Chandigarh: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday asserted that safeguarding national interests is the main focus of the BJP-led government and anyone casting an evil eye on India is now given a befitting reply.
“India is no longer weak. We believe in peace,” Singh said, adding that a befitting reply is now given if anyone tries to harm us.
Our soldiers have proved this time and again, Singh said referring to the 2016 surgical strikes and 2019 Balakot airstrikes.
He also mentioned about the bravery shown by soldiers during the Galwan Valley standoff in eastern Ladakh.
Singh was addressing a gathering after unveiling the statue of legendary warrior Prithviraj Chauhan in Haryana’s Jhajjar. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and State BJP chief O P Dhankar were also present.
He said to get rid of the colonial mindset, the Narendra Modi government has taken a number of initiatives, including a new Indian Navy ensign inspired from Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji, abolition of around 1,500 obsolete British-era laws, renaming of Rajpath as Kartavya Path and installation of a grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate.
More than 1,500 archaic laws dating back to the British rule, whose relevance was completely over, have been abolished. There are many such laws for which we are preparing a scheme, he said.
We will scrap these too, the minister said.
Without naming the Congress, Singh also attacked the grand old party for creating a needless controversy over the presence of a lotus image on the G20 logo, unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently.
The Congress has accused the BJP of promoting its poll symbol while the ruling party claimed its rival was denigrating India’s national flower.
India will assume the presidency of the powerful grouping from the current chair Indonesia on December 1. The G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies.
Terming Haryana and the Jhajjar region as the land of the brave, he said many have laid down their lives to safeguard the country’s borders.
Referring to Pakistan, he said, “..And you have seen since India gained independence, Pakistan has been pushing terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir to foment trouble and create de-stability.”
He mentioned about the air strikes and surgical strikes post Uri and Pulwama terror attacks, saying a befitting reply was given.
On the G-20 logo issue, Singh asserted lotus is the national flower, connected with India’s cultural identity.
“On seeing that lotus flower, some people created a ‘hungama’ (ruckus). They said lotus flower is BJP’s poll symbol.
“There is a limit of making accusations. Whereas the truth is that Government of India, in 1950, had declared lotus flower as a national flower. And they did so because a lotus flower is a symbol of our cultural identity,” said Singh.
“In 1857, during the country’s first war of independence, those who were taking part in it they were carrying bread in one hand and lotus flower in the other. Should we forget this lotus flower?. Did prime minister commit a crime (launching lotus as a log for G-20)? Just because it is any party’s election symbol, should we leave it just for that and cancel it’s recognition as a national flower,” asked Singh.
Referring to Congress’ election symbol, Singh said, “If any party’s poll symbol is hand, should use of this word be stopped. If any party’s poll symbol is a cycle, should we not sit on a bicycle, just because it is a poll symbol”.
He further said till the time the BJP-led government is in power, it will not allow anything to come in way of our cultural identity, “no matter how big sacrifice we have to make for this”.
He asked can India which believes in “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (world is one family), survive without its such identity.
Singh commended the prime minister for transforming India’s global image, saying now world listens when India speaks.
Earlier, when India used to say something on international platforms, people did not take it seriously. Today, when India speaks, the world listens, he said.
He asserted India is now among the top five economies of the world due to the government’s efforts and said within 8-10 years, it should be among the top three.
By 2047, when the country will be celebrating 100 years of its independence, possibility of India being number one economy in world cannot be ruled out, he said.
Referring to some demands raised by various speakers from the dais, including long-pending issue pertaining to setting up of a Sainik school in Matanhail village in Jhajjar, Singh assured that he will go into all the details related to it once he is back in Delhi.
Singh said, “I have never in my life done politics by throwing dust in the eyes of people. I have done politics by looking into the eyes of people”.
“And free India’s biggest irony has been that leaders gave many assurances and had they fulfilled these even partially, then our country would have become a wealthy nation, a powerful nation 30-40 years ago,” he added.
He said the trust deficit which arose in country’s politics earlier as a result of what was promised and what was delivered, “we will not allow that to happen”.
Our government accepted this trust deficit as a challenge. In our manifestos, what we promised, we delivered and I challenge anyone to say what we had promised we did not deliver on that, he said.
Singh, meanwhile, stressed that the government has taken inspiration from revolutionaries such as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Prithviraj Chauhan and Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji and is working to realise the aspirations of India while safeguarding its cultural heritage.
He termed Prithviraj Chauhan as a great ruler who not only reigned over a large territory, but was also an epitome of bravery, justice and public welfare.
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