Chandigarh, Dec 18 : Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday dedicated the Military Literature Festival (MLF) 2020 to all the great warriors who have made supreme sacrifice in the service of the motherland.
Inaugurating the festival virtually, he said it is only befitting that the MLF has been conceived and conceptualised in Punjab, the land of heroic martial traditions.
“If this festival of celebration of defence culture and traditions could have come up anywhere, it had to be Punjab,” Rajnath Singh said while lauding the organisers for sculpting a viable platform for offering a peep into the army culture to the youngsters aspiring to take up forces as a career.
Regretting his inability to attend the gala event last year due to the extended Parliament session, the Defence Minister congratulated the organisers and expressed great satisfaction to see the platform developing into a steady and meaningful means of enhancing greater understanding about matters military among the public at large.
“I was keeping track of all the activities, including book discussions, panel discussions and daredevil feats being performed by our soldiers at the MLF last year,” he said.
MLF, a joint initiative of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who is also a military historian, and Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore in collaboration with the Western Command, has steadily earned brand presence in the region since its inception in 2017.
Underlining the ever-evolving nature of warfare in the global scenario, the Defence Minister urged people, especially youngsters, to acquaint themselves with the defence way of life to act as a formidable shield in case of need.
“Today mobile is as potent a weapon as missile and our youngsters must leverage and complement our forces by leading research in the cyber, biological and information domain,” he said.
Lauding the wide ranging topics chosen for MLF 2020, including ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’, self-reliance in defence field and Bollywood, the Defence Minister expressed confidence that the platform would keep providing stimulating conversations for greater regional and national significance.
Urging the youth to imbue qualities of valour, sacrifice and determination, he asked them to follow the footsteps of “our great soldiers who are living legends and institutions in service of nation”.
Reiterating his personal affinity with the soldiers, he said the current edition of MLF is additionally special as the nation is celebrating the golden jubilee of 1971 War against Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Governor Badnore said given “the rich martial traditions of Punjab, it comes as no surprise that this region is a treasure trove of military events since times immemorial”.
Terming the fest special in its fabric as are the people of Punjab, Badnore said exceptional events like MLF highlight the military history, values, traditions and ethos, which would otherwise never be known to the public.
Lt Gen T.S. Shergill (retd), a senior advisor to the Punjab Chief Minister, lauded the Western Command for providing immense support in organising the MLF.
Remembering the late Lal Bahadur Shastri, he said the former Prime Minister infused a new life and invigorated the nation by coining the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’, emphasising the importance of both the farmer and the soldier.
“The most enduring facet of the defence forces of the country is their multi-ethnic and multi-faith character, which Punjab has proudly manifested for long in the service of nation,” Shergill said.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.