Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday asserted that India will now achieve “strategic independence” and laid emphasis on self-reliance in the defence sector.
Speaking after the inauguration of a three-day ‘Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv’ at ‘Mukta Kashi Manch’ in Jhansi today, Singh said, “I want to tell citizens of the country through this event that India will now achieve strategic independence as it has achieved political freedom.” “India in the coming decade will achieve the goal to stop importing defence equipment,” he added.
“Such situations will arise in India within a decade when India will stop importing defence equipment and these types of equipment will be manufactured in India itself. We want to achieve ‘Samarik Swatantrata’ (strategic independence),” he said.
Citing Mahatma Gandhi’s statement “our freedom will remain incomplete till we achieve the goal of complete swaraj or swadeshi”, Singh said, “We also have to complete the journey of development and become completely self-reliant”.
“By Swadeshi, he (Mahatama Gandhi) meant self-reliance. Our country is rapidly moving on the path of self-reliance with the efforts of the Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the minister added.
Noting that “India is currently facing many conventional and non-conventional challenges”, Singh said, “These challenges have not only grown over time but have also diversified. Earlier, there were only border challenges. Later, India faced terrorism and Naxal challenges. Now, cyberspace and the potential for space hazard cannot be ruled out.”
Referring to this new mode of security challenges, the Defence Minister said, “It is now necessary not only to establish a modern full armed force but also equally efficient and production mechanism of self-defence equipment to fulfil the timely need of our forces”.
Singh informed, “This year I have decided that 209 such defence items which were earlier imported will be manufactured in India only and it will not be imported from foreign countries”.
“It is our only aim to be self-reliant in the defence sector. We have taken many big decisions recently in the field of defence production,” he said.
“Several ordnance factories have been converted into companies now so that better weapons can be prepared in time. Now, we can see the results of the steps taken by our government in the defence sector,” the Defence Minister said.
The senior BJP leader said that Hindustan Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has been given a Rs 50,000 crore order. “This is the largest ever order placed on any Indian company from the point of view of India’s defence.”
The Minister said, “Whatever happens, we will not purchase defence products from foreign countries. We will not only manufacture defence products for India but also for other countries. We will achieve this goal anyhow.”
Singh’s statement came when he inaugurated the three-day “Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv’ event beginning from today (Wednesday) and it will culminate with the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 19.
Ministry of Defence (MoD) is formally dedicating a number of schemes to the nation in the celebration titled ‘Rashtra Raksha Samparpan Parv’. These events are part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahaotsav’ celebrations.