Learn secularism from Army: Modi to UPA
Elevated as the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate for 2014 general elections, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday at an ex-servicemen's rally attacked the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government accusing it of failing to ensure the security of the country and urging it to learn true secularism from the Army.
Addressing the rally in Haryana's Rewari town where former Army chief Gen VK Singh was present, Modi saluted the men in uniform and lauded the sacrifices made by the "barve jawans" at the border while saying that the "problem is not at the border areas, but in New Delhi (hinting at the incompetency of the UPA government to ensure security and killing of the Indian border guards by Pakistan).
Hitting at the Indian government, he said,"Vote-bank politics has eaten way at foundations of this country. If politicians have to learn secularism, look at the Indian Army. There is no greater example of Indian secularism."
He said the government in New Delhi "through the Sacchar Committee conducted a headcount of Hindus and Muslims in the Army and thus committed the sin of trying to communally colour the Indian Army."
"I salute the officers who stood against it and refused the census within the Armed Forces on communal lines. I appeal to my soldiers - don't forgive these people who tried to divide you," Modi said.
Upping the ante on nationalism, he said while it was close to a decade now that the country had starved for a good news, he "received one on Sunday morning," referring to the launch of Agni-5 missile.
"I congratulate all the India scientists for launching the Agni 5 missile," Modi said while addressing the rally at the Secretariat Grounds in Rewari.
Expressing his admiration for the Indian Army, he said: "Back in my childhood, I knew that to serve the nation, one needs to join the army."
Speaking on his anointment as the PM candidate of BJP, Modi said, "Two days ago, I was given a great responsibility by the BJP. But the happiness that I feel today being here, I did not even feel the same when my name was announced."
Hinting at the large gathering of people, mostly ex-servicemen, he said no camera can capture so many heads and no eye can view the same at a time.
He said the crowd at Haryana is an indication that the country demands for a 'Parivartan' or change.
"The crowd at Haryana will make the central government uneasy," Modi said.
While, he praised the work done by the Army during the Uttarakhand floods, he slammed the government for their reactions to the killing of India jawans by Pakistani troopers at the Line of Control (LoC).
"When the country was commemorating the sacrifices of jawans made while helping the pilgrims in Uttarakhand, Pakistani soldiers were killing our soldiers along the border," he said.
Slamming the statement made by Defence Minister A K Antony in the Parliament following the attacks, Modi said, "Our Defence Minister said in Parliament that there were some people in Pakistani Army uniforms who killed the jawans."
"How painful that must be for the families of the slain jawans? But the govt in Delhi doesn't seem to care. For them it's just like any other incident," the aspiring PM said.
Taking a dig at the UPA, he said it is shameful that a member of the ruling party says people join the army to die.
"If you can't weep for the martyrs...don't, but do not insult the memory of the soldiers who died for my country," Modi said.
He said the government has continuously failed to deal situations, where Indian soldiers are mercilessly killed by Pakistani troopers or when Chinese incursions happen repeatedly.
"The problem is not at the borders, but is in Delhi," Modi noted.
He said the only solution to these problems is to form a competent government at the Centre.
"Till we have a capable government in Delhi which is nationalistic and committed to protecting every citizen, we can't guarantee security," Modi said.
He said there is threat of internal security and terrorism that India is facing now.
"India has lost more jawans to bullets from terrorists than enemies from across the border," Modi said.
"The nature of war has changed. Many more countries and people are affected more troubled by proxy war or terrorism as compared to those in the two World Wars," he said while asking United Nations to not take pride in preventing a so called "Third World War."
He said there should be a global consensus on tackling terrorism and Maoism which can be possible with a capable government in India.
"You can't selectively deal with terrorism. All humanist forces should come together for world peace and progress in the developing world," said the Gujarat CM.
Taking a dig at Pakistan he said, the newly appointed Pakistani government posed some ray of hopes but with the recent killing of India jawans by their troopers, it is evident they had no such intentions of peace with India.
"To Pakistan's rulers I say fight against poverty. Weapons and warfare have done you no good in 60 years. Try not allowing terrorists to use your territory for 10 years and you'll see your progress will be manifold," he advised.
He said when the Indian Army could not be defeated at the border, innocent citizens were targeted by terrorists.
"Cross-border terrorism can't benefit India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. To Pakistan, I say you may have been born out of anti-India politics but that can't contribute to your progress," Modi said.
The crowd gathered at the rally was responsive as they lapped up the words of Modi and cheered him lustily.
(Posted on 15-09-2013)