Modi visits Nimu in Ladakh to interact with Indian troops amid tension with China
New Delhi, July 3, 2020
Amid the ongoing tension on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Nimu in Ladakh where he interacted with Indian troops and reviewed the security situation on the ground with the top leadership of the Indian Army.
The previously unannounced visit came this morning, less than 18 days after a violent face-off between the troops of the two sides left 20 Indian soldiers dead and several injured. There were casualties on the Chinese side, too, but numbers were not available.
Nimu is surrounded by the Zanskar range and is on the banks of river Indus.
Interacting with personnel of the the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the Prime Minister paid rich tributes to the valour of the Armed Forces, stating that their courage and devotion to the country was unparalleled. He stated that Indians can go about their lives peacefully because they know that the Armed Forces are standing firm, protecting the nation.
Modi said that, due to the exemplary bravery of the Armed Forces in recent weeks, the world had taken note of India’s strength.
He remembered the soldiers who ahd made the supreme sacrifice in the face-off in Galwan Valley on the night of June 15. He said that those who were martyred belonged to all parts of India and epitomized the land's ethos of bravery.
Modi affirmed that be it Leh-Ladakh, Kargil or the Siachen Glacier, be it the high mountains or the icy cold water that flows in the rivers, these are testimony to the gallantry of India’s Armed Forces. "The enemies of India have seen the fire and fury of our forces," he said.
The Prime Minister also paid homage to two "Matas": to Mother India and to the mothers of all those brave soldiers and security forces of India who serve India with unparalleled diligence.
Modi spoke at length about how the virtues of peace, friendship and courage have been a part of India’s culture since time immemorial. He recalled that India has always given a befitting reply to anyone who has tried to disturb the prevailing atmosphere of peace and progress.
He affirmed that India is committed to peace and friendship but this commitment to peace should not be seen as India’s weakness. Today India is becoming stronger, be it in naval might, air power, space power and the strength of the army. Modernization of weapons and upgradation of infrastructure has enhanced the country's defence capabilities multifold, he said.
The Prime Minister recalled that Indian soldiers had a long history of bravery and competence in global military campaigns, including in the two World Wars.
He said the time for expansionism is over. This is the era of development, he said, and recalled that it is the mindset of expansionism that did great harm.
He added that, in the last few years, several steps have been taken for the well-being of India’s forces and furthering India’s security preparedness. This includes ensuring availability of modern weaponry, increased border infrastructure, border area development and expanding the roads network. He further shared that expenditure on border infrastructure has been enhanced three times.
The Prime Minister also mentioned the efforts to strengthen the national security apparatus and to ensure the well-being of our armed forces. He highlighted recent initiatives of the government such as creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), construction of a grand National War Memorial, fulfilment of OROP after decades and steps to ensure the well-being of the families of the armed forces personnel.
During the interaction, Modi also recalled the greatness of Ladakh’s culture as well as the noble teachings of Kushok Bakula Rimpoche. He described Ladakh as a land of sacrifice and a land that has given several patriots.
He affirmed that the people of India are inspired by the teachings of Gautama Buddha, for whom courage was linked to conviction and compassion.
Modi was accompanied on the visit by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane.