Narendra Modi praises Indian Army in Bhopal rally but keeps mum on surgical strikes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who addressed ex-servicemen at the inauguration of the war memorial 'shaurya samarak' in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on Friday, opened with chants of "Shahido amar raho" and "Vande Mataram".

He said that our soldiers can not be associated only with war because they are a symbol of humanity as well.

Before him, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addressed the gathering.

Parrikar said that the inauguration of the memorial is happening at a time when soldiers displayed extraordinary courage and valor on 29 September. He was referring to the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army across the Line of Control.

Chouhan too lauded the soldiers saying that the 'shaurya samarak' is not just a Samarak. "It is a temple of their [soldiers] bravery," he said. He also announced that that the parents of the martyrs from the state will be given Rs 5,000 every month. He referred to this pension as samman nidhi as a mark of respect for the sacrifices of the jawans.

Meanwhile, Modi went on to cite examples of incidents when the army had helped civilians irrespective of having faced hostile conditions by the same lot previously. "During the floods in Srinagar, the army extended its help for the rescue and relief operation. While extending help, my soldiers did not think twice if these people has pelted stones at them," he said.

Therefore, we must associate our soldiers with humanity as well because it is the "call of humanity" that inspires our armed forces. Not only that, the fact that the Indian Army also saved some Pakistanis while rescuing Indians from Yemen is an evidence of their humanity, he added.

Modi also referred to the UN Peacekeeping Force and said that India is one of the biggest contributors to it. Around 1.5 lakh Indians lost their lives during the two world wars and the world should not forget this, he said.

"The army, BSF, CRPF, Coast Guard jawans all sacrifice their lives so that we can sleep peacefully. They don't complain but our soldiers will not forgive us if we keep sleeping even when the time demands us to be vigilant. So, we should stay vigilant and awake," advised Modi.

"The Army draws its strength from the support of the people. No technology or arms can beat the power of motivation," he said.

Modi also compared Parrikar to the army, saying that the two don't talk but just show valour.

shaurya smarak is a pilgrimage for us and the coming generations, Modi said.

Modi also talked about the disputed One Rank One Pension and accused previous governments of only making empty promises on OROP. But when we came to power, we fulfilled our promise and implemented it, he said. However, he added that since the economic burden is too huge to be implemented in one go, the scheme will be implemented in a phased manner.

He also said that the government has opened training institutes to promote skill development and employment for ex-servicemen for the first time.

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Updated Date: Oct 14, 2016 17:56:24 IST