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At Army Day event, Rajnath Singh lauds soldiers for patriotism, courage, humanity

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Chief of the Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan and others during the military and combat display 'Shaurya Sandhya' organised as part of the 76th Army Day celebrations, in Lucknow, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024. (Photo: PIB)

LUCKNOW (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said an Indian soldier fights the enemy till his last breath not out of hate for the foe but out of his love for the motherland.

"When it comes to patriotism, I feel that words cannot describe our soldiers. (They fought) on the peaks of Kargil, where there is an oxygen shortage. It will give you an idea of the wave of patriotism running through an Indian soldier.

"But our soldiers bore that suffering with a smile because of their love for this motherland," he said.

Addressing a gathering at 'Shaurya Sandhya' – a military and combat display event held in Lucknow on Army Day – the Defence Minister said patriotism, courage and humanity are inherent in Indian soldiers.

Referring to the humanity among Indian soldiers, he said that when 90,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered in the 1971 war, "we never mistreated them".

"We treated those soldiers in the same manner as one human being treats another human being," Singh said, adding, "When an Indian soldier fights an enemy till his last breath, he does not fight because he hates the enemy, but he fights because he loves his country."

"Patriotism fills him with such courage that, inspired by it, he does not shy away from even risking his life." Singh said, adding that patriotism, courage, humanity and loyalty towards the Indian Constitution are the four most important qualities of a soldier.

"A soldier who protects the motherland with the spirit of 'whether I live or not, my country must remain safe', is a patriot. It is this patriotism that gives courage to the soldier," he said.

"In our own neighbourhood, we can see the disconnect between the military and their constitutional values. But, the Indian military's devotion towards the constitutional values is incomparable and recognised by all," Singh asserted.

The Defence Minister said that since the BJP came to power at the Centre, "we have paid special attention to strengthening the Army".

"Our Army is an example of coordination of tradition and progress. The celebration of Army Day is a symbol of our tradition. We have made a change in this tradition following the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Army Day is now being organised in other cities as well," Singh said.

He also stressed the Government was fully committed to the welfare of not only the serving soldiers but also of the ex-servicemen.

"Be it the issue of one rank one pension, providing healthcare coverage for them, their re-employment or their respect, we are making every possible effort for the wellbeing of our veterans," the Defence Minister said.

The 'Shaurya Sandhya' was organised at Lucknow Cantonment as part of the 76th Army Day celebrations. Apart from Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, civil invitees and military personnel attended the event.

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