Modi visits National War Memorial ahead of swearing in, sets the tone for new term

May 30, 2019 By Vishal Thapar Photo(s): By Ministry of Defence
Prime Minister Narendra Modi walking up to the sanctum sanctorum of the National War Memorial in New Delhi to pay homage to soldiers martyred in the defence of India since 1947

Ahead of his swearing in for a second term in India's top political office on May 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the National War Memorial in New Delhi to pay homage to soldiers who've laid down their lives in defence of the nation.

The Prime Minister also paid homage at the samadhis of Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

These visits to pay homage have set the political tone for Narendra Modi's new term, in which he's expected to take a strong line in building up India's military capability. He had inaugurated the War Memorial - a long standing emotional demand of the armed forces - in the India Gate Central Vistas complex on February 25, incidentally the day before the path breaking air strikes on the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist camp mat Balakot in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the National War Memorial in New Delhi accompanied by the military top brass comprising (Left to Right) Vice-Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, Defence Minister Nirmal Sitharaman and Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre

Subsequently, the use of the military against India's adversaries became the central theme in a fiercely contested election campaign. With the surgical cross-border strike in 2016 on land and the Balakot air strike in 2019, the Modi Government created a new security paradigm which shed the earlier reluctance to use the military against adversaries across borders.

At the War Memorial, he was received by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre, the Service Chiefs and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, who accompanied the Prime Minister in paying homage to the martyred soldiers.