‘Mann ki baat’: Modi recalls ‘peace efforts’ of Indian soldiers through UN missions

Srinagar: In the latest edition of Mann ki Baat, PM Modi on Sunday recalled the efforts of the United Nations in establishing peace across the world. Hailing India as the land of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) and how Indians have always spread the message of peace, unity and goodwill, PM Modi spoke about Indian security forces contribution to UN’s Peacekeeping Operations.

“Presently, about seven thousand Indian soldiers are associated with UN Peacekeeping initiatives which is the third highest number of soldiers from any country. Till August 2017, Indian soldiers had lent their services in about 50 of the total of 71 Peacekeeping operations undertaken by the UN the world over. These operations have been carried out in Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Congo, Cyprus, Liberia, Lebanon, Sudan and many other parts of the world. In Congo and Southern Sudan more than twenty thousand patients were treated in hospitals of the Indian army and countless lives were saved,” he said.

Speaking on the importance of equality for women, PM Modi recollected how Indian ambassador to UN, Hansa Mehta’s efforts helped tweak a phrase in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

“You may be aware that the preface of the Indian Constitution and the preface of the UN Charter; both start with the words ‘We the people’. India has always stressed on the importance of equality for women and the UN Declaration of Human Rights is a living example of this.

“In its initial phrase, it was proposed as ‘all men are born free and equal’ which was amended and adopted as ‘all human beings are born free and equal’ with the efforts of the Indian representative Hansa Mehta. It appears to be a minor change but it reflects a vision of a healthy thought,” he said.

PM Modi also paid tribute Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria, who was the only UN peacekeeper to be awarded the Param Veer Chakra.

“Who can forget the sacrifice of Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria who laid down his life while fighting in Congo in Africa? Every Indian feels proud while remembering him. He was the only UN peacekeeper, a brave-heart, who was awarded the Param Veer Chakra. Lieutenant General Prem Chand ji is one among those Indian Peacekeepers who carved a special niche for themselves in Cyprus. In 1989, at the age of 72, he was appointed the Force Commander for an operation in Namibia and he gave his services to ensure the Independence of that country. General Thimaiyya, who had been India’s army chief, lead the UN Peacekeeping force in Cyprus and sacrificed everything for those peace efforts. India has always been giving a message of peace, unity and harmony to the world. We believe that everyone must live in peace and harmony and move ahead to carve a better and peaceful tomorrow,” he said.

The Prime Minister also mentioned sister Nivedita’s tireless efforts to unite people by awakening their national consciousness. “India has been blessed with great people, who served humanity with selflessness,” he said.

He also urged people to participate in ‘Run for Unity’, a marathon organised in the memory of Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary on October 31. PM Modi insisted that people of all ages, male and female should participate in the event which will be held across the country.

PM Modi also spoke about the rise in sales of khadi and handloom in the country from ‘khadi for the nation’ to ‘Khadi for Tranformation’. It plays a very important role in the economic stability of rural India.

He once again emphasised the importance of yoga and encouraged youngsters to switch to yoga to improve their lifestyle.