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New Delhi : Like all his previous years in the constitutional position, Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Diwali with armed forces this year also. He visited Indian Armed Forces in Nowshera District in J&K on November 4, 2021.

Addressing the soldiers, the Prime Minister said that spending Diwali with the Armed Forces, for him, is in the same spirit as to celebrate Diwali with his family. He said that  is why, he has spent all his Diwali with the armed forces at the border after assuming constitutional post. Modi said he has not come alone but has brought with him the wishes of the 130 crore Indians. He said today evening, every Indian will light one ‘diya’ to convey his or her wishes for the brave soldiers of the country. The Prime Minister told the soldiers that they are living security shield of the country.

From Nowshera, Modi greeted the countrymen for Diwali and other upcoming festivals such as Goverdhan Puja, Bhaiyya Dooj, and Chatth. He also wished Gujarati people for their new year.

He 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. 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 also talked about the growing Aatmnirbharta in defence resources as opposed to earlier period of dependence on the 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 7 new Defence companies launched on Vijaya Dashmi as the old ordnance factories will now make specialised sector specific equipment and ammunition. Defence Corridors are also coming up, Modi said, according to a PIB release .

The Prime Minister emphasised that Indian Military power need to be expanded and transformed according to the changing needs. He said fast changing technology landscape has demanded new changes, 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. Similarly, modern border infrastructure will enhance the country’s military muscle, he said. He remarked that  connectivity in border areas from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, from Jaisalmer to Andaman Nicobar has been established with modern infrastructure, leading to unprecedented improvement in the infrastructure and convenience for soldiers.

Modi expressed happiness that the participation of women in the country’s defence is touching new heights. After being deployed on the frontlines in Navy and Air Force, now women’s role is being expanded in Army also.

The Prime Minister said that in the armed forces, he not only sees boundless capabilities but also unwavering service spirit, 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 its human values make it distinct and extraordinary, Modi 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,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister concluded, “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 calamity 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.”