Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, India firmly believes in peace and it is committed to take it forward, but not at the cost of compromising its self-respect and sovereignty.
Sharing his thoughts in the 48th edition of Mann Ki Baat on All India Radio this morning, Mr Modi said, in the two world-wars fought in the 20th century, over a lakh of Indian soldiers made the supreme sacrifice that too in a war where India was not involved in any way. He said, India has never eyed someone else’s territory maliciously.
The Prime Minister said, last week on the occasion of the centenary of the Battle of Haifa in Israel, the nation remembered and paid tributes to the brave soldiers of Mysore, Hyderabad and Jodhpur Lancers who had freed Haifa from the clutches of oppressors. He said, it too was an act of valour on the part of Indian soldiers on the path to peace.
Mr Modi asserted that, even today, India is one of the largest contributors to various United Nations Peace Keeping Forces, and for decades, brave Indian soldiers have played a stellar role in ensuring maintenance of world peace.
The Prime Minister said, every Indian, irrespective of region, caste, religion, sect or language, is ever eager to express joy and show solidarity with the soldiers. He said, yesterday, one hundred and twenty-five crore Indians celebrated the Parakram Parv, the festival of valour.
Mr Modi said, the nation remembered the surgical strike carried out in 2016, when Indian soldiers gave a befitting reply to the audacity of a proxy war under the garb of terrorism. The Prime Minister said, exhibitions have been organised at various places in the country by the Armed Forces in order to apprise the maximum number of citizens, especially the youth, of the might India possesses, how capable India is and how the soldiers risk their lives to protect the citizens. Mr Modi said, a day like Parakram Parv reminds the youth of the glorious heritage of the Army .
Speaking about the Air Force Day which will be celebrated on the 8th of next month, the Prime Minister said, the Indian Air Force is one of the mightiest and bravest air force of the 21st century. He mentioned about the role played by the Air Force during 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. Mr Modi said, the country is indebted to the Air Force for its commendable efforts be it the relief and rescue work or disaster management. Expressing happiness, the Prime Minister said, the Air Force has set an example in ensuring gender equality and has opened its doors for the daughters of India.
Mr Modi also said, Swachh Bharat Mission has become a success story not only in India but in the whole world and everyone is talking about this movement. He said, this time India is hosting the biggest Sanitation Convention of the world so far – the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention.
The Prime Minister said, at the Convention, Sanitation Ministers from countries across the world and experts on the subject of sanitation will converge and share their experiments and experiences. Mr Modi said, the Convention will conclude on Tuesday with the commencement of the Father of the Nation’s 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations. He said, Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy has inspired the whole world.
The Prime Minister said, everyone, including great personalities like Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, derived strength from Gandhii’s ideology to fight a long battle to ensure right of equality and dignity for the people. Mr Modi said, in 1941, Mahatma Gandhi started penning down a few thoughts in the shape of a constructive Programme and later, in 1945, when the freedom struggle gained momentum, he prepared an amended copy of those ideas.
The Prime Minister said, Bapu put forth his ideas on various subjects like Farmers, villages, securing of labour rights, cleanliness and promotion of education which is known as the Gandhi Charter. Mr Modi said, Mahatma Gandhi’s biggest contribution in the Freedom struggle was that he made it a people’s movement. He said, the mantras of Gandhiji are very relevant even today.
Remembering Gandhiji’s mantra, Mr Modi said a small step of people can surely bring about a very big benefit in the life of the poorest and the most underprivileged. He said, what people purchase must benefit our countrymen and in that too, one who has put in physical labour, who has invested money, who has applied skill must get some benefit.
The Prime Minister called upon people to think of purchasing Khadi and handloom products on special occasions, which will benefit many weavers.
Remembering Lal Bahadur Shastri, Mr Modi said, the very name of Shastriji evokes a feeling of eternal faith in our hearts, and his mild persona always fills every Indian with a sense of pride.
He urged everyone to organise and participate in the ‘Run for Unity’, on the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on 31st October to strengthen the efforts and bind every section of the society as a unified unit.
The Prime Minister said, justice lies at the root of swaraj and the spirit of human rights is inherent in justice. He said, it is essential for the freedom and peace of the exploited, victimised and deprived people and to ensure justice for them.
The Prime Minister said, in the Constitution drafted by Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar, many provisions were ed to protect the fundamental rights of the poor. He said, Inspired by the vision of Dr Ambedkar, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was formed on 12th October 1993 which is completing 25 years of its existence in a few days from now.
Mr Modi said, the NHRC has not only protected human rights but has also promoted respect for human dignity over the years. He said, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had clearly said that human rights is not an alien concept for us.
The Prime Minister said, NHRC has instilled widespread awareness of human rights and has played an important role in preventing its misuse. He added that NHRC has created an atmosphere of hope and confidence in the countrymen.
Mr Modi also lauded Abhilash Tomy for his bravery in the mid-ocean where he fought to be afloat without food or drink. He said, Tomy is a rare example of courage, determination and strength.