Srinagar: The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Thursday celebrated Diwali with the soldiers of Indian Army and BSF, in Gurez Valley, near the Line of Control, in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. He was there for nearly two hours.
This was the fourth successive Diwali that the Prime Minister has celebrated with soldiers on the border.
Addressing the soldiers, the Prime Minister, said that like everyone else, he too wishes to spend Diwali with his family. Therefore, he said, he had come among the soldiers of the Armed Forces, whom he considers to be “his family.”
He said he gets new energy when he spends time among the soldiers of the Armed Forces.
“He appreciated their penance and sacrifice, amid harsh conditions,” an official spokesman said.
The Prime Minister said that he had been told that the soldiers present at the gathering regularly practice Yoga. He said that this would definitely enhance their abilities, and give them a sense of calm.
He said that the soldiers, who leave the Armed Forces after completing their duty tenure, can become excellent yoga trainers subsequently.
Modi also encouraged the soldiers to innovate, so that their routine tasks and duties become easier and safer. He mentioned how best innovations are now being recognised and awarded at the Army Day, Navy Day, and Air Force Day.
The Prime Minister said that the Government was committed to the welfare and the betterment of the Armed Forces, in every way possible. In this regard, he mentioned the implementation of One Rank, One Pension, which had been pending for decades.
The Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Bipin Rawat, and other senior Army Officers were present on the occasion.
In the visitors’ book, the Prime Minister wrote: “Protecting the Motherland, far from your loved ones, displaying the highest traditions of sacrifice, all soldiers at the nation’s borders, are symbols of bravery and dedication. I have an opportunity to spend the festival of Diwali with you. The presence of brave soldiers at the border, on this festive occasion, lights the lamp of hope, and generates new energy among crores of Indians.”