Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed the nation in the 53rd episode of his monthly radio show Mann Ki Baat and paid tribute to the armed forces. This was the first Mann Ki Baat broadcast after the terror attack in Pulwama, Kashmir, which killed 40 soldiers.

“I respectfully bow to all the brave sons of the country, who laid down their lives, protecting the honour of their motherland, India,” he said. “Our armed forces have consistently displayed unparalleled courage and valour. On one hand, they have displayed exemplary capabilities in restoring peace; on another, they have retaliated in equal measure, in language attackers understand.”

Modi added that the National War Memorial will be inaugurated in Delhi on Monday. “The National Soldiers’ Memorial is a symbol of the nation’s gratitude to those men who made the supreme sacrifice after we gained Independence.”

The prime minister also said he was happy that several grassroots workers were honoured with the Padma Shri award this year.

Modi said that today’s episode of Mann Ki Baat will be his last until May as he will contest in the upcoming elections before that. “Elections are the biggest festivals of democracy,” he said. “We all will be busy in campaigns. I too will be a candidate. To honour and respect the healthy democratic practice, my next Mann Ki Baat address will be on the last Sunday of May.”