NEW DELHI :
India’s armed forces have given a befitting reply to those who have threatened its territorial integrity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday during the monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat.
“Our forces have given a befitting reply to those who looked towards India with threatening intensions. India knows how to maintain friendly relations, but it can also look the aggressor in the eye and give a strong reply. Our forces have shown that they will never let any harm come to the honour of India," Modi said.
The whole world has acknowledged India’s efforts to help other countries during the coronavirus pandemic, but countries have also witnessed India’s resolve to protect its sovereignty and borders, he said.
“India bows to our brave martyrs who lost their lives in Ladakh. Their valour will always be remembered. Families who lost their sons still want to send their other children to the defence forces. The strength and sacrifice of the families of martyrs is venerable," said the prime minister.
Modi also spoke about the mission to promote local and said the idea of being vocal cannot succeed without the participation of the people. The government has received suggestions from across India to promote locally-manufactured products, he said.
“No mission can succeed without people’s participation. It is imperative to resolve that to make India self-reliant, we, as citizens of the country, will become part of the movement. We should buy local, be vocal about local. This is also like a service to the country. It will strengthen India and you will play a role in it," Modi said.
On the lifting of restrictions imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus, Modi said people should take abundant precaution as it is the only way to fight covid-19. “We have to always remember that if we do not wear masks, maintain social distancing, and take greater precautions, we will endanger ourselves and the people around us. It is a request to the entire country that we should not be careless and should protect ourselves and others against coronavirus," he said.
The prime minister also highlighted the Union government’s decision to “unlock" several sectors, including mining and space. “A lot of sectors, which were under lockdown for decades, have now been unlocked during the unlock period. The mining sector was under lockdown for several years. The decision to allow commercial auction will change the situation completely. A momentous decision has been taken in the space sector. These decisions will not only help make India self-reliant, but also help it to advance technologically," he said.
Modi said the agriculture sector had also been under “lockdown" for many years and has now been “unlocked". The decision taken by the Centre to allow farmers to sell produce anywhere and to anyone will further boost economic progress in the country, he said.
Reacting to the prime minister’s monthly radio programme, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala made a post on Twitter.
“33 minute #MannKiBaat and PM did not use the word ’China’ even once. Why is PM afraid of China. Time for #Delhi to reset its strategic calculus. Time to shed the fears, be bold & tactical and adopt a strategic response to decisively repulse the Chinese intrusions," he tweeted.