Border security paramount for development: Bhagwat (Lead)
Nagpur : Secured borders are of paramount importance to ensure prosperity and development of India given the current complex international scenario, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said here on Thursday.
"Border security and internal security are issues of foremost consideration as they ensure space and opportunity to the nation for prosperity and development.
"Fruitful efforts have been made to entwine the web of international relations by appraising the nations with our security concerns and getting their cooperation," Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief said.
While the government and the armed forces have displayed "clear intent to maintain peaceful and cordial relations with all the countries, including the neighbouring ones", at the same time it was necessary to remain firm and make prudent use of our capabilities while taking bold actions wherever necessary in the context of our security, he said.
For this, Bhagwat said efforts were underway to enhance the morale of our armed forces to make them well-equipped with the latest technologies, which is one of the reasons India's prestige is rising in the world.
He was addressing the much-anticipated annual Vijayadashmi celebration of the RSS at its Reshimbaug headquarters in Maharashtra, also known as the Orange Country.
Bhagwat also said attention must be paid to improve the basic amenities of the armed forces and their families, so that they can fight for the security of the borders without harbouring worries for the social security and wellbeing of their loved ones.
Though there are some laudable steps taken by the government, its implementation needs to be expedited as they pass through various departments like Defence, Home and Finance.
"All these actors (departments) need to be more sensitive and respectful to the endeavours of these forces and their readiness to make a supreme sacrifice even by putting their lives at stake that is a natural expectation that comes up in many discussions," Bhagwat pointed out.
Besides securing the land borders, the RSS Sansanghchalak urged the need to boost India's maritime borders in view of the dynamic international developments.
"There are hundreds of islands in the coastal area of India from Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the Lakshadweep Isles, situated at strategically important locations. Their maintenance and strengthening the facilities there must be implemented urgently from the security point of view," Bhagwat added.
He called for prioritising coordination, cooperation and resources among the Indian Navy and other forces guarding the maritime borders and the islands, since Indians living along the sea borders firmly hold their ground despite facing several peculiar challenges.
"If their wellbeing is taken care of these locals in the border areas can be of great assistance to tackle problems like infiltration, smuggling, among others.
"For this proper relief, education, healthcare and employment opportunities must reach them promptly and they should be imbued with patriotism, valour and virtues," Bhagwat said.
Commenting on the ongoing border skirmishes, the RSS chief said that the newly formed government in Pakistan has not resulted in any decline in its "overt and covert provocative activities" in states like Jammu and Kashmir, and Punjab... "which was neither expected nor happened".
He added that security without "total self-reliance" in the field of defence production cannot be assured and the pace of national efforts in that direction must be accelerated while continuing with the international multilateral exchanges wherever required.
Internationally-acclaimed child rights activist and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi was the chief guest for this year's programme.