Defense Minister Rajnath Singh Celebrates Holi With Soldiers In Leh, Says Ladakh Is ‘National Capital Of Courage’


Defense Minister Rajnath Singh celebrated Holi with Army jawans in Leh on Sunday and praised their dedication to protecting the country despite extreme weather conditions. Originally planned for Siachen, the visit was canceled due to inclement weather. Singh was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande and General Officer Commanding, Fire and Fury Corps, Lt Gen Rashim Bali. Applying tilak with ‘gulal’ on soldiers’ foreheads, Singh also laid a wreath at the War Memorial to honor fallen soldiers.

Addressing the soldiers, Singh hailed Ladakh as the epitome of courage and bravery, akin to the national capital in Delhi or the economic capital in Mumbai. “Ladakh is the national capital of courage and bravery. Like we have the national capital in Delhi, the economic capital in Mumbai, and the technological capital in Bengaluru, Ladakh is India’s capital of courage and bravery. When everyone wants to hide in their homes due to extreme weather conditions, you stand up to protect the country from its enemies with unwavering willpower,” he remarked, as quoted by news agency PTI.

He commended the soldiers for their unwavering commitment to defending the nation, even in harsh conditions. Singh expressed gratitude, stating, “The country will always be indebted to the soldiers for their devotion and service. The commitment of the soldiers posted in high altitudes is much stronger than the sub-zero temperatures.”

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Rajnath Singh Says Soldiers ‘Doing Divine Work’ Are ‘No Less Than Protector Gods’

The Defense Minister also told the soldiers, “You are doing divine work. You are ready to fire at the enemy and take a bullet to your chest and it is due to this that the people of the country can celebrate Holi peacefully. I feel that all of you, while protecting us from the enemies, are no less than protector gods for us.”.

Acknowledging the soldiers’ sacrifices, Singh reiterated the government’s commitment to their welfare, saying, “It is our duty to take care of you, your children and parents. Our government is always working for the forces of the country with the same zeal with which you are working for this country.” Despite being unable to visit Siachen due to weather constraints, he extended Holi greetings to soldiers there, emphasizing the importance of celebrating festivals with those who protect the nation.

“Today, it was not possible to go to Siachen due to bad weather. Therefore, I wish a happy Holi to all soldiers deployed there,” the Defense Minister said, adding that playing Holi with jawans is one of the happiest moments for him.

“We all know that there is a tradition in our country that whenever there is any auspicious occasion, we start it by worshiping our beloved God. Even when we have a feast, it is offered to God first. The first lamp of Diwali, the first color of Holi, all this should be in the name of our protectors, our soldiers. Festivals should first be celebrated at the snowy peaks of Siachen and Kargil, on sandy plains of Rajasthan and with the Navy personnel aboard the submarine in the depths of the Indian Ocean,” he remarked, as quoted by PTI.

Singh urged the Chiefs of the three services to begin celebrations with soldiers a day before festivals, proposing that such events become an integral part of the nation’s culture. He concluded by reaffirming his intention to visit Siachen soon and interact with the soldiers there.

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