National Security Advisor Shri Ajit Doval ji, Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh ji, Lieutenant General Hooda ji, Air Marshal Soman ji and all the brave officers and soldiers of the army and air force present here. I am privileged to address those who are associated with defence forces and I believe in military, bravery is respected more than the position one holds.
Army follows a hierarchical system but courage is a tradition and for those who serve this tradition in an exemplary manner particularly wait for that moment when they will be called for serving their nation and they live for that tradition every moment. This in itself is a distinct feeling. For the soldiers, there is only one yearning in life, to work and serve the country. You can see a feeling of restlessness in a soldier who has retired from army but has not faced any challenges during his service and if fielded a similar question about his service in army. He will tend to think that though he has participated in the daily parade but has not contributed to the force. For him in his heart the meaning of work in the army is not to kill someone or to be killed, the biggest inspiration for a soldier is to dedicate his life for someone else’s life.
The respect of your mother who gave birth to you is million times more than what you can have. I salute those mothers who gave birth to such brave warriors and instilled the right values in them and also instilled a do and die inspiration for their motherland India. I am not aware of a single mother who has feeling in her heart that though she has given birth to a son but he dedicates his life only for serving motherland India and not his own mother. This extraordinary inspiration can only be given by a mother and due to this your life not only secures our national borders but also provides assurance of security to 125 million people. If you ask what are the dreams of those 125 million people then they will say that our motherland should either become a Vishwa Guru (Teacher of the World) or a Jagat Janani (Provider of the World). Our 125 million brothers and sisters want to live a happy and peaceful life, even poorest of the poor child should not sleep hungry at night and at least there should be one roof above their head with a proper access to education. That is the reason I am saying that you all are not just for protection of border or for the protection of geographical structure. Your life in an indirect way is the guarantee of millions of life. And until there is peace and security in the country development is impossible.
The preconditions of development are peace, security, brotherhood, goodwill. Our army is an example of brotherhood - there is no distinction on the basis of language, wealth and there is a feeling of being a family. The term Fauji (soldier) in itself seems like you are a very own part of the system which you can relate to and this honour does not come overnight. These get developed under a certain tradition and this feeling comes when every moment this tradition is kept alive.
An army cannot be made capable unless the systems behind it are well accomplished. The term planning here is not restricted to the cantonment or the government, but also towards his village and family which particularly need to be strengthened. The soldier must have faith that even if he sacrifices his life for the country, the country will take care of his family and leave any stone unturned for his family’s well-being. It is the responsibility of the country and government that the faith vested in it should not be shaken. There should not be any question mark in the mind of the soldier posted on the border.
In the political field, I used to work for an organization. I came quite late in the world of electoral politics and governance. I have utlilised my earlier life in mobilizing the cadres. Whenever I addressed my party workers, I used to tell them because we live in an atmosphere of electoral politics, party workers tend to seek ticket for election and if they are denied the same they ought to get frustrated due to it and feeling of even doing something incorrect creeps inside the mind. This is a normal course of political field. During training, I used to tell my party workers a story, which I want to share with you all. I used to tell them that when an army soldier wants to take leave on the occasion of festival of Raksha Bandhan (sister tying rakhi or a thread at the wrist of her brother for her protection). He is normally sanctioned the leave at the last moment. He somehow packs his round luggage and rushes for his home. In order to reach the nearest railway station, he takes whatever first mode of transport comes his way, whether its truck or tempo. Due to last minute rush, the passengers do not allow him to enter in a coach as he does not have reservation for travel. You can image the similar scenario of fight everyday at Jammu station. The soldier does not get a place to sit as people here are used to soldiers on a daily basis so he stands for twenty four hours, thirty hours, sixty hours on the train without reservation to reach home. If in some case, he misses the train though he has left with the dream of getting rakhi tied by his sister but reaches home a day late. In the interim before he reaches home due to delay his sister is waiting and the soldier travelling in the train has the image of his sister. He can see the Rakhi but cannot not reach home on time and feels mental agony. When he reaches home, his mother, daughter, sister… all are crying and upon tying of Rakhi, there is a sense of happiness. Mother is sick so he tries to extend his leave but leave is not approved, so he comes back and resumes duty. Mother has to be operated he goes again. For operation he wanders from the house of one doctor to other and the doctor demands money in advance. He does not have so much of money with him. At that time, the he is annoyed. Can he not see, I am a soldier serving my nation and here my mother is dying and he is not doing the operation for want of money? Child wants to go to school but the school is not giving him admission. A soldier wants his child to get a good education even though he has studied in a simple school but the school wants ex amount of fee to admit the child. He is very annoyed, when he thinks about the doctor who has not treated his mother, towards the school who denied admission to his child and towards the rail system which does not allow him to reach on time on the occasion of Rakhi. When he gets the news, that his mother was not operated and she died, so many negative things cross his mind. If he analyzes the event one by one, then he feels, for whom should I lay my life? Should I die for the people, who are not admitting my child to the school? These are the people who were not performing the operation in hospital, when my mother was dying, why should I lay my life for them? After seeing all this also just see the strength of the soldier, see his temperament, see his upbringing, whenever the situation arises and the bugle rings, he still puts the gun on his shoulder and says ”Bharat Maata Ki Jai’’ (hail Mother India) and marches ahead. He never thinks, what the Doctor did to his mother, what the teacher did to his child or whether he reached on time on the day of Rakhi or not, he chants the mantra of Love Live Mother India and marches forward to the action scene. This is not a small gesture, this is not an usual thing. I would tell my party workers that we must take inspiration from these soldiers. These soldiers never get the respect and honour that they deserve but when it is required they serve their ‘Motherland India’ they put the gun on their shoulders, chant ”Bharat Maata Ki Jai’’ (hail Mother India) and march ahead. This temperament, this strength is essential for the protection of dignity, self-esteem and the pride of the nation and India takes pride in the fact that we have such an outstanding army.
Whether it is navy, land or air, we have a chain of proud, daredevil, devout, soldiers who are ready to sacrifice their lives and this brings a sense of pride in us. Whenever, I come to meet them, I get an inspiration to serve my country even more. I have not come here to tell you all this, I used to be amongst you all when I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, as I used to visit the border to celebrate Diwali there. I went there not to tell anything to them but to get my battery of patriotism charged a little more, because I know your life will provide us the inspiration. Army soldiers do not want to distance themselves from the society in general but want to have coordination with them and that gives strength. Had there been no coordination between the people of Leh and Ladakh and the army soldiers and had a Tashi-Nagia shepherd who herds cow and sheep not met an army officer then we would have not known of the Kargil infiltration of the Pakistan army for a long time. Due to the information received from a local shepherd who grazed cow, buffalo and goat informed army soldiers, awakening the nation about the impending war which we resultantly won.
In today’s age, the wars on the fought on the borders have almost stopped. It is our misfortune that that our given our neighbour’s mentality of having lost the strength to fight a conventional war but the chain of killing innocent civilians continues unabated through the Proxy War waged. How many innocent people are being killed due to this? These cowards have forced our soldiers to sacrifice their lives due to this proxy war than fighting the actual war. The proxy war is not just a crisis in India but it has engulfed the whole world. Therefore, as much there is a need for military power in the world, the requirement of humanitarian forces to come together against this menace is important. The more world's humanitarian powers come together, more they will be able to alienate the violent forces, the humanitarian forces will defeat the violent forces. We are dedicated to the protection of humanitarian thoughts, humanitarian values, humanitarian strengths and the civilized tradition. And for this India is bound by its words, duty and commitment and we want to move forward with this belief.
You might have seen the new budget, the "One Rank, One Pension’’ scheme showed our commitment and made you happy. After independence the soldiers of our country were awaiting for the National War Memorial to be constructed. I promise you that it will be made and it will be made with lot of honour and pride and millions of people from India will take inspiration from it. It is for those people who lived for us and died for us and this will continue to inspire us forever. Our armed forces should be modern and our armed forces should not lack any required resources and India should become self-reliant in the field of security. I have taken a very big decision in the budget for it. Why can’t we arrange to make everything within India than bringing them from outside our country? In defence, FDI should come, new technology should come and the defence equipment should be made in India utilizing our current serving defence personnel that include engineers, technical staff and skilled personnel. We are working towards the deployment of retired defence personnel in the defence manufacturing system to utilize their strength, on how to utilize the foreign funds and how to provide the best of best defence safeguard mechanism and we are moving towards it in a much planned way.
I once again, through this brave soldier in whose name this building has been named convey my respect and tribute to all the martyrs. I am proud of your duty, skill and courage and as your leader, I assure you that this country is for you and will always be proud of your sacrifice and timeless effort. My best wishes to you all. Please speak after me – Long Live Mother India, Vande Matram, Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram!