Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday gave a stern message to the neighbouring countries, saying "no force in the world can stop our brave soldiers from protecting the country's border". "They give a fierce reply if anybody tries to judge their capabilities," said PM Modi.
While noting some historical facts, the Prime Minister said, "The history of the world tells us that only those nations have remained safe, only those nations have moved forward, which had the ability to fight the invaders".
PM Modi, however, did not take the name of any country, but his indication was almost clear towards China, whose People Liberation Army (PLA) recently indulged in a deadly clash with the Indian soldiers in the Ladakh region.
"No force in the world can stop our brave soldiers from protecting the country's border," he said while addressing the Armed Forces on the Rajasthan border on the occasion of Diwali.
"No matter how far international cooperation has come, the equations may have changed, but we can never forget that vigilance is the way to safety, awareness is the support of happiness."
PM Modi made it clear that India's current strategy believes in the policy of understanding and explaining.
"Today, India's strategy is clear. Today's India believes in the policy of understanding and explaining, but if anybody tries to judge our capabilities, we equally give a fierce answer."
He said the world is knowing this fact very well in the current scenario that India is not going to "compromise its interests even at any cost".
"This status of India, this stature is due to your (Indian Army) power and your might. You have secured the country, that's why India today speaks vigorously on the global forums."
PM Modi mentions that the whole world is troubled by the expansionist forces presently, saying "expansionism is, in a way, a mental disorder and reflects eighteenth-century thinking."
He said, "India is also becoming a strong voice against this thinking".
He further said that India is proud of its Armed Forces, who protect our nation courageously.
PM Modi said that 130 crore countrymen of India are standing firm with its Army today and saluting its valour. "Today every Indian is proud of the strength and bravery of his soldiers. They are proud of your invincibility."
"Your austerity and the sacrifice at the border create trust in the country. Your determination strengthens the belief that any big challenge can be overcome together," he said.
"Be it the highlands of the Himalayas, the expanse of the desert, the dense forest or the depth of the sea, your valour is always heavy on every challenge."
The Prime Minister lauded the recent decision of the Indian Armed Forces for not importing more than 100 weapons and equipment from abroad, saying "this decision of the army has also inspired the countrymen to be vocal for the local".
On the occasion, PM Modi also appealed to the youth to build defence-related equipment and materials for the Indian Army.
"In recent times, many start-ups have come forward to cater to the needs of the forces. New startups of youth in the defence sector will take the country further in terms of self-reliance."
PM Modi was addressing the forces at Longewala, the Thar desert of Rajasthan. It is originally a BSF Post and a strategic point en-route to capturing vast tracts of land and also a pivotal theatre of war in engaging India on the western front during the 1971 India-Pakistan War.
He reached Rajasthan's Jaisalmer border to celebrate Diwali with the Forces in the morning, in continuation of his set tradition since he took over as the Prime Minister of India in 2014.
Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, Army Chief M.M. Naravane and Border Security Force (BSF) Director General Rakesh Asthana accompanied the Prime Minister at the border during his visit to celebrate Diwali with the army men.
Like every year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is celebrating this Diwali also with the soldiers. He will distribute sweets and share their problems and listen to their views during his visit to Jaisalmer later in the day.
About 100 BSF troops along with the army men are participating in the celebrations.
Last year, PM Modi had visited Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district to celebrate Diwali with the men guarding the Line of Control (LoC).
PM Modi was at the border positions of Uttarakhand to celebrate Diwali with the forces in 2018. He visited the Gurez sector of north Kashmir in 2017 and spent his Diwali with soldiers deployed there.