India will hit back with ‘double the force’ if its sovereignty is challenged, says PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that though India never eyes anyone else’s territory it will hit back with “double the force” if its sovereignty is ever challenged. He was speaking on 75th anniversary of the proclamation of the Azad Hind by Subhas Chandra Bose.

He added that the government is working towards making the lives of soldiers easier – by extending them with better facilities and providing the armed forces with better technology and the latest weapons.

Donning the famous Azad Hind Fauj cap, the Prime Minister hoisted the national flag at the Red Fort and unveiled a plaque to mark the anniversary.

The plaque will be placed at barrack number three at the Red Fort where members of the Azad Hind Fauj faced trial. A museum will be also set up in the barrack.

PM Modi lamented that post Independence, India’s policies were based on the British system as “things were seen through British glasses”.

“Policies, including those related to education had to suffer because of this,” he said.

PM Modi said had India benefited from the guidance of Patel and Bose, things would have been much better. He said his government is changing that now.

‘BJP desperately trying to rewrite history’

Accusing BJP of trying to appropriate every national legacy, Congress said the saffron party was desperate to rewrite history. “A desperate BJP is trying to rewrite history and create an imagined rivalry between Sardar Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru and between Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Nehru. It has used auspicious occasions for these cheap political tricks,” Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

Key highlights from PM Modi’s address

  • Modi also announced that a national award in the name of Subhash Chandra Bose would be given every year to those police personnel who did “exemplary work” in the rescue-and-relief operations during any kind of disasters.
  • The PM said his government took decisions, such as providing benefits of ‘one rank, one pension’ to ex-servicemen and carrying out surgical strikes across the Line of Control.
  • Modi said that “arrears worth Rs 11,000 crore have been released for ex-servicemen under the ‘one rank, one pension’ (OROP) scheme. OROP, coupled with recommendations of the seventh pay commission, have given “double bonanza” to former servicemen.”
  • The prime minister also alerted people about the forces inside and outside India which were working against the country by targetting its constitutional values. “A feeling of nationalism and “Indianness” was necessary to counter such designs,” he added.
  • Referring to the opposition faced by Bose when he set off to establish an all women unit of the Indian National Army — the Rani Jhansi Regiment, PM Modi said that it would complete 75 years of its establishment on Monday.
  • Citing the example of the decision allowing women in the army to opt for a permanent commission from short service commission following a transparent procedure, he said that the government was trying to fulfil the dreams of Bose.
  • “The air force is set to have the first batch of women fighter pilots and the work on the National War Memorial is in its last stages,” he added.

(With inputs from PTI)