Indian Army does not speak, but acts: Modi
Following demand by the opposition that the Army should get all the credit for the surgical operations inside Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and not the government, Modi on Friday decided to get back at his political detractors stating that the two arms worked hand-in-hand.
“Our Army does not speak, but displays its valour. So does our Defence Minister,” he said amid a raging political debate, wherein opposition leaders have accused his government of trying to convert the surgical strikes into electoral advantage. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier this week rejected claims of the Congress party that any surgical strikes were carried out during the UPA regime. Though he did not refer directly to the surgical strike, he indirectly criticized those who doubted the authenticity of the Army’s claim.
“Our army is happiest when we sleep in peace. They have no complaint. But they will never forgive us if we sleep when we should be awake. Unfortunately, we have been found sleeping when we should have been awake,” said Modi addressing ex-servicemen and their families at the inauguration of ‘Shaurya Smarak’ (memorial to valour) in Bhopal.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. We have to keep alert always. It will be injustice to the army if we sleep away when we have to be awake,” he said without elaborating but the intent became clear when he enumerated taken by his government for the welfare of the armed forces. “We have fulfilled the promise of OROP despite huge burden. Other governments only made tall claims but never fulfilled them,” he said, in another indirect attack on the Congress-led UPA governments.
Recalling the army’s contributions off the battlefield, Modi lauded the force for answering the nation’s cry for help when natural calamities struck Uttarakhand and J&K in recent years. Lauding the valour and humaneness of armed forces, he referred to their relief and rescue operations in Srinagar during the floods two years ago despite the violence they face from stone-pelting mobs.
“When massive floods hit Srinagar two years ago, the government found it difficult to deal with the situation and the country saw that our jawans were toiling to save people’s lives,” he said.
Modi also recalled their contribution in the UN peacekeeping force and evacuation missions in war-torn Yemen. “It was our soldiers who played a key role in rescuing people from Yemen. Those rescued were not only Indians but also from other nations,” he said. Spread over 12 acres, the ‘Shaurya Smarak’ has been constructed by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government to honour soldiers who died in the line of duty.