Prime Minister Narendra Modi, made a surprise visit to the forward location in Nimu, Ladakh on Friday which is 11,000 feet up in the Himalayas. He was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army chief General M.M. Naravane while interacting with personnel from the ITBP, Air Force, and the Army in Nimu, and asserted that Ladakh is a part of India.
He also visited the military hospital in Leh where he met those injured in the violent face-off on 15 June in Galwan.
A detailed briefing by the 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen. Harinder Singh was given to the Prime minister. The prime minister visit is seen as a morale booster for the military, filling the atmosphere of Himalayas with the praises of ‘Barat Mata ki Jai ‘ and ‘Vande Mataram’.
The Chinese reacted sharply to the Prime minister by saying “no party should engage in any action that may escalate the situation at this point”.
Modi, however, did not name China even once in his speech.
Taking a jibe at China, without naming it, Modi said the “age of expansionism is over, this is the age of development”, adding history is witness to the fact that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to turn back.
Addressing to the troops “Bharat Mata’s enemies have seen your fire and fury”. The Leh-based 14 Corps is known as the Fire and Fury Corps.
“Your arms are as strong as the mountains you are surrounded with. Your confidence, determination, and belief are as strong as the peaks here,” he said.
“The difficult conditions under which you serve as a shield for Mother India cannot be compared to any other country. Your courage is higher than the heights from where you defend our borders,” he says.
Talking about the Galwan incident, Modi said the bravery that “you and your compatriots showed has sent a message to the world about India’s strength”.
“I once again pay my tributes to the brave soldiers martyred in the Galwan Valley. The resolve of a self-reliant India becomes stronger because of your sacrifices,” he said, addressing the soldiers.
Pointing out at women ITBP personnel, Mr. Modi recites Ramdhaari Singh Dinkar’s couplet: “Jinke sinhnaad se sehmi, dharti rahi abhi tak dol, kalam aaj unki hai bol”, which translates to, “Hail those brave hearts from whose roar the earth was shaken. The soil is still filled with their battle cries and our pens will write about their glory today”.
All are together in the defence and service of Mother India. The country is fighting off many crises with determination. We have been prevailing and we shall prevail over these travails, he says while ending his speech.