Agencies, New Delhi
Unveiling the country's first National War Memorial that pays homage to 25,942 martyred brave hearts since Independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday lashed out at the Congress for relentlessly pursuing a policy of appeasing and highlighting the names of only one family.
Speaking in presence of an overwhelming number of ex-servicemen and relatives of war heroes, the Prime Minister said - "From schools to hospitals. Highway to airports and stadium to awards, one finds only names of one family members. The answer to this puzzle lay with those who believe in Family First and not India First".
He also said it speaks a lot about the character of the same party and the leaders who indulged in corruption in the name of defence requirements and procurement.
"From Bofors to Helicopter deal, all the investigations are pointing to one family, it speaks a lot and clearly. Ironically, these people who want to describe themselves as decision makers of fortunes of people are putting out all efforts to make sure that Rafale aircraft do not arrive in the country," he said amid thundering applause from the gathering.
On the contrary, he said, "I firmly believe that the country's history, its culture and its civilisational ethos and values should be upheld always".
"Modi rahe ya, na rahen parantu desh ke crore logon ka tyag....(It is immaterial whether Modi remains around or not, but it is always important that the sacrifices of the countrymen and women and the stories of their valiant services at the altar of the nation must be always upheld)," Mr Modi said.
He said it is pertinent to ask this question today - why the sacrifices of armed men and women and common citizens were made to appear so 'negligible'.
"Why such an injustice was done to those who sacrificed a lot and everything for the country," the Prime Minister said.
Mr Modi said the demand for a National War Memorial has been there for many decades.
"About two and a half decades ago, the file of this memorial started moving, for a brief period during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's ji's regime, the process was expedited but after him, file movement again was stalled," he said.