Military 'adequately mobilised' to thwart bids to undermine national security: President Kovind
In the backdrop of a fresh row at Indo-China border just a week back, President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday flagged the earlier "expansionist" move on the border, recalling how the valiant soldiers foiled that and asserted the defence forces are "adequately mobilised" to thwart any attempt to undermine the nation's security.
He assured people that India's national interest will be protected at all costs.
Recalling the Galwan valley clash of June last year between Indian and Chinese forces, the President said, "We faced an expansionist move on our borders, but our valiant soldiers foiled it. To achieve this objective, 20 of them had to lay down their lives. The nation shall remain grateful to those brave soldiers."
While reiterating India's commitment to peace, the President who is the commander-in-chief of all the three services of Indian Armed Forces, asserted "our defence forces - Army, Air Force and Navy - are adequately mobilised in a well-coordinated move to thwart any attempt to undermine our security. Our national interest will be protected at all costs."
Kovind said the government has ensured a widespread understanding in the international community of India's firm and principled stand and flagged the overwhelming support of the international community India got for its entry as non-permanent member in the Security Council this year as a sign of its growing influence.
"The quality of our engagement with leaders across the world has enhanced manifolds. India with its vibrant democracy has rightfully earned its respect as a responsible and trustworthy nation," he said as he also touched upon a range of other contemporary issues.
In a televised address on the eve of the Republic Day, Kovind lauded the soldiers, scientists and farmers saying a grateful nation greets them.
"From the freezing cold at Siachen and Galwan valley in Ladakh with temperatures as low as minus 50 to 60 degree Celsius to the scorching heat in Jaisalmer with temperatures as high as 50 degree Celsius - on land, in the skies and at the vast coastal areas - our warriors are vigilant every moment. Every citizen feels proud about the bravery, patriotism and the spirit of sacrifice among our soldiers," he said.
Kovind highlighted the contribution of farmers and the government's resolve to fight the Covid-19 pandemic as he flagged that the past year was a time of adversity, and it came from many fronts.
Kovind hailed farmers for having made the vast and populous country self-reliant in food-grains and dairy products.
"Despite adversities of nature, numerous other challenges and the Covid-19 pandemic, our farmers sustained agricultural production. A grateful nation is fully committed to the welfare of our farmers," in remarks coming a day before groups of farmers are taking a tractor rally in the national capital on Republic Day to protest against Centre's three contentious farm laws.
"Just as our hardworking farmers ensure food security for the country, the brave soldiers of the armed forces ensure security of our national boundaries amid severest conditions," he said.
Hailing the development of two indigenous vaccines in the country, Kovind said a self-reliant India has manufactured its own vaccine for Covid-19 and urged citizens to utilise this lifeline and get vaccinated. Noting India is being rightly called the "pharmacy of the world" for supplying medicines and other healthcare items to several countries, he noted, "now we also provide vaccines to other countries."
Kovind had effusive praise for the scientists, who he said, have been working day and night for decoding the coronavirus and they have succeeded in developing the vaccine in record time.
The President also lauded people's role in fighting the pandemic and expressed happiness that with calibrated unlocking by the government, the economy has started showing indications of recovery faster than anticipated.
"The latest unprecedented collection of GST and India's emergence as a most favoured destination for the foreign investment are indicative of our faster economic recovery," he said.