NEW DELHI: The
and Indian army have responded to belligerence on the borders in the language of the aggressor and Ladakh has given the world a
of the capability of the
, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during his
, from Red Fort, on Saturday.
“From LoC to LAC, whoever has raised eyes on the sovereignty of the country …. the armed forces and the country have responded in the same language. Respect for India’s sovereignty is supreme for us. What our brave soldiers can do for this resolution, what the country can do, the world has seen this in Ladakh,” Modi said.
The remark was seen as a reference to the Galwan Valley clashes where, according to the defence establishment, Indian jawans retaliated against PLA’s aggression by inflicting many casualties on the Chinese side.
The PM said despite recent adversities — a reference to the Covid-19 pandemic — there have been “misadventures” on the borders.
While he did not name either China or Pakistan, the PM referred to the threats of expansionism and terrorism, in that order, represented by the two hostile neighbours, saying that India’s tough stance has been appreciated. “Recently, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, 184 countries out of 192 supported India. This is a matter of great pride for every Indian. This is an example of how we have made our place in the world. And this is possible only when India itself is strong, India is powerful and safe,” he said.
The brief reference to the ongoing military stand-off in Ladakh came as discussions to disengage at friction points and de-escalate are stalemated due to China’s refusal to pull back its troops despite several rounds of talks. The two sides are now digging in and Indian forces are preparing supplies to last through the winter.
“When we embark on an extraordinary journey with an extraordinary goal, the path will also be full of challenges and these challenges too are extraordinary. Notwithstanding the recent adversities, there have been misadventures along the border which threw a challenge to the country. But whoever tried to threaten the sovereignty of our country right from the LoC to the LAC, the army of the country, our brave soldiers have given a befitting reply,” he said.
Modi said, “The whole country is full of zeal, driven by conviction and moving forward with unwavering devotion to protect India’s sovereignty. The world has seen what our brave jawans can do in Ladakh…Today, I pay obeisance to all the brave men and soldiers who sacrificed their lives”.
In the rest of his speech, Modi expounded in detail on the theme of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat