NEW DELHI: Prime Minister

Narendra Modi

on Sunday marked ‘Kargil Day’ by delivering his monthly radio address recalling India’s victory over Pakistan on the icy mountains 21 years ago but the messaging also appeared to be aimed at China.

In his ‘Mann ki Baat’ monthly radio address, Modi recalled how the Army foiled Pakistan’s intrusion. But as he delineated the circumstances of Pakistan’s “betrayal” by attempting to stealthily grab land and to deflect attention from its internal tro ubles at a time when India was trying to improve relations, the similarity with China’s aggression along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was striking, even though the PM did not mention China even once in his address.

PM Modi, while quoting a Sanskrit shloka, termed Pakistan an incorrigible enemy who compulsively sought to harm everyone, even those who tried to help them, a description that seemed to apply to China as well. “To the wicked, enmity with one and all for no reason comes naturally,” he said.

He said people with such a disposition kept thinking of harming even their wellwishers. “Such enmity will eventually prove costly for the ‘dusht’ itself, like Kargil did in the case of Pakistan,” the PM said, indicating a resolve to confront the border intrusion. Modi also made references to attacks by opponents back home as some have insisted that the government has downplayed the incursion.

“At times, without paying heed to the essence, we encourage certain things on social media that are detrimental to the country. We keep forwarding things out of sheer curiosity. Despite knowing that it is wrong, we keep doing it. These days, battles are fought not just on borders, they are fought within the country too, on many fronts simultaneously,” he said.

Modi quoted

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

’s Red Fort speech in 1999 in which he had cited Gandhi’s mantra. “Mahatma Gandhi’s mantra was — in the face of any dilemma, in order to decide what to do or what not to do, one must think of the poorest and the most helpless person of India,” the PM quoted Vajpayee as saying.

“Going beyond Gandhiji’s thought, Atalji had said that the Kargil war has given us another mantra, and the mantra was — before taking any important decision, we should think whether our step, our endeavour, is befitting to the honour of the soldier who laid down his life in those remote mountains,” he added.

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