Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated this year's Diwali with soldiers in Lepcha in Himachal Pradesh.
Addressing the troops there, PM Modi said, "India is safe as long as our Army stands firm and unshakable like the Himalayas, on its borders."
The Prime Minister lauded the Army's role in securing the borders amid the conflicts around the world. "Given the situation in the world today, expectations from India are continuously increasing. In such a situation, it is important that India's borders remain secure. We are creating an atmosphere of peace in the country and you have a big role in this," he told the troops.
He added that India's Army and security forces have constantly contributed towards nation-building.
PM Modi remarked on his tradition of celebrating Diwali with Army jawans and said he has been doing it for the last 30 to 35 years. He said it was a tradition he has been observing even before he became the chief minister of Gujarat or the prime minister.
He also applauded the troops for spending the Diwali away from their families and said, "It is said that the festival is celebrated only where there is family, but today, you are all stationed at the borders while being away from your families. It shows the pinnacle of your devotion to duty."
He added that for him, a place where the security forces are deployed is no less than a temple.
PM Modi said India is now emerging as a "global player" in the defence sector and not only are the country's defence needs fulfilled, but also those of friendly countries. He added that between Diwali in 2016 and this year, India's defence exports have risen eightfold and the domestic defence production is now Rs 1 lakh crore.
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