition parties for the statements they had made on the incident even as the nation was saddened by the death of its brave sons.

He said the statements made recently in Pakistan's National Assembly had brought out the truth about the incident.

Lamenting the "play of ugly politics in the country which displayed utter selfishness and arrogance", Modi said it was a great example of the extent to which "these people go, for their political interest".

He urged such political parties to work in the interest of the security of the country and for the morale of the security forces.

"Knowingly or unknowingly, by playing into the hands of anti-national forces for your selfishness, you will not be able to work for the interest of the country nor for your party," he said.

He stressed that the highest interest for everyone should be the country's interest. "When we think of everyone's interests, only then will we progress," he said.

The Prime Minister, who was on a two-day visit to his home state, said that the various projects inaugurated for the integrated development of Kevadia, near the Sardar Sarovar Dam, would help increase tourism in the region. He said tourists will now have the option to visit the Statue of Unity -- a statue of Sardar Patel, the tallest in the world at 182 metres -- to get a "darshan"of Sardar Patel through a sea-plane service as well.

Modi said Kashmir was moving on a new path of development, overcoming the obstacles that were hindering its progress earlier.

He said the country is establishing new dimensions of unity and listed the steps being taken for the restoration of peace in the Northeast and the initiatives taken for its development.

He said the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya following the Supreme Court’s verdict is an attempt to restore the cultural glory of India envisioned by Sardar Patel.

He said that, today, 130 crore countrymen together are building a nation that is both strong and capable, in which there should be equality and there are also opportunities. He said only a self-sufficient country can be confident of its progress as well as its security. He added therefore that the country is moving towards becoming self-sufficient in the various fields including defence as well.

Earlier, Modi offered floral tributes to the Sardar Patel at the Statue of Unity and administered the Ekta Pledge to those present before witnessing a colourful parade of police forces of Gujarat State, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the National Security Guard (NSG).

The parade also included a Rifle drill by the female officers of CRPF. Jaguars of the Indian Air Force (IAF) performed a fly-past to mark the occasion. The Prime Minister also witnessed a cultural event showcasing the tribal heritage of India.


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