Panaji : Stating that compulsory military training is needed to overcome “lack of patriotism among the people”, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday compared the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors to non-patriots.
Speaking at the ‘Know Your Army’ fair being held in the city in commemoration of the 72nd Army Day, Sawant said the military training will ensure that patriotism is inculcated in all Indians.
“At times one feels that military training should be compulsory. If it is made compulsory, I am not saying it should be made compulsory, but if it happens then such patriotism will be inculcated in all Indians. There is a need for this today,” Sawant reiterated.
Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik was also present at the event.
The Chief Minister said the protests across the county against the CAA are proof enough of lack of patriotism.
“When the Prime Minister passes a law in the highest forum, in Parliament, it is binding on all countrymen, and it is our duty to follow the law,” he maintained, lamenting “Today, there is a lack of patriotism among people, I feel”.
Further alleging that first prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru did not care for Goa and its liberation from the 451-year-long colonial Portuguese rule, Sawant said that therefore, the liberation of Goa was delayed by 14 years, after the Independence of India.
“I feel that the then prime minister Nehru was responsible for Goa getting its freedom 14 years after the country’s Independence,” he observed, pointing out, “If he had political will, really cared for Goans, he would have got Goa freed from the Portuguese rule early.”
“Forget 1947, he should have at least thought about us (Goa) in 1950. Why did we have to suffer the Portuguese rule for longer period,” the Chief Minister exclaimed.
Sawant also thanked military forces for their valuable contribution to liberate Goa from the Portuguese yoke on December 19, 1961. Naik in his address lauded the role of armed forces in propagating the ideas of secularism, selfless service and imbibing patriotic fervour amongst the youth of the nation.
He also appreciated the efforts of 2 Signal Training Centre for conducting the event in the city, and at the same time advised youth to join armed forces in large numbers.
Events like static display of military equipment, military band display, a dog show were followed by various cultural programmes and performances by Army helicopters.
Furthermore, traditional Lejim and Malkhamb teams from Belagavi displayed their talents.
Earlier, on the arrival of Sawant and Naik at the venue, they were received by Commandant 2 Signal Training Centre Brigadier Sanjay Rawal.