Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday dedicated the Military Literature Festival (MLF) 2020 to all great warriors who have attained supreme sacrifice in service of our motherland. Inaugurating the Festival through a virtual ceremony this morning, Rajnath Singh said it was only befitting that MLF was conceived and conceptualised in Punjab, the land of heroic martial traditions.If this Festival of celebration of Defence culture and traditions could have come up anywhere, it had to be Punjab, Rajnath Singh remarked lauding the organisers for sculpting a viable platform for offering a peep into army culture to our youngsters aspiring to take up Forces as a career.Regretting his inability to attend the gala event last year due to extended Parliament Session, the Defence Minister congratulated the organisers and expressed great satisfaction to see the platform developing into a steady and meaningful means of enhancing greater understanding about matters military amongst our public at large. I was keeping track of all the activities including book discussions, panel discussions and daredevil feats being performed by our soldiers at MLF last year, he revealed.MLF, the joint initiative of the distinguished military historian and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore in collaboration with Western Command has steadily earned brand presence in the region since inception in 2017.Underlining the ever-evolving nature of warfare in global scenario, the Defence Minister urged people especially youngsters, to acquaint themselves with defence way of life to act as a formidable shield in case of need.
Today Mobile is as potent a weapon as Missile and our youngsters must leverage and complement our forces by leading research in cyber, biological and information domain, he added.Lauding the wide ranging topics chosen for MLF 2020 including Jai Jawan Jai Kisan, Self reliance in Defence field, and Bollywood; Defence Minister expressed confidence that the platform would keep providing stimulating conversations for greater regional and national significance. Urging the youth to imbue qualities of valour, sacrifice, and determination, he asked them to follow in footsteps of our great soldiers who are living legends and institutions in service of nation.Reiterating his personal affinity with soldiers, the Defence Minister said the current MLF essay was additionally special as the nation was celebrating Golden Jubilee of 1971 War against Pakistan.Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Governor V P S Badnore said given the rich martial traditions of the region of Punjab, it comes as no surprise that this region is a treasure trove of military events since times immemorial, thus simmering in unlimited tales of military invasions, campaigns and battles with the natural abundance of battlefield heroics, sacrifices and events that’s steered the course of not only the region, but the country as a whole.Terming the Fest special in its fabric as are the people of Punjab, Badnore said exceptional events like MLF highlight the military history, values, traditions and ethos which would otherwise never be known to the public. These events invite an overwhelming response from the people and it is truly a people's festival which is eagerly awaited each year by the people of the region. The enthusiasm of the festival gels perfectly with the dynamic and cheerful nature of the people in the true spirit of Chardikala, the Governor added.Badnore thanked the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and everyone engaged with MLF 2020 for making the Fest a continued success.
Speaking on the occasion, Senior Advisor to CM Lt. Gen. T.S. Shergill (Retd.) lauded the Headquarters Western Command for providing immense support in organizing the MLF. He regretted that the festival could not be held in open this time as the present year was engulfed by Covid-19 pandemic.Remembering late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, the Senior Advisor said that the former PM infused a new life and invigorated the nation by giving the slogan 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan' emphasizing the importance of both the farmer and soldier.The most enduring facet of the defence forces of the country is their multi ethnic and multi faith character which Punjab has proudly manifested ever since, in the service of nation, General Shergill added.Appreciating the endeavour of Punjab Government in organizing the MLF, the Chairman of Tribune Trust and former Governor of Jammu & Kashmir N N Vohra described the Fest as serving a very meaningful purpose with elaborate discussions reflecting on the issues of national importance such as territorial integrity of the country.Dwelling upon the past, former Governor said that earlier there was a sense of secrecy revolving around the defence related matters such as sharing experiences of war and making the documents shedding light on military matters, away from public glare. But now, the scenario is undergoing a change and if it continues, the young generation especially the cadets in the military academies can be really inspired, noted Vohra.Advocating a greater connect between the civil and military domains, he said that the better the cohesion between the two, the better it would be for the strengthening of National unity and sovereignty of the country.