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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Triumph and tragedy: Bangalore, November 25, 2023

Youth Congress president B.V. Srinivas contrasts Narendra Modi's sortie with the sombre funeral procession

Our Bureau Bangalore Published 26.11.23, 05:09 AM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during taking a sortie on Tejas, in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during taking a sortie on Tejas, in Bengaluru on Saturday. PTI picture

Clad in a fighter pilot’s G-suit and other gear, including aviator glasses, flying helmet and gloves, Modi took a 30-minute sortie in the indigenous two-seater Tejas light combat aircraft from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) airbase in Bangalore on Saturday. The Indian Air Force said this was the first such ride by an Indian Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses at the HAL airbase in Bangalore before taking a ride on the Tejas light combat aircraft on Saturday. Modi shared a video on X, with the comment: “A flight to remember.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses at the HAL airbase in Bangalore before taking a ride on the Tejas light combat aircraft on Saturday. Modi shared a video on X, with the comment: “A flight to remember.” PTI pictures

"Successfully completed a sortie on the Tejas. The experience was incredibly enriching, significantly bolstering my confidence in our country's indigenous capabilities, and leaving me with a renewed sense of pride and optimism about our national potential," Modi wrote on X.

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Earlier, he had reviewed the HAL facility where the Tejas is manufactured, in the company of Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari. The sky adventure was swiftly followed by an airdrop of photographs and video clips from multiple X handles, including the Prime Minister’s. One clip, taken from a camera mounted on the aircraft and posted by the PM, showed him waving towards an accompanying fighter jet on the left wing. Footage of the PM from that aircraft has also been shared. “A flight to remember!” he exclaimed, “Tejas is India’s pride, a manifestation of the strength and skills of 140 crore Indians.”

In another part of Bangalore, the family of Captain M.V. Pranjal of the Indian Army, who was killed in a gunfight with militants in Jammu and Kashmir, bid him goodbye for the last time on Saturday. Captain Pranjal, 29, is survived by his parents and wife.

Father M. Venkatesh, mother Anuradha and wife Aditi wait near the coffin before the last rites of Captain Pranjal, who was killed in Jammu and Kashmir, on Saturday; The coffin being brought for the last rites.

Father M. Venkatesh, mother Anuradha and wife Aditi wait near the coffin before the last rites of Captain Pranjal, who was killed in Jammu and Kashmir, on Saturday; The coffin being brought for the last rites. PTI pictures

People lined the road to shower flower petals on the cortege draped in the Tricolour as it made its way to the crematorium for the last rites.

Youth Congress president B.V. Srinivas contrasted Modi's sortie with the sombre funeral procession. “Same city, same timing but the PM chose to get his photo shoot done while the country was bidding farewell to its martyr. Our soldiers deserve better from their PM,” he said.

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