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PM Narendra Modi’s inclusive pitch, Bharat Mata chant

Modi cited how people had lined up to donate blood during the Kargil war

  • Published 28.07.19, 1:26 AM
  • Updated 28.07.19, 1:26 AM
  • 2 mins read
Narendra Modi at the Delhi event. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday praised India’s soldiers saying they sacrifice their lives not for any “sect”, “language” or “caste” but for the country.

He followed it up by chanting “Bharat Mata ki jai” at the event in Delhi, held to mark 20 years of the Kargil victory.

Speaking at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Modi extolled the bravery of the soldiers and sought to raise the crowd to nationalistic fervour, urging everyone to pledge not to waste the soldiers’ sacrifice towards “Ma Bharati” (Mother India).

Modi compared the 1999 Kargil war with the freedom struggle, saying then too people had fought and sacrificed their lives for the independence of the country and not any “sect”, “language” or “caste”.

“In Kargil, soldiers from Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Delhi sacrificed their lives. Did they sacrifice their lives for any religion, language or caste?” Modi asked. “No, they sacrificed their lives for the country.”

He added: “When we drafted our Constitution, was it drafted only for people belonging to a particular sect or caste, was it drafted only for speakers of a particular language? No, the Constitution was drafted for the entire nation.”

Continuing to stress the theme of nationalism, the mainstay of BJP politics, he said that wars are fought not by governments but by the entire country.

“Governments come and go but the sacrifice of the soldiers is for the entire country. The country stands behind the soldiers.”

Modi cited how people had lined up to donate blood during the Kargil war.

Before ending his speech, he said his government’s topmost priority was the country’s security and that it was modernising all the wings of the armed forces to counter any challenge.

“The country’s security will not suffer because of any pravabh (manipulation), dabav (pressure) or abhav (paucity),” Modi said, setting off cheers.

He said India was getting itself fully prepared for modern wars, which he claimed would be fought in space and cyber space.

“From the deep seas to the boundless skies, wherever the question of the country’s security arises, we will bring our full strength to bear,” he said.

Modi took a swipe at Pakistan without naming it. He said that after repeated defeats in wars, a country was fanning terrorism against India but would not succeed.

Recalling the Kargil war, he said our neighbour had thought that India would go before the world community seeking mediation and that it would succeed in drawing a new boundary line.

“But Atalji’s government taught a lesson to Pakistan, giving it a fitting reply,” he said.

In an apparent hint at differences between the three wings of the armed forces, Modi stressed the need for “joint-ness” among them.

He said the colours of their uniforms may be different — like the three colours in the national flag — but the aim is one.

“The three wings of the armed forces should join hands. This is the need of the hour,” he said.