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Safety, honour and welfare of country comes first, always and every time

Safety, honour and welfare of country comes first, always and every time

"Today we have such capability that no one can eye even one inch of our land. India's Armed Forces can swiftly move to multiple sectors at one go." Prime Minister Narinder Modi knew well the fighting battle preparedness of our forces when he said this while addressing an all-party meet after the violent face-off in Galwan Valley, last month.

The Indian Armed forces are extremely well trained to take on the enemy in any theatre of war whether it is a burning desert, an icy cold Siachen battlefield, jungles of the North East, our vast coastline or the open skies.

They have the capability to penetrate deep into the enemy territory when the need arises without the enemy even knowing it and neutralise their assigned targets. This was well demonstrated by the Indian Air Force in Balakot. The Army has struck deep into Myanmar and destroyed militant camps training insurgents to infiltrate into Indian territory to create terror. Our Navy and Coast Guards are ever vigilant to thwart any enemy movement in our seas. They continue to apprehend enemy boats and vessels trying to sneak into our country. All the three components of the Armed Forces are fully equipped with modern and lethal weapons to blow enemy targets to pieces and protect our own sovereignty.

"The safety, honour and welfare of your country comes first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command comes next. Your own ease, comfort and safety comes last, always and every time." This is the Chetwode Motto written in the Indian Military Academy Dehradun’s Chetwode Hall which is ingrained in the minds of all Army officers and is passed on to the men they command.

For the forces, India takes priority over everything. And here everything means everything including their lives. They have demonstrated it in every war they have fought – in 1948 with Pakistan in Kashmir, in 1962 with China, in 1965 with Pakistan and in 1971 with Pakistan for liberation of Bangladesh and cutting Pakistan into two. Even prior to Independence, in World War I and World War II, they distinguished themselves as the finest soldiers in all theatres of war spanning from deserts of Africa to cold regions of Europe and jungles of Burma.

<img class="wp-image-4531 size-full" src="https://indianarrative.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/d4f437f787b72fa8cbf5a38c102d2e50-1.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="960" /> Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Leh on Friday (IANS/DPRO)

The fighting acumen of our troops has been well augmented by our state-of-the-art weapon system.

We have acquired Spice 2000 air-to-ground standoff missile which can be loaded on a Mirage aircraft and guided through computers. It can penetrate 70 km deep into enemy territory. It is self-guided to blow up bunkers dug up in the ground too. Strum Ataka air-to-ground missile and Barak 8 missile, known as mother of all missiles, have also been acquired from Israel.

Barak 8 Missile has the capability to destroy enemy missiles in air itself because of its own radar system. It can strike 500 km deep into enemy territory and destroy all kinds of targets. Spike anti-tank missiles and precision-guided munitions from the United States have been added in our arsenal. Soon we will have S-400 missiles from Russia, an agreement for which has been signed during the visit of our Defence Minister to Russia, last month.

And then we have our own Agni, Shakti and Brahmos missiles to teach enemy hard lessons. T-90 BMP Tanks have been tested for amphibious warfare. The air strike capability of our country is next to none. The Sukhoi fighter plane has a satellite navigation system, the newly added Apache and Chinook helicopters can carry M777 howitzer guns. They can strike the enemy with loaded missiles. MIG 29 has been modified with an advanced system. The Rafale, the multi-role fighter aircraft is about to be added.

Our Army has deployed Bofors guns near the Chinese border. Thus, the Indian Armed Forces are well equipped, trained and motivated to take on anyone who eyes even an inch of Indian territory.

We have put the best defence system on our borders. Besides the weaponry available with us we are rapidly building military infrastructure near the Chinese border as well as the four tri junctions – Saichen glacier, Kalapani (Lipulekh pass) near Nepal Border, Doklam and the Diphu Pass.

The Government of India has recently sent through special trains about 12000 workers to build roads near the China border. In addition to permanent air bases, temporary air strips and helipads are also being constructed. The defence forces have been given special sanction under fast track to purchase weapon systems worth Rs 500 crore per transaction. This fast track special sanction was given during the Balakot surgical strike deep inside Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

Numerically, we have an active strength of more than 14 lakh of armed forces comprising army, navy and air force besides our para military forces and reserves thus making our machines and men the best battle winner team in the world.

The Indian Armed Forces are well disciplined, well trained and patriotic to the hilt. They are always ready to make supreme sacrifice for the nation, whether on the borders against the enemy country or while dealing with the militants.

The governments, at the centre and state, give the highest honours to martyrs. Their families are respectfully rehabilitated with ample financial support and appropriate government jobs.

Contrarily, the Chinese Government is inhuman and treats its soldiers like cannon fodder. This has been the Chinese ethos from the days of Mao Tse Tung. How ruthless the Chinese leadership has always been is aptly described by Jung Chang, a Chinese author, in her novel 'Wild Swans: Three daughters of China'.

It is thus no surprise that Chinese PLA (People’s Liberation Army) is unpatriotic and fights in the battle for fear of being put into prison or even executed if they are found wanting in the face of an enemy. They are mercenary soldiers who are paid to fight. They fight like street vagabonds. The USA thinks that Chinese Army is "a collection of scoundrels" and has shamed it.

Mike Pompeo, a former Army officer and now the Secretary of State, has called CCP (Communist Party of China) a rogue actor. At the international level, we have full support from the USA, Russia, Japan, Israel and many other European countries in our fight against China. Taiwan and Hong Kong have always been at logger-heads with China. Malaysia and Indonesia are also not on cosy terms with China and are being supported by the US to check Chinese hegemony in the region.

China is also simmering with internal fear of disintegration like the erstwhile USSR. There are about 20 million Muslims in China who want independence from China. Xinjiang autonomous ethnic region of China has been at the forefront of an independence struggle against the Chinese.

Thus, China will do well to remember it is not India of 1962 which was deceived and stabbed in the back with the 'Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai' slogan.

China still believes in spreading lies. It is resorting to deception tactics as a part of their psychological warfare after the US accused it of spreading the 'Chinese virus' which has killed lakhs all over the world.

China is capable of stooping very low ethically. Notwithstanding all this, we are least bothered about the Chinese propaganda and its evil designs. The Indian Armed Forces are well versed in fighting conventional, biological, chemical, psychological and even nuclear warfare. Despite the diabolic tactics of China, we propagate peaceful coexistence with our neighbours. However, we are more than prepared to retaliate against any act of misdemeanour.

There is nothing more sacred than the Indian soil to our forces. Let China not be in delusion about that.

<em>(The author is a serving Colonel in the Indian Army, views expressed by him are his own)</em>.