PM celebrates Diwali with soldiers in Gurez

‘Spending time with forces gives me new energy’

Ejaz-ul-haq Bhat
Gurez (Bandipora), Publish Date: Oct 19 2017 10:55PM | Updated Date: Oct 20 2017 12:51AM
PM celebrates Diwali with soldiers in Gurez

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights, with soldiers in Gurez Valley near the Line of Control in Bandipora district.

According to a witness, the Prime Minister spent more than two hours with the soldiers at army’s brigade headquarters in Dawar, Gurez, exchanged sweets and also interacted with them.

This was for the fourth connective year that the Prime Minister celebrated Diwali with soldiers on a border—second time in J&K.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by army chief, general Bipin Rawat and northern command chief, lieutenant general Devraj Anbu.

A senior army official said that Modi reached the Srinagar airport at around 9.30 am and straightaway flew to Gurez to celebrate the festive occasion with the soldiers.

“Glad to have celebrated Diwali with our brave army and BSF jawans in the Gurez Valley, Jammu and Kashmir,” Modi tweeted later.

In another tweet, he said that spending time with the forces “gives me new energy.”

“We exchanged sweets and interacted. Happy to know the Jawans practice Yoga regularly,” he said.

 “Our forces protect our motherland with utmost valour, displaying highest traditions of sacrifice and dedication,” he tweeted.

In 2014, Modi celebrated Diwali with soldiers at Siachen and announced Rs 570 crore package for Jammu and Kashmir which had been hit by devastating flood a month before.

The Prime Minister, in 2015, celebrated Diwali at the India-Pakistan border in Punjab, and last year, he celebrated it with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police in Himachal Pradesh.

Addressing the soldiers at Gurez, Modi, according to a New Delhi-based newspaper, told them that the central government was committed to welfare and betterment of armed forces in every way possible. He also spoke about the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP).

Addressing the soldiers, the Prime Minister said that like everyone else, he too wishes to spend Diwali with his family. “Therefore I have come among the jawans of the armed forces, whom I consider to be my family.”

He said that he had been told that the soldiers present at the gathering regularly practice Yoga. “This would definitely enhance their abilities, and give them a sense of calm,” he said.

He said that the soldiers who leave the armed forces after completing their duty tenure “can become excellent yoga trainers subsequently.”

“The Prime Minister spoke of the new resolve that each Indian citizen must make for 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence. He also encouraged the jawans to innovate, so that their routine tasks and duties become easier and safer. He mentioned how best innovations are now being recognised and awarded at the Army Day, Navy Day, and Air Force Day,” a statement released on the PMO website said on Thursday evening.