Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the army will never “forgive” the country if it is found “sleeping” when it should be awake, in comments that come against the backdrop of the recent surgical strikes.
He asserted that the army does not believe in speaking but in displaying its valour.
“Our army is happiest when we sleep in peace. They have no complaint. But they will never forgive us if we sleep when we should be awake. Unfortunately, we have been found sleeping when we should have been awake.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. We have to keep alert always. It will be injustice to the army if we sleep away when we have to be awake,” he said without elaborating.
Addressing ex-servicemen and their families at the inauguration of ‘Shaurya Smarak’ (memorial to valour) here, he devoted his speech hailing the role of armed forces and their spirit of sacrifice in adverse situation.
“Our army does not speak but displays its valour. When I would say this earlier, they (critics) would tear my hair out.
They would say Modi is sleeping and doing nothing. Like our army which does not speak but displays its valour, our Defence Minister also does not speak…” he said with a pause as the audience broke into applause with some raising patriotic slogans.
Modi said the ancestors in hundreds of years of India’s history never waged a war to capture a country.
“But if it comes to fighting for values and ideals, India is never found wanting,” he said.
Lauding the valour and humaneness of armed forces, he referred to their relief and rescue operations in Srinagar during the floods two years ago despite the violence they face from the stone-pelting mobs.
“When massive floods hit Srinagar two years ago, the government found it difficult to deal with the situation and the country saw that our jawans were toiling to save people’s lives.