[In Pictures] Since 2014, Here’s How PM Modi Has Celebrated Every Diwali With Soldiers Guarding India’s Borders
In 2014, his very first year as the Prime Minister (PM) of India, Narendra Modi visited Siachen - the world’s highest battleground - to celebrate Diwali with the soldiers guarding India’s borders in an extremely inhospitable terrain. At the time, no one could guess this would become an annual tradition.
Atop 18,875-foot glacier with soldiers, PM Modi hailed the services of the armed forces for the nation. He said that he had come unannounced, but one need not announce his arrival when coming to family.
“I have specially come on the occasion of Diwali to be with you. I am aware how it feels like to spend Diwali with your family. The happiness is different, but you are so involved in the devotion of your motherland that family is spending Diwali somewhere else and you are somewhere else guarding the motherland,” he said.
“My coming to this place will not fill the void of your family members, but as a representative of 125 crore people... after being with you I feel proud and satisfied,” Mr. Modi told the Jawans.
PM Modi had also told the soldiers that issues of the armed forces were personal and emotional subject for him, and promised to build a National War Memorial. The memorial was inaugurated on 25 February 2019 by the PM near India Gate, New Delhi.
In 2015, the year that marked the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war, PM Modi chose to visit locations where the brave soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces had shed blood and made the supreme sacrifice during the India-Pakistan war.
He visited the Dograi War Memorial, and the Barki War Memorial along with Asal Uttar, the site of one of the biggest ever tank battles. The battle of Asal Uttar is known for the bravery of Veer Abdul Hamid, who was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra. All three battles were decisive successes achieved by the Indian Army during the 1965 war.
While the 2014 and 2015 Diwali celebrations of the Prime Minister were with the soldiers at the India-Pakistan border, he chose to celebrate 2016 Diwali with the personnel guarding India-China border.
PM Modi visited Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh and met jawans of the Indo Tibetan Border Police, Indian Army and Dogra Scouts.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly told the jawans, “Because you guard our borders, people sleep at night. If you were not on the borders, people couldn’t have slept.”
The prime minister in 2016 also started a Sandesh2Soldiers campaign, through which people could send a message to the soldiers. According to PMO, over 10 lakh messages were received- approximately three lakh from the Narendra Modi application.
In 2017, Army chief General Bipin Rawat also accompanied the Prime Minister to Bandipora district along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir to celebrate Diwali with the troops. The prime minister celebrated the festival of lights with 15 Corps troops in the Gurez Sector.
In 2018, the preparation for 2019 General Elections were on the high, but the Prime Minister kept up with the tradition of celebrating Diwali with the troops posted in remote areas.
The Prime Minister celebrated Diwali with our valorous Army and the ITBP personnel at Harsil in Uttarakhand.
This year, the first of his second consecutive term as the prime minster, Narendra Modi visited Rajouri District of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday (27 October) to celebrate Diwali with soldiers at LoC.
This was the prime minister’s first to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, coinciding with Infantry Day celebrations. The Prime Minister interacted with the soldiers at BG Brigade headquarters in the town.
The annual trip of the Prime Minister ensures that the people sitting comfortably in their homes and carrying on with life in peace don’t take it for granted.
Now every Diwali, as an Indian celebrates the centuries-old tradition of returning of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, he also remembers the soldiers that couldn’t return home for Diwali celebrations.
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