The prime minister Narendra Modi fulfilled one of the poll promises made by BJP before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, by dedicating the National War Memorial. For more than 70 years after independence, India didn’t have a memorial to honour the soldiers martyred while fighting for the nation, and it was a long-standing demand of the armed forces.
Addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen after inaugurating the National War Memorial, the prime minister paid his tribute to brave soldiers who lost their lives in Pulwama and all those bravehearts who sacrifice themselves for protection of India. He said that the demand for a National War Memorial has been there for many decades. In the last decade, one or two attempts were made but no concrete steps were taken. “With the help of your blessing we started the process in 2014”, he added.
He said that the government is continuously working towards making the Army self-reliant, the decisions which were thought to be impossible earlier have now been made possible. Modi said that contribution from all parts of society is necessary for the security of the nation. And due to this ideology, women are getting the opportunity to become fighter pilots for the first time. Decisions are being taken to strengthen the participation of daughters in the forces, Modi added.
He said that the government has started to change the entire ecosystem of defence production. From licensing to export, the government is bringing transparency to the entire system.
Talking about various scams in defence deals during the past Congress regimes, the prime minister said that from Bofors to VVIP Helicopter deal, all the investigations are pointing to one family, it says a lot. Now these people are putting all the efforts to make sure that Rafale aircraft don’t arrive in the country, he added referring to Rahul Gandhi’s relentless effort to derail the Rafale deal. When the first Rafale of the country will fly in the sky of India, it will expose the conspiracies of these people, he added.
Modi said that people had made armed forces and defence the means of income for themselves. Perhaps remembering the martyrs was not profitable for them, hence they preferred to forget them, he said targeting the previous regimes for not building the war memorial.
People who think themselves to be the lords of the nation didn’t leave anything to compromise the national security. He said that the armed forces had demanded 1,86,000 bullet‑proof jackets in 2009, but they had to face the enemies without them as their demand was ignored. In last 4.5 years this government has procured over 2,30,000 bullet‑proof jackets, Modi informed.
Talking about the recent decision of the government to order 72,000 Sig Sauer, the prime minister said that the process of buying modern rifles and making them in India has been started by his government. He said that his government has bought ammunition worth ₹25 thousand crore in mission mode.
The prime minister informed that files for the National War Memorial had started moving around two and a half decades ago, and this process was expedited for a brief period during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. But after the fall of the ABV government, the process had stalled.
PM Modi said, “today every soldier, every citizen is asking why the martyrs were treated like this? Why the heroes who gave their lives fore the nation were ill-treated like this? What were the reasons that nobody focused on the memorial for the martyrs?” He answered the questions by saying that the difference between India First and Family First is the reason behind it.
The prime minister said that the armed forces have been demanding a super speciality hospital for them, and today he announced that not one, but three such super speciality hospitals are being made.