Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that India gave a befitting reply to those who eyed its territory in Ladakh. The prime minister praised soldiers for their brave fight in the violent face-off between Indian and Chinese forces earlier this month.
“If India knows how to honour friendships, it also knows how to look someone in the eye and confront them,” the prime minister said in an apparent reference to China during his monthly “Mann ki Baat” radio programme. “Our brave soldiers have shown that they will let anyone hurt the nation’s honour.”
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed and 76 injured in a violent altercation with Chinese forces in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on the intervening night of June 15-June 16. The face-off between the two neighbouring countries was the worst instance of violence along the Line of Actual Control since 1975. There were several reports of Indian soldiers being attacked with iron rods and clubs and thrown into the freezing Galwan river. India also accused China of assembling a large number of troops along the Line of Actual Control.
However, even as India and China continued to speak of disengagement, satellite imagery and multiple news reports confirmed that the Chinese structures that led to the violent clash in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh were back.
The prime minister told people that they can also serve the country by supporting local businesses. “People from all over India are writing to me and reiterating their support for the ‘atma nirbhar bharat’ movement,” Modi said. “Being vocal about local is a great service to the nation.” The prime minister added that no mission is complete without the participation of the people.
PM on coronavirus crisis
During his radio address, the prime minister appealed to the people to be more cautious in the “Unlock” phase and follow all safety measures. “By not wearing masks, you endanger the lives of other people,” the prime minister said. “I urge you to not be callous. Maintain do-gaz-doori [six-foot distance] from others.”
Modi expressed confidence that India will defeat the obstacles created by the coronavirus crisis. “People are wondering when 2020 will end,” Modi said. “They feel it has been a year of many challenges. There could be any number of challenges but our history shows that we have always overcome them.”
The prime minister added that the “Unlock” phase also helped open certain sectors of India’s economy. “India is unlocking, be it in sectors like coal, space, agriculture and more,” he said. “This is the time to work together to make India self-reliant and technologically advanced.”
India is witnessing a massive increase in coronavirus cases. India’s overall count rose by 19,906 on Sunday morning in yet another record daily increase in cases. The country now has 5,28,859 cases. More than 16,000 people have died of the coronavirus while 3,09,712 people have recovered.