Likening the anger in the country over Uri attack to that witnessed in the 1965 war, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today maintained that those responsible for the terror strike will surely be punished as he asserted that the army does not speak but displays bravery.
He also sent out a message to the people of Kashmir, which has been witnessing unrest for over two months, saying that “peace, unity and harmony” are the ways to resolve problems and expressed confidence that all issues can be addressed through discussions.
In his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ which he began by paying tributes to the 18 soldiers who died in the Uri attack on September 18, Modi said, “this cowardly act was enough to shake the entire country. There is mourning as well as anger in the country.”
He said, “This is a loss not only for those families which lost their sons, brothers, husbands. This loss is for the entire country. That is why, today I will say only this much, which I said on that day (of the incident) also and I will repeat it today, that the guilty will surely be punished.”
Reposing faith in the Indian army, the Prime Minister said it will foil all such designs through its bravery.
“They (Indian armymen) are the people who take bravery to its pinnacle so that 125 crore people can live a peaceful life,” he said.
“We are proud of our army. People and politicians get opportunities to speak and that’s what they do. But the army does not speak. The army displays its bravery,” Modi said.
He read out a message of an 11th standard student who had expressed anger over the Uri incident and had the desire to do something over it. After lot of thinking, he had resolved to give extra 3 hours to studies every day as his contribution to the country.
Appreciating the child’s “constructive thinking”, the Prime Minister said, “there is a lot of value to the anger that people of the country have. This is a symbol of the country’s awakening. This anger is of the kind of ‘do something’… When 1965 war (with Pakistan) broke out and Lal Bahadur Shastri was leading the country, similar was the feeling, anger in the country. There was fever of nationalism.
Everybody was keen to do something.
“At that time, Lal Bahadur Shastri ji attempted to represent this feeling in an excellent manner to the world and he gave the slogan of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ to inspire common people to work for the country.”
This is the second public speech by Modi in as many days after he urged Pakistani people to wage a war against poverty and malnutrition. He made these comments in Kozhikode while attending a BJP national meet.
His comments had evoked sarcastic reactions from social media users, who identified his bravado and projection of himself as a strong leader before becoming prime minister in 2014.
Reacting to Modi’s Mann Ki Baat, opposition Congress dared him to turn his words into action and bring justice to the sacrifice of the 18 soldiers who were killed in the Uri terror strike.
Speaking to ANI, Congress leader Meem Afzal said that the Prime Minister’s attacking stance against Pakistan was quite similar to his words after the Pathankot attack, adding that he appreciated his words, which even though repetitive, have come at the right time.