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PM’s address at ‘Rashtra Raksha Samparpan Parv’ in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh

PM’s address at ‘Rashtra Raksha Samparpan Parv’ in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh

I greet with folded hands the people of the land of Rani Laxmibai who sacrificed everything for independence. Jhansi ignited the flame of freedom. Each and every particle of this land is soaked in bravery and love for the country. I salute the brave queen of Jhansi, Rani Laxmibai.

Present with us in the program are the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Smt. Anandiben Patel ji, the energetic Karmayogi Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath ji, the Defence Minister of the country and a popular representative of this state and my very senior colleague Shri Rajnath Singh ji, Minister of State for Defence Shri Ajay Bhatt ji, Minister of State for MSME Shri Bhanupratap Verma ji, other officers, NCC cadets and alumni, and friends!

Can there be anybody the current does not pass through his body upon stepping into this brave land of Jhansi, or ‘I will not give my Jhansi’ does not resonate in his ears or who does not see the divine vision of ‘Ranchandi’ in the vast void of the sky from here! And today is also the birth anniversary of our queen Laxmibai ji, the apogee of valor and might! Today this land of Jhansi is witnessing the grand Amrit Mahotsav of freedom! A new, strong and capable India is taking shape on this land! Therefore, it is not easy to express my feelings in words after coming to Jhansi today. But I can see that the tide of patriotism and the feeling of ‘My Jhansi’ overflowing in my mind is the energy and inspiration of the people of Bundelkhand. I am also feeling this awakened consciousness, and I am also hearing Jhansi speaking! This Jhansi, this land of Rani Laxmibai, is saying – I am at the pilgrimage site of revolutionaries, I am Jhansi, I am Jhansi, I am Jhansi. I have infinite blessings of Mother Bharati that I have always had the immense love of Jhansi, the Kashi of revolutionaries. It is also my privilege that I represent Kashi, the birthplace of the Rani of Jhansi, and have got the opportunity to serve Kashi. Therefore, I feel a special gratitude, a special belongingness when I come here. With this grateful spirit, I bow to Jhansi and bow my head to Bundelkhand, the land of brave heroes.

Friends,

Today, there is the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji along with Kartik Purnima and Dev-Deepawali. I bow down to Guru Nanak Dev ji and extend my warm wishes to all the countrymen for these festivals. Kashi is decorated in a wonderful divine light on Dev-Deepawali. Lamps are lit on the ghats of the Ganges in the memory of our martyrs. Last year I was in Kashi on Dev Deepawali, and today I am in Jhansi on the occasion of ‘Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv’. I extend my warm greetings to the people of Kashi from the land of Jhansi.

Brothers and sisters,

This land has also been a witness to the bravery and military prowess of Veerangana Jhalkari Bai, who was an integral ally of Rani Laxmibai. I also pay my respectful obeisance at the feet of that immortal heroine of the freedom struggle of 1857. I bow to the Chandelas and Bundelas, who wrote immortal tales of Indian valor and culture from this land and who made India proud! I bow to the glory of Bundelkhand, those brave Alha and Udal, who are still a symbol of sacrifice for the protection of the motherland. There have been so many immortal fighters, great revolutionaries, heroes and heroines in different eras who have had a special relationship with Jhansi and who got inspiration from here. I also pay respectful tribute to all those great personalities. Those who fought with the army of Rani Laxmibai and made supreme sacrifices were your ancestors. I bow to all those who sacrificed on behalf of the children of this land.

Friends,

Today I would also like to remember another son of Jhansi, Major Dhyan Chand ji, who gave global recognition to the sports world of India. Not long ago, our government announced that the country’s Khel Ratna awards will be named after Major Dhyan Chand ji. This honor of Jhansi and its son makes us all proud.

Friends,

Before coming here, I was in Mahoba, where I got the opportunity to inaugurate and lay foundation stones for water related schemes and other development projects to solve the water problem of Bundelkhand. And now, I am becoming a part of the ‘Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv’ in Jhansi. This festival is starting a new chapter in the defence sector of the country from Jhansi. Right now the foundation stone of a new plant of Bharat Dynamics Limited worth Rs 400 crore has been laid here. This will give a new identity to the Jhansi node of the UP Defence Corridor. Equipment for anti-tank missiles will be made in Jhansi, which will give new strength and confidence to our soldiers on the borders and as a result the country’s borders will be more secure.

Friends,

Along with this, indigenous Light Combat Helicopters, Drones and Electronic Warfare Systems manufactured in India have also been dedicated to our forces. This is such a light combat helicopter that can fly at an altitude of about 16500 feet. This is the strength of the new India, the achievement of self-reliant India, and our heroic Jhansi is becoming witness to it.

Friends,

On the one hand, the strength of our forces is increasing, but at the same time, the ground is also being prepared for the youth who are capable of protecting the country in future. These 100 Sainik Schools will work to give the future of the country in powerful hands soon. Our government has also started the admission of daughters in Sainik Schools. The admission of girl students in 33 Sainik Schools has also started from this session. Now daughters like Rani Laxmibai will also emerge from Sainik Schools who will shoulder the responsibility of defence, security and development of the country. Along with all these efforts, the NCC Alumni Association and ‘National Program of Simulation Training’ for NCC cadets will fulfill the spirit of ‘Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv’. I am happy that today the Ministry of Defence and the NCC have given me a chance to remind me of my childhood memories and connected me with the temperament of the NCC.  I would also urge all the NCC cadets to become a part of this alumni association and take a pledge to do something for the country together. The NCC taught us stability, courage, and a lesson to live for the self-respect of the nation and we should also highlight such values ​​for the country. The passion and dedication of NCC cadets will also benefit the border and coastal areas of the country in an effective manner. I am very grateful to all of you for giving me the first NCC alumni membership card today. This is a matter of pride for me.

Friends,

Another important beginning is being made today from the sacrificial soil of Jhansi. A digital kiosk is also being launched at the ‘National War Memorial’. Now all the countrymen will be able to pay their tributes to our martyrs, war heroes through a mobile app and will be able to connect emotionally with the entire country on a common platform. The UP government has also dedicated the Atal Ekta Park and 600 MW Ultramega Solar Power Park to Jhansi today. When the world is battling pollution and environmental challenges, achievements like Solar Power Park are examples of the far-sighted vision of the state and the country. I congratulate all of you for these achievements of development and also for the ongoing projects.

Friends,

The historical Jhansi Fort behind me is a living testimony to the fact that India never lost a battle due to lack of valor and bravery! If Rani Laxmibai had the resources and modern weapons at par with the British, then the history of the country’s independence might have been different! When we got freedom, we had the opportunity as well as the experience. It is our responsibility to make India of Sardar Patel’s dreams and to make a self-reliant India. This is the country’s resolve and goal in this virtuous period of independence. And the UP Defence Industrial Corridor in Bundelkhand is going to play a pivotal role in this campaign. Bundelkhand, which was once known for India’s valor and courage, will now be recognized as a major center of India’s strategic strength. Trust me, Bundelkhand Expressway will become the expressway of development for this region. Today, the foundation stone of a company involved in missile technology is being laid here and many more such companies will also come in the near future.

Friends,

For a long time, India became the world’s biggest importer of weapons. What was our image? Our image was of a country which purchases arms. We continued to be counted like that. But today the mantra of the country is – Make in India, Make for the world. Today India is working to make its forces self-reliant indigenously. We are also aligning the talent of the private sector with the defence sector of the country. New start-ups are now getting a chance to show their prowess in this field as well. And in all this, the Jhansi node of the UP Defence Corridor is going to play a big role. In other words, new possibilities will be created for the MSME and small industries. The youth here will get new employment opportunities. It also means the region, which was suffering from exodus due to wrong policies till a few years back, will now become the center of attraction for investors due to emerging possibilities. People from all over the country and abroad will come to Bundelkhand. The land of Bundelkhand, which was once considered barren due to scant rainfall and drought, is now sprouting the seeds of progress.

Friends,

The country has also decided that a large part of the defence budget on procurement of weapons and equipment will be spent on Make in India equipment. The Ministry of Defence has also released a list of more than 200 such equipment, which will now be bought from within the country itself and cannot be brought from outside. Their imports have been banned.

Friends,

There are many idols like Rani Lakshmi Bai, Jhalkari Bai, Avanti Bai, Uda Devi etc. Our idols are great souls like Iron Man Sardar Patel, Chandrashekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh. Therefore, we have to come together and take a pledge for the unity and integrity of the country during the Amrit Mahotsav. We have to take a pledge for development and progress. As the nation is remembering Rani Lakshmibai in such a grand way in Amrit Mahotsav, there are many other sons and daughters of Bundelkhand. I will call upon the youth here to bring the history of those who made sacrifices and the glory of this land before the country and the world during the Amrit Mahotsav. I have full faith that together we will reinstate the glory of this immortal heroic land. I am happy that my fellow brother in Parliament Anurag ji keeps on doing something or the other on such subjects. I can see the way in which he has energized the local people for this week-long Rashtra Raksha Parv. Our MP and all his colleagues have demonstrated how the government and the people can do such wonderful work. I congratulate them too. Respected Rajnath ji and his entire team deserve many congratulations for making this grand event a success and choosing Uttar Pradesh for the defence corridor. It will have a lasting impact. Yogi ji has also given a new strength and push to the development of Uttar Pradesh. I am of the view that the defence corridor and to prepare Bundelkhand once again as the fertile land for national defence is a far-sighted vision. I also congratulate him.

Friends,

I extend many wishes to you on these holy festivals. Thank you very much!