'Fierce Reply if India is Tested': Modi Warns China Against 'Expansionism' in Diwali Speech at Longewala
Prime Minister Narendra Modi rides a tank during his visit to strategic Longewala post in Jaisalmer, on November 14, 2020. (PTI Photo)
Taking a swipe at China without naming it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the entire world feels troubled by "expansionist" forces and expansionism shows a "distorted mindset" which belongs to 18th century. The PM was addressing troops at Longewala Post as a part of his practice of spending time with soldiers on Diwali.
He further asserted that India will give "prachand jawab" (fierce reply) if it is provoked. "India believes in policy of understanding others and making them understand but if an attempt to test it is made, then the country will give a fierce reply," he asserted. His unambiguous message came amid continuing standoff with China at Ladakh border.
No force in the world can prevent our soldiers from protecting our borders, he said, adding that India has shown that it has strength and the political will to give a befitting reply to those challenging it. "The world now knows that India will not compromise with its interests even one bit," he said.
Referring to his custom of celebrating Diwali with soldiers since he assumed office in 2014, Modi said his resolve to serve and protect the country becomes stronger by spending more time with them. He also urged troops to innovate, practise yoga and learn an Indian language they don't know from colleagues.
On the occasion, he recalled the fierce fight the post had witnessed in the 1971 war against Pakistan and paid tributes to Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri, a hero of the battle, saying he became "rashtra deep" with his feat of bravery. The war was also an example of exemplary coordination among Army, Navy and Air Force, he said.
India had defeated Pakistan in the war, leading to the independence of Bangladesh.
(With inputs from PTI)