In Rafale backdrop..Bhagwat tells Govt to reduce dependency on foreign arms

Nagpur, Oct 18: For the first time Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat made a veiled reference to Rafale controversy. However, he avoided specific reference of Rafale. Bhagwat said India cannot be assured about its security without becoming self-reliant in defence production, while underlining that the country should purchase defence equipment from international market on its own terms. Bhagwat was delivering his annual Vijyadashmi speech at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. The Sangh was founded on the occasion of Vijyadashmi in 1925, and its chiefs' annual speech has been used to put out the organisation's perspectives on issues of national and social importance.

Bhagwat's remarks on defence production assume significance as the BJP-led government is under attack from the Congress over the Rafale fighter jet deal with France. "The country cannot be assured about its security without becoming self-reliant in defence production," Bhagwat said. He said that to sell its products in the international market, sometimes a country needs to purchase something from a foreign nation. Thus, buying defence equipment may be a part of trade strategy, or at times required also, the RSS chief said.

"This process of give-and-take in trade should not be stopped. It should be on our terms and we should not be dependent on anyone else for our security. We should get technology and enhance our domestic capacity," he added. Bhagwat said the country is not careless about its security but there is a need to be more active and vigilant. He asserted the country should become so powerful that no one dares to attack it.
"India has always displayed its clear intent to maintain peaceful and cordial relations with all countries, in words and deeds -- standing and acting firm and making prudent use of our capabilities while initiating bold actions wherever necessary in context of national security," Bhagwat said.

Speaking on border and internal security, he said these are issues of foremost importance as a secure border and internal landscape provide opportunity to the nation for making efforts towards prosperity and development.
Underscoring the importance of keeping the morale of armed forces high, he said it was essential to be more attentive towards their and their families' needs.

"There have been some laudable efforts in this regard by the government."

RSS chief also warned Pakistan of strong action in case it contnues to fervent trouble in India. Calling for a strong and muscular foreign policy to deter enemies from meddling in India, Bhagwat said that though the government has changed in Pakistan, but its policy remains the same on border with continuous ceasefire violations. While delivering the annual Vijaydashami speech here, he said that while India continues with the policy of peaceful co existence, many countries countinue to be hostile against India.  

“We cannot be negligent towards security… while there is no need to worry, but it is important to remain alert. We always wants peace and think of the world as family; no matter which party has been in government, this has been our policy, but it has been our experience that despite us being good and well meaning, there are many in the world who are hostile to us, we need to find ways to save ourselves from them,” Bhagwat said. making specific reference about Pakistan, Bhagwat said, “We have to save ourselves, we need to become so strong that those who plan an attack will not dare to do so. When war become inevitable, people die on both sides.”

News24 Bureau/ PTI