External Powers Have Exploited India Whenever Armed Forces Have Been Ignored: CDS Bipin Rawat

Source : United News of India (UNI)

External Powers Have Exploited India Whenever Armed Forces Have Been Ignored: CDS Bipin Rawat
CDS General Bipin Rawat delivered the Lecture at Ravi Kant Singh Memorial in Guwahati. (Photo credit: PTI file)

New Delhi: Territorial ambitions of China and Pakistan require Indian armed forces to stay alert and deployed along the border, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said on Sunday said external powers have exploited the situation whenever the armed forces have been ignored.

"Territorial ambitions of China and Pakistan require India's armed forces to stay alert and deployed along disputed borders and also along coastal regions round the year. History has been witness to the fact that whenever our nation has neglected the armed forces and its capability, external powers have been quick to exploit it," the CDS said while delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture on All India Radio.

"In the 1950s we overlooked this important lesson of history and allowed the security apparatus to drift till the Chinese shook us up in 1962. We had to relearn the lesson through an ingenious experience. Post 1962, we have had several skirmishes against the Chinese..." the CDS said, referring to different skirmishes including the Doklam stand-off and the ongoing stand-off in Ladakh.

"The outcomes have made it clear that Indian armed forces are alert and determined to defend national territory. This feedback has helped the Chinese and our leaders to pursue agreements for maintaining peace and tranquillity at LAC and several other measures for confidence building," he said.

He also said, "Pakistan attempted to disrupt our national integrity and annex parts of our territory in major attacks in 1965, 1971 and later in 1999. In all these conflicts it was effectively defeated."

The Chief of Defence Staff paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and said he united India. He also said that Indian Armed forces are an example of 'unity in diversity', and values like secularism, discipline, and loyalty are essential values inculcated among the forces.

"Important legacy of the Indian armed forces is it's totally apolitical outlook. A soldiers oath is to the constitution of India and to the constitutionally elected central government. ideology of a political party, or its hue and colour does not concern armed forces," the CDS said.

"Our armed forces, unlike those of some neighbouring countries, have stuck to loyalty to the elected government and thus contributed to political stability of the country," he said.

He also said the pillars of nation building in present times can be surmised as security, justice, economic development, and democratic polity.

"Security comes first, a secure internal and external environment is required for other pillars," he said.

Talking about the contributions of Sardar Patel, the CDS said, "Sardar Patel had immense faith in forces. It was his vision that he sent the newly formed Indian Navy to Lakshadweep to occupy territory".

"The quintessential visionary that Sardar Patel was, he had assertively voiced the need for an independent Tibet as a buffer state between India and China," he added.

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