PM Modi reaches Kargil to celebrate 9th Diwali with soldiers
Continuing with his annual tradition, PM Narendra Modi on Monday landed in Ladakh's Kargil—where the 1999 war with Pakistan was fought—to celebrate Diwali with soldiers. This is the ninth consecutive Diwali that Modi is celebrating with soldiers since assuming the top post in 2014. Last year, he spent Diwali with soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's volatile Nowshera sector.
Why does this story matter?
- The prime minister has set a record by celebrating the Diwali festival with soldiers stationed in different parts of the country every year.
- The Diwali celebration in Kargil marks the ninth consecutive time that Modi is marking the "festival of lights" with the security forces since becoming the PM.
- He has celebrated the highest number of Diwalis in Jammu and Kashmir so far.
Diwali at Kargil where India-Pakistan engaged in war in 1999
Nine Diwalis, nine places
To recall, immediately after he took over as the prime minister of the country in 2014, Modi celebrated his first Diwali with soldiers in Siachen (located in Ladakh), which is the world's highest battleground. Since then, the distinct tradition of the PM's Diwali celebrations continues as he is now celebrating the festival for the ninth time with the security forces.
'Meaning of Diwali is end of atank'
Addressing soldiers in Kargil on Monday, PM Modi stated, "The forces are the pillar of India's security. There has not been a single war with Pakistan where Kargil has not hoisted the flag of victory." "The meaning of Diwali is the end of atank (terror), and Kargil made it possible. In Kargil, our forces crushed terror," he added, referring to the 1999 Kargil War.
From Siachen to Kargil
After Siachen in 2014, PM Modi next celebrated Diwali at the Indian Army headquarters in Khasa near Amritsar in 2015. 1n 2016, he celebrated Diwali with soldiers near the China border in a remote area of Himachal Pradesh. In 2018, he reached Harsil in Uttarakhand to celebrate Diwali with the ITBP personnel, and in 2020, with Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer.
More celebrations in Jammu and Kashmir
Notably, the PM has celebrated at least three Diwalis with soldiers in present-day Jammu and Kashmir. In 2017, he celebrated Diwali along the LoC in Gurez, which is near Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. A year later, in 2019, PM Modi reached Rajouri, a western district of Jammu and Kashmir close to the LoC, to celebrate the festival with soldiers.