Addressing soldiers in Ladakh where he arrived early morning on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the “formidable courage” of the Indian Army, who, he said, had shown their “fire and fury” to the country’s enemies.
In a clear message to China, Modi also said the world had in the past seen the ills of expansionism and the world now stood together and united against it.
Modi was addressing the soldiers of XIV Corps which are headquartered in Leh, Ladakah, and are known as the ‘Fire and Fury Corps’.
Boosting the morale of the troops that have incurred losses in pushing back China from Indian territory, Modi said, “Every peak, every stone bears testimony to the courage and valour of the XIV Corps. The world has seen your formidable courage, tales of your valour echo across the country. Mother India’s enemies have seen both your fire and your fury.”
Modi recounted the time when Indian soldiers had gained global fame for the bravery and valour with which they fought in both the world wars.
“To every aggressor for the past thousands of years, India has given a befitting response. We are the people who worship the flute bearing Lord Krishna as well as the Krishna who bears the Sudarshan chakra,” Modi said.
He added that India has always stood for peace and friendship but the weak can never initiate peace, which was the reason why India was increasing its defence capabilities in land, sea, air and space while at the same equipping its soldiers with the state-of-the-art hardware. All India wanted was progress for itself and for others.
“In today’s fast-changing world only progressivism is relevant. Progressivism is the foundation on which tomorrow will be built. But then there is expansionism which has greatly affected the world in the past. It has many times in the past created hurdles in establishment of peace. History is witness. World has always experienced pain when someone has worked on the ideology of expansionism. Because of this the entire world has made up its mind to stand together and unitedly against expansionism,” Modi said.
Modi praised the work being done to rapidly revamp the infrastructure at the border by BRO and other organisations with the help of the high-altitude specialist paramilitary force ITBP and BSF.
The PM’s address to the soldiers in Leh on Friday came nearly a fortnight after 20 Indian soldiers, including a commanding officer, were killed by soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army.
Modi was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane. He was flown by chopper to Nimu, 11,000 feet up in the Himalayas, South-East of Leh on the banks of the Indus river.
There has been an intense build-up of military on both sides of the LAC since the intervening night of June 15/16 when the incident happened.