Prime Min­is­ter vis­its Si­achen


The Prime Min­is­ter, Naren­dra Modi, made a sur­prise visit to Si­achen on Di­wali day. Ad­dress­ing of­fi­cers and jawans of the In­dian armed forces at Si­achen Base Camp at a height of over 12,000 feet, he praised their val­our and courage, say­ing that 125 crore In­di­ans could cel­e­brate Di­wali to­day, and go about their lives in com­fort, be­cause the jawans stood guard at the bor­ders, pre­pared to make ev­ery sacrifice for the na­tion. The na­tion is proud of all three wings of the armed forces, the Prime Min­is­ter added.

The Prime Min­is­ter said he had come unan­nounced, and the jawans may be sur­prised, but one does not need to an­nounce ar­rival when com­ing to one’s own (fam­ily).

The Prime Min­is­ter said the jawans at Si­achen worked in one of the re­motest places in the world. It is a rare op­por­tu­nity to be called upon to de­fend the coun­try in such dif­fi­cult con­di­tions, he said. He said he is priv­i­leged that his first Di­wali as Prime Min­is­ter will be spent partly with the jawans of Si­achen, and partly with those af­fected by the floods in Srinagar.

The Prime Min­is­ter said the In­dian armed forces were unique—be­cause while they spelt trou­ble for the en­emy on the bat­tle­field, they spelt life for all the coun­try­men af­fected by dis­as­ters or nat­u­ral calami­ties. He re­called the im­mense con­tri­bu­tion made by the armed forces dur­ing the re­cent floods in Srinagar.

The Prime Min­is­ter also ap­pre­ci­ated the fact that women too were now con­tribut­ing to the In­dian armed forces in a sig­nif­i­cant way. The Prime Min­is­ter as­sured the jawans that wher­ever they are, and serv­ing or re­tired, the coun­try stands shoul­der to shoul­der with them. He said their dreams and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are the en­tire coun­try’s re­spon­si­bil­ity. He said he would do his ut­most to en­sure a life of dig­nity for them.

The Prime Min­is­ter said “the prom­ise of One Rank, One Pen­sion had been ful­filled, and prepa­ra­tions were be­ing made for a Na­tional War Memo­rial, that we could all be proud of.” The Prime Min­is­ter wished the en­tire coun­try Happy Di­wali from the icy heights of Si­achen, adding that “as coun­try­men light diyas to­day, they should re­call that the warmth of the earthen lamps has been fu­elled by the sweat and toil of the jawans of the In­dian armed forces. Let those jawans in­spire the rest of the coun­try to work to­wards achiev­ing the dreams and as­pi­ra­tions of the common man,” he added.

The Prime Min­is­ter later handed over a cheque for ` 5 lakh for the wel­fare of the jawans, and per­son­ally of­fered them sweets. He wrote in the vis­i­tors’ book, say­ing that the sol­diers in uni­form who guarded the na­tion’s fron­tiers in such dif­fi­cult con­di­tions were no less than ‘rishis’ and sages. The Prime Min­is­ter was at Si­achen Base Camp for over an hour.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.