Befitting response given to every ‘misadventure’ from LoC to LAC: President Murmu
New Delhi: President Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday said the government has been laying constant emphasis on modernising the military as it firmly believes that lasting peace is possible only when India is politically and strategically strong.
Murmu’s comments during her address to the joint session of Parliament on the first day of Budget session came amid India’s lingering border row with China in eastern Ladakh as well as the challenges of “Pakistan-backed cross-border terrorism” in Jammu and Kashmir.
Without directly mentioning either Pakistan or China, the President, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces, highlighted that “befitting response” was given to every “misadventure from LoC (Line of Control) to LAC (Line of Actual Control)”.
“My decisive government has always kept the country’s interest paramount and shown the willpower to completely transform the policies and strategies when required,” she said.
“From surgical strike to a firm crackdown on terrorism, from a befitting response to every misadventure from LoC to LAC, from abrogation of Article 370 to Triple Talaq, my government has been recognised as a decisive government,” she said.
The president’s address reflects the views of the government of the day.
In September 2016, the Indian Army carried out “surgical strikes against terrorist camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir”. A week back, Congress’ Digvijaya Singh made controversial remarks questioning the surgical strike. However, party leader Rahul Gandhi trashed the comments as “ridiculous”.
Murmu said “unprecedented infrastructure” has been developed in the border areas in the past few years from the point of view of national security.
“My government firmly believes that lasting peace is possible only when we are strong politically and strategically. Therefore, we are constantly laying emphasis on the modernisation of our military strength,” she said.
The President also mentioned the commissioning of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, rolling out of the Agnipath recruitment scheme and the ‘Vibrant Village’ programme to provide better facilities to the border areas.
She also highlighted the six-fold increase in defence exports and renaming islands of Andaman and Nicobar after Param Vir Chakra awardees of the Indian Army. “My government has started working on the Vibrant Village programme to provide better facilities to the border villages. From the point of view of national security too, unprecedented infrastructure has been developed in the border areas in the past few years,” she said.
“This has accelerated development in such areas. The left-wing extremism, which had become a major threat to national security in the last few decades, has now been confined to a few districts,” she added.
Murmu said islands of Andaman and Nicobar have also been named after Param Vir Chakra awardees of the Indian Army.
“On the one hand, the National War Memorial has become a symbol of national valour, while on the other, our Navy has also got the insignia given by Chhatrapati Veer Shivaji Maharaj,” she said.
“As a result of a new initiative of my government, our defence exports have grown six times. I am proud that the first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant has also joined our forces,” she noted.
On the Agnipath scheme, she said it is very important for the forces to be enriched with youth power, to be proficient in warfare and to be equipped with the power of technology.
“Keeping these principles in mind, Agniveer Yojana has been launched. This will give maximum opportunity to the youth of the country to serve the nation through the armed forces,” she said.
Under the Agnipath scheme, announced on June 14 last year, the three services are recruiting youths between the age bracket of 17-and-half years and 21 for four years with a provision to retain 25 percent of them for 15 more years.
For 2022, the upper age limit was extended to 23 years.
“Difficult terrain, along with unrest and terrorism, posed a major challenge to the development of the North East and Jammu and Kashmir. My government has taken a number of successful steps for lasting peace and has confronted the geographical challenges,” she said.
“As a result, the North East and our border areas are experiencing a new pace of development,” she added.
Highlights of President’s address to both Houses of Parliament
* By 2047, we have to build a nation, which not only embraces its glorious past, but also encompasses every golden aspect of modernity.
* India which once looked at others for solutions of most of its problems, is emerging as a provider of solutions for the issues faced by the world.
* India’s digital network is a source of inspiration even for developed countries.
* The long-felt urge to be rid of the scourge of mega scams and corruption in government schemes is now being realised.
* Today India has a government which is stable, fearless, decisive.
* Today India has a government which is working for permanent solution of the problems of the poor and their lasting empowerment.
* From surgical strike to a firm crackdown on terrorism, from giving a befitting response to every misadventure from LoC to LAC, from abrogation of Article 370 to Triple Talaq, my government has been recognised as a decisive government.
* Corruption is the biggest enemy of democracy and social justice, a relentless fight against corruption is going on for the last few years.
* Today the monetary benefits of more than 300 schemes are directly reaching bank accounts of the people. A sum of more than Rs 27 lakh crore has reached crores of people with complete transparency.
* ‘Poverty eradication’ is no longer just a slogan, government is working to empower the poor.
* Under Ayushman Bharat Yojana more than 50 crore countrymen have been given free treatment.
* About 11 crore families have been covered with piped water supply under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
* The government has spent about Rs 3.5 lakh crore for free food grains to the poor under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.
* Street vendors have been linked to formal banking for the first time and affordable and collateral-free loans were made available to them through the PM SVANidhi scheme.
* 11 crore small farmers have been given more than Rs 2.25 lakh crore under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi.
* More than 36,000 tribal-dominated villages are being developed under the Pradhan Mantri Adi Adarsh Gram Yojana.
* For the first time, a Welfare and Development Board has also been constituted for the Banjara, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities.
* Government has started working on the Vibrant Village programme to provide better facilities to the border villages.
* For the first time in the country, female population now outnumbers male population and health of women has also improved considerably.
* My government has chosen the path of consolidating heritage and giving priority to development.
* On the one hand, Ayodhya Dham is being constructed in the country, while on the other hand, a modern Parliament House is also being built.
* We are developing our pilgrimage centres and have also launched the first private satellite.
* India is taking its ancient methods like Yoga and Ayurveda to the whole world and also strengthening the country’s new identity as the ‘Pharmacy of the World’.
* We have initiated efforts for manufacturing of semiconductor chips and aeroplanes in India.
* The first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant has also joined our forces.
* Agniveer Yojana has been launched to give maximum opportunity to the youth of the country to serve the nation through the armed forces.
* My government is striving to make India the most competitive logistics hub of the world.
* We already achieved the target of making 40 per cent of its electricity generation capacity from non-fossil fuel sources, nine years ahead of the target.
* India’s G20 presidency is an opportunity to showcase its potential and culture,
* Government is constantly laying emphasis on the modernisation of our military strength.