PM Modi in his address expressed solidarity with soldiers, and said, “There must be hardly any Indian who doesn’t feel proud of our Armed Forces, our army jawans, our soldiers. Every Indian, irrespective of region, caste, religion, sect or language, is ever eager to express joy and show solidarity with our soldiers. Yesterday, one hundred and twenty-five crore Indians celebrated the ParaakramParva, the festival of Valour. We remembered that surgical strike carried out in 2016, where our soldiers gave a befitting reply to the audacity of a proxy war under the garb of terrorism. At various places in the country, exhibitions have been organised by our Armed Forces in order to apprise the maximum number of citizens, especially the younger generation, of the might we possess; how capable we are and how our soldiers risk their lives to protect us citizens. A day such as ParaakaramPrava reminds our youth of the glorious heritage of our Army. It also inspires us to maintain the unity & integrity of the country. I too participated in a programme held at Jodhpur in the land of the valiant, Rajasthan. It has now been decided that our soldiers will give a befitting reply to whosoever makes an attempt to destroy the atmosphere of peace and progress in our Nation. We staunchly believe in peace; we are committed to taking it forward… but NOT at the cost of compromising our self-respect and sovereignty of our Nation. India has always been resolutely committed to peace. In the two world-wars fought in the 20th century, over a lakh of our soldiers made the Supreme Sacrifice; that too in a war where we were not involved in any way. We have never eyed someone else’s territory maliciously. This in itself was our commitment & dedication towards peace. A few days ago, on the 23rd of September, on the occasion of the centenary of the Battle of Haifa in Israel, we remembered & paid tributes to our brave soldiers of Mysore, Hyderabad & Jodhpur Lancers who had freed Haifa from the clutches of oppressors. This too was an act of valour on part of our soldiers on the path to peace. Even today, India is one of the largest contributors to various United Nations Peace Keeping Forces in terms of sending forces personnel. For decades, our brave soldiers wearing blue helmets have played a stellar role in ensuring maintenance of World Peace.
Speaking about the might of Indian Air Force, PM said, “the sky offers the rarest of hues. It is not at all surprising that the Indian Air Force has proved itself to be the cynosure of every citizen’s eye, through the display of sheer might in the skies. It has bestowed upon us a sense of security. One of the notable features eagerly awaited by spectators during the Republic Day Parade is the Flypast comprising the magnificent display of the might of our Air Force through their breath taking aerobatic manoeuvres,” PM added. “We celebrate Air Force Day on the 8th of October. Making a humble beginning in 1932 with six pilots and 19 Airmen, our Air Force has emerged as one of mightiest and the bravest Air Force of the 21st century today. From the core of my heart, I congratulate those Air Warriors and their families who rendered service to the nation. In 1947, when Pakistani attackers resorted to an unprecedented attack, it was indeed our Air Force which ensured that Indian Soldiers and armaments reached the battlefield promptly. The Air Force also retaliated befittingly in 1965 too. Who does not know about the Bangladesh Freedom Struggle of 1971? The Air Force played a very significant role in 1999 by pushing back the intruders and liberating Kargil from their clutches. The Air Force defeated the enemy at Tiger Hill by carrying out air sorties on their positions round the clock. Be it the relief and rescue work or disaster management, our country is indebted to our Air Force for the commendable efforts of our Air Warrior. They have always displayed a unique spirit in times of natural calamities like storms, cyclones, floods and forest fires to extend full assistance to our countrymen. The Air Force has set an example in ensuring gender equality and has opened its doors for our daughters of India. Now, the Air Force is offering the option of Permanent Commission to Women besides the Short Service Commission, which I had announced on the 15th of August this year from the Red Fort,” PM Modi said.
Talking about the role of Women in the armed forces, PM Modi said, “Indian can proudly claim that in the armed forces, our Army not only man-power but woman-power too is contributing equally. Women are already empowered and now getting armed too.”
PM Modi also talked about the courage of Navy officer Abhilash Tomy, in his address, he said “Officer AbhilashTomy of our Navy was struggling between life and death. The whole country was concerned about saving Tomy. You know, AbhilashTomy is a very courageous, brave soldier. He was the first Indian who set on a global voyage in a small boat without any modern technology. For the last 80 days, he was moving ahead in South Indian Ocean to participate in the Golden Globe Race maintaining his speed but suddenly a severe cyclonic storm landed him in trouble. Yet, this brave heart from the Navy kept struggling for many days in mid-ocean. He fought to be afloat without food or drink. He did not accept defeat and continued to fight death. A rare example of courage, determination, strength and bravery – a few days ago I talked to Abhilash over the telephone after he was rescued and brought safely ground. I had met Tomy earlier too Despite having faced such a tough situation; his grit & spirit, his determination to make another similar attempt is an inspiration for our younger generation. I pray for Tomy’s sound health and I am sure that his courage, bravery and resolve to fight and emerge a winner will inspire our younger generation.”