The killing of our forces personnel will always inspire us relentlessly to uproot the base of militants and that the army has resolved to wipe out militants and their harbourers, the Prime Minister NarendraModi said on Sunday, and condemned the February 14 attack on central reserve police force (CRPF) in Pulwama district.
Speaking in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', Modi urged the people to forget differences to make the government's steps against militants firmer.
"This martyrdom will keep inspiring us relentlessly to uproot the very base of terrorism; it will fortify our resolve. We shall have to take up this challenge facing our country, forgetting all barriers of casteism, communalism, regionalism and other differences so that our steps against terror are firmer, stronger and more decisive," he said.
The Prime Minister said that the armed forces have consistently displayed unparalleled courage and valour in restoring peace on the one hand and on the other they have retaliated with equal measure, in a language the attackers understand.
"You must have seen how within a hundred hours of the attack, retributive action was accomplished," he said. "The martyrdom of these brave soldiers and the touching, inspiring stories of their kin give hope and strength to the entire country".
Beginning his address, Modi said he is speaking with a "heavy heart" as "mother India had to bear the loss of many of her valiant sons who made the supreme sacrifice in securing the lives of 125 crore Indians".
"In order to ensure that their fellow countrymen could sleep peacefully, these brave sons toiled relentlessly, day and night. As a consequence of the Pulwama attack and the sacrifice of the brave soldiers, people across the country are agonised and enraged. All around, there is a deluge of strong feelings of sympathy for the martyrs and their family members".
"The outrage that singes your being and mine on account of the terrorising violence replicates itself in the collective inner psyche of every citizen of the country; it also echoes in pro-humanity communities of the world, which sincerely believe in humanity. I respectfully bow to all the brave sons of the country, who laid down their lives, protecting the honour of their motherland, India," the Prime Minister said.
Mentioning the fortitude displayed by Ram Niranjan, father of a slain CRPF man Ratan Thakur of Bihar's Bhagalpur, Modi said he has expressed his wish to send his second son too to take on the enemy, which is inspiring. He also talked about the indomitable courage of Meena, wife of PrasannaSahu of Odisha's Jagatsinghpur, as she vowed to send her only son to join the CRPF.
The Prime Minister also mentioned the names of the family members of other CRPF personnel who were killed in the February 14 attack.
He also urged the youth to know and understand the fortitude and sentiments displayed by these families.
"To understand the virtues of patriotism, sacrifice and perseverance, one doesn't need to revert to historical events. These are but living examples before your eyes… these very examples are a source of inspiration for the future of a rising and glowing India," he added.
"I do believe that for our countrymen a visit to the National War Memorial will be akin to a pilgrimage to a holy place. The National Soldiers' Memorial is a symbol of the nation's gratitude to those men who made the supreme sacrifice after we gained Independence," he said.
During the address, he paid tributes to tribal warrior BirsaMunda, who was arrested by the British forces on March 3 in 1900, pioneering industrialists Jamsetji Tata, whose birth anniversary falls on March 3, and former prime minister Morarji Desai, who was born on February 29.
Describing Desai as one of the most disciplined leaders, Modi noted that the first post-Emergency government headed by Desai had brought about 44th Constitutional Amendment, which restored powers of the Supreme Court and undid many excesses of the Emergency.
The amendment restored certain powers of the Supreme Court and declared that the fundamental rights granted under Article 20 and 21 of the Constitution could not be abrogated during the Emergency.
"For the first time, constitutional safeguards guaranteed that the President could only announce the Emergency upon the written recommendation of the Cabinet, and that the period of Emergency could not be extended more than six months at any stretch of time. In this way, Morarji Bhai ensured that the way democracy was assassinated in 1975 by imposition of Emergency could never be repeated again in the future," Modi said.
The prime minister also referred to the humble origins of the latest group of Padma awardees.
He said many people began enquiring about them after they were given the honour which shows that they worked selflessly on the ground while not making it to media headlines.