Every Indian soldier is a ‘devata’ for countrymen: Rajnath Singh

Srinagar: Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, on Monday while praising the Army jawans for their valour, heroism, courage and dedication and supreme sacrifices made for the nation asserted that every one of them is like a devata (deity) for the countrymen.

He also said that while Delhi is the political capital, Mumbai the financial capital and Bengaluru the technology capital of India, likewise Siachen is the capital of the Indians ‘bravery, grit, heroism and determination’. He added, “Siachen is not an ordinary land, but a symbol of India’s sovereignty and determination”.
Mr. Singh was addressing the officers and jawans of the Army at Siachen, the coldest army base of the world at an elevation of 21,000 ft (6,400 m) above the sea level and often referred to as the world's highest battlefield. His visit to Siachen comes a week after the Indian Army marked the 40th anniversary of the ‘Operation Meghdoot’, executed on the morning of April 13, 1984, to pre-empt Pakistan's ‘Operation Ababeel’ to gain control of the strategic glacier area.
The Defence Minister told the troops that he had planned to celebrate the Holi festival with them on March 24, but he could not go there from Leh due to the inclement weather. “I had promised then that I will soon visit Siachen and meet our jawans who are bearing the brunt of bone chilling cold in their resolve to protect the nation. Today, I am glad to be with you here at the world’s highest battlefield. Indian citizens sleep freely as your Bravehearts remain awake here and elsewhere defending our borders.” He distributed sweets among the soldiers and exchanged “belated” Holi greetings with them.
He said to them, “You are the nation’s pride. You are ready to fire at the enemy but, at the same time, take bullets on your chest. Every Indian soldier is not less than a Devata for us. You are the real heroes. It is because of you that people across the country sleep without fear. Serving the nation at such a place where cold conditions freeze the bones is something we greatly acknowledge and are proud of.”
Reiterating that the nation will remain forever indebted to the Armed Forces personnel, the Defence Minister said that it was because of their sacrifices that every citizen of the country feels safe. “We are leading a peaceful life as we have an assurance that our brave soldiers stand steadfast at the borders. In the times to come, when the history of national security is written, the acts of bravery and iron-clad will of our soldiers in the icy cold glacier will be remembered with pride. It will forever be an inspiration for future generations,” he asserted.
Mr. Singh who was being accompanied by Army chief General Manoj Pande, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command Lieutenant General MV Suchindra Kumar, and General Officer Commanding 14 Corps Lieutenant General Rashim Bali said that the Centre under the leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is committed to serve the soldiers and take care of their families and children.
A defence spokesperson in Leh said that Mr. Singh, during his visit, obtained a first-hand assessment of the security situation prevailing in the Siachen glacier area and also interacted with the soldiers deployed in the extreme weather and tough terrain conditions.
Before landing at a forward post at an altitude of 15,100 feet, the Defence Minister undertook aerial reconnaissance of the area, the spokesperson said adding that he was given a detailed brief on the operational readiness in the Siachen glacier and the prevalent security situation following which he discussed the aspects associated with the operational challenges with the commanders on ground.
“On the occasion, the Defence Minister also laid a wreath at the Siachen War Memorial, as a mark of solemn tribute to the Bravehearts who have made the supreme sacrifice in service of the motherland,” the spokesperson said.
( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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