Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday highlighted the need to unite against divisiveness while saying that Diwali's message of the victory of good over evil was being celebrated all over the world. His statements were part of a public address on his radio programme Mann ki Baat. "Unity in diversity is the strength of our country. Every citizen and every government must work to find ways of forging unity and defeating separatist mindset and tendencies," he said.

Modi dedicated the festival to Army jawans and thanked citizens who supported his #Sandesh2soldiers campaign, through which he had called on Indians to send Diwali messages to security personnel across the country. He said, "Our jawans have been sacrificing their lives in the last few months. We should celebrate this Diwali in their name."

During his address, he also stressed on the importance of cleanliness and the need to protect the environment. He said the cleaning that is undertaken before the festival should be extended to the vicinity and also urged people to take necessary precautions while using firecrackers during their celebrations.

While praising various state government efforts towards development, Modi said reducing the disparity between boys and girls was the need of the hour. He also said people should imbibe Guru Nanak's teachings of service, truthfulness and welfare to all, which are relevant across the globe.

After his Mann ki Baat address, the prime minister celebrated Diwali with personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Indian Army and Dogra Scouts in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district. "It's when you guard the border, people sleep without fear. If you were not there, people would not have been sleeping comfortably," he told the soldiers. He also said that he had fulfilled his promise to ex-servicemen to implement the One Rank, One Pension, for which he said Rs 5,500 crore had already been disbursed.

In his last radio address on September 25, the prime minister had paid tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in a militant attack on an Army base in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, on September 18. On Sunday, he also paid tribute to former prime minister Indira Gandhi and political leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.