Shimla: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday celebrated Diwali with Indian Army soldiers in the remote and strategic area of Lepcha in Himachal Pradesh, close to the India-China border, saying “these brave friends of mine stand firm and steadfast like the Himalayas on its borders”.
Modi shared his pictures and videos with the soldiers on X, saying, “Reached Lepcha in Himachal Pradesh to celebrate Diwali with our brave security forces.”
Dressed in an Army camouflage jacket and donning a black-banded hat, the Prime Minister interacted with the soldiers and said, “My festival is where you are.”
“The courage of our security forces is unwavering. Stationed in the toughest terrains, away from their loved ones, their sacrifice and dedication keep us safe and secure. India will always be grateful to these heroes who are the perfect embodiment of bravery and resilience,” the Prime Minister said as he celebrated the festival of lights with the soldiers.
In an address, the Prime Minister told the soldiers that in the past years, more than 500 women officers have been given permanent commission in the Indian Army.
“Today, women pilots are flying fighter planes like Rafale,” he said.
“Bharat of the 21st century is moving forward towards Aatmanirbharta. Now, the resolutions will be ours, and the resources will also be ours.
“India is safe as long as these brave friends of mine stand firm and steadfast like the Himalayas on its borders. It is because of your service that India is safe and is on the path to prosperity,” Modi said in his address.
Since 2014, Modi has been following the tradition of celebrating Diwali with soldiers.
He last celebrated Diwali with soldiers in Himachal Pradesh on October 30, 2016.
Lepcha falls in Lahaul-Spiti district, spread over 13,835 sq km. The climatic conditions in the entire district are harsh as much of the land falls under a cold desert where the mercury drops below minus 20-degree Celsius during winter.
In 2014, Modi celebrated Diwali with the soldiers at Siachen Glacier, in 2015 he spent time with soldiers at Amritsar border; in 2016 he celebrated Diwali in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh and in 2017, he went to Gurez in Jammu and Kashmir.
In 2018, the Prime Minister celebrated Diwali with the Army personnel in Kedarnath in Uttarakhand, while in 2019 he went to Rajouri in Jammu. In 2020, he celebrated Diwali in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer; in 2021 he celebrated Diwali in J&K’s Nowshera and last year he spent time with soldiers in Kargil during Diwali. (IANS)