The 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the 550th Prakash Purab of Guru Nanak Dev made 2019 a landmark year, reminding people that the way of nations was that of ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) and universal brotherhood where war was never an option, Punjab governor and UT administrator VP Singh Badnore said on Friday, while inaugurating the 3rd edition of the annual Military Literature Festival (MLF) here.
India, however, was a strong nation, capable of dealing with any kind of insurgency threatening peace, unity, and integrity from within or across borders, Badnore said. “Our Armed Forces have demonstrated this with a ‘surgical strike’ in the mountains across the Line of Control and an airstrike deep in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province.”
The country had come a long way since Independence in 1947, being no longer dependent upon food or aid from abroad. In fact, it was providing aid to other weaker nations, he added. “We have had to rely upon war material from other countries but slowly we aim to become self-reliant in making our own weapons systems with cutting edge technology. Already. Rs 3,000 crore worth of defence equipment is being made in India,” the Punjab governor said.
On India’s space programme, Badnore said the country had proved that It was competent to reach targets in space, was evolving its own global positioning system and had the ability to watch its frontiers and beyond with its satellite systems. “We are in the process of making the Indian ocean militarily safe for our country, secure our island territories and our maritime traffic,” he added.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Punjab tourism and cultural affairs minister, Charanjit Singh Channi, said the MLF was an appropriate platform where youngsters were being inspired by decorated officers of the Indian Army.
In his address, GOC, Western Command, Lt General R P Singh, said that it was a matter of great pride and honour to be fully involved and associated in the MLF right from its inception in 2017.
Badnore also honoured Subedar Major Yogendra Singh Yadav, who was awarded the highest military honour, the Param Vir Chakra, for action in Kargil.
The senior advisor to Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Lt General Tejinder Singh Shergill (retd), asserted that MLF would go a long way in imbibing a spirit of patriotism and nationalism among youngsters.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included ex-Chief of Army Staff, Gen VP Malik (retd), ex-Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba.
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