Nation feels safe as our brave soldiers protect, stand ready at borders..

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh  said the entire country feels safe as our brave soldiers are protecting and stand ready at the borders and declared that every citizen is proud of the Armed Forces.

Addressing the soldiers in Leh after celebrating Holi with them, Rajnath said : “We are progressing and leading a happy life as our vigilant soldiers stand ready at the borders. Entire country feels safe because the brave soldiers are protecting the borders’’.

The Defence Minister was supposed to celebrate Holi with the troops at Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world, but had to cancel the visit due to inclement weather there. Later, he landed at Leh in the Union Territory of Ladakh and celebrated Holi with the troops there. After Holi celebrations and address to the troops, he returned to New Delhi.

He was accompanied by Army chief Gen Manoj Pande and General Officer Commanding (GOC) Leh-based 14 Corps Lt Gen Rashim Bali.
“Every citizen is proud of the Armed Force as they live far away from their families so that we celebrate Holi and other festivals with our families peacefully. The nation will forever be indebted to our soldiers, and their courage and sacrifices will keep inspiring the future generations,’’ Rajnath Singh said.

Commending valour, determination and sacrifice of the jawans, he said they serve in harsh terrain and inclement weather conditions to protect the motherland.
“The positive commitment of the soldiers posted in high altitudes is much stronger than minus temperatures,’’ he added.

It may be mentioned here that troops deployed in Siachen Glacier and Eastern Ladakh had to face several degrees minus temperature. In Siachen Glacier, India shares boundary with Pakistan while in the Eastern Ladakh, India has Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

Rajnath termed Ladakh as India’s capital of valour and bravery just as Delhi is the national capital, Mumbai the financial capital and Bengaluru the technology capital.
“When everyone wants to hide in their homes due to extreme weather conditions, you stand up to protect the country from its enemies with unwavering willpower,” the Defence Minister said.
“You are doing divine work. You are ready to fire at the enemy and take a bullet to your chest and it is due to this that the people of the country can celebrate Holi peacefully,” he said.

“I feel that all of you, while protecting us from the enemies, are no less than protector gods for us,” he told the soldiers.
Singh reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central Government’s commitment to the welfare of the Armed Forces and their families.
“It is our duty to take care of you, your children and parents. Our Government is always working for the forces of the country with the same zeal with which you are working for this country,” he said, adding that when he took over as the Defence Minister five years ago, he visited the Siachen Glacier first.

“Today, it was not possible to go to Siachen due to bad weather. Therefore, I wish a happy Holi to all soldiers deployed there,” he said, adding that playing Holi with jawans is one of the happiest moments for him.

The Defence Minister applied tilak with ‘gulal’ on soldiers’ foreheads. He also laid a wreath at the War Memorial here to pay tributes to soldiers who laid down their lives in the line of duty.
He also spoke with soldiers in Siachen over the phone and extended Holi greetings to them.
He told them that he would soon visit Siachen and interact with them.

He said everyone knows that there is a tradition in our country that whenever there is any auspicious occasion, we start it by worshipping our beloved God.
“Even when we have a feast, it is offered to God first,’’ he added.

“The first lamp of Diwali, the first colour of Holi, all this should be in the name of our protectors, our soldiers. Festivals should first be celebrated at the snowy peaks of Siachen and Kargil, on sandy plains of Rajasthan and with the Navy personnel aboard the submarine in the depths of the Indian Ocean,” Rajnath said.

Singh urged the Chiefs of the three Services to start a new tradition of beginning celebrations with soldiers a day before a festival.
“Such celebrations should become an integral part of our culture,” he said.

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