India needs to be self-reliant in defence production: Bhagwat

Sabarimala; mohan bhagwat

New Delhi: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday 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 the context of national security,” Bhagwat said.

Speaking about the border and internal security, he said these are issues of foremost importance as a secure border and internal landscape provide the 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.”

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