PM Modi urged people to celebrate festivals with restraint and to remember the resolve of ‘vocal for local’ while shopping Credit: Twitter image

Addressing the nation through his monthly radio program “Mann Ki Baat,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that India stands firmly with the country’s security forces and its brave soldiers. He urged the people of India to light a lamp for them who are celebrating the festival amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The minister began his speech by extending his wishes on Dussehra adding, “the soldiers are serving the nation away from their family as they guard the country’s borders to ensure that the people in the country are safe from external threats.”

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He said that many festivals like Eid, Diwali will take place at this time of the year and that during these festivals, one must remember the brave soldiers who have stood at the borders. “We have to light a lamp at home, in honour of these brave sons and daughters of Mother India,” said the Prime Minister.

Modi’s comments came at the time when the nation is locked in a standoff with China. The standoff is still continuing despite several rounds of high-level talks, dragging the Indo-China ties to a new low. Even the army has significantly strengthened its troops and weaponry along its border. The 3,500 km border with China including Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh has been the centre of various border skirmishes, including the recent tension in Ladakh which has shown no signs of easing.

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Modi urged people to celebrate festivals with restraint and to remember the resolve of ‘vocal for local’ while shopping. He said, “Today is the festival of Vijay Dashmi – Dussehra. I extend my best wishes to all of you on this auspicious occasion. This festival of Dussehra is the festival of victory of truth over untruth. But at the same, it is also a festival of victory of patience over crises. Today, all of you are living with great restraint, celebrating festivals with modesty. Therefore, in the battle, we are fighting (against COVID-19), victory is certain.”

Recounting the earlier years the PM said that the festival acts as a beacon for a large number of people to gather in the Pandal for darshan of Goddess Durga. “It was affair like atmosphere. But this time it did not happen,” he said adding, “Earlier, big fairs were also held on Dussehra. But this time their form is also changed. The festival of Ramleela was also a big attraction, but there are some restrictions for it also. This time all large gatherings are banned. There will be Eid, Sharad Purnima, Valmiki Jayanti, Dhantesras, Diwali, Chhatth Pooja, Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti festival in the coming days. During this corona crisis, we have to work with restraints.”

On the last Sunday of every month “Mann Ki Baat” is aired on All India Radio via which the Prime Minister interacts with the nation.

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