India is no longer weak and has become the most powerful country in the world, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Tuesday.
Speaking after unveiling a statue of Panna Dai, a 16th-century nursemaid, the Defence Minister also said that the Russia-Ukraine war was stopped for a few hours at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hence the government could bring back over 22,000 Indian students from the war-torn region.
"Such an incident will never be repeated in the future," he said after unveiling the 9.6 feet tall statue.
Panna Dai is known sacrificing her son to safeguard the future of Mewar in Rajasthan. When Mewar scion Udai Singh was left in her care after Rani Karnavati committed 'Jauhar' in 1535, he was attacked by his uncle Banvir. It was Panna Dai who sacrificed her own son's life to save Udai Singh.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajnath Singh said, "I consider myself lucky to have unveiled this statue. The story of Panna Dai's sacrifice is known to all. I was also touched by her bravery and valour."
"India has not invaded any country till date, nor has it occupied any place. However, if someone looks at our country with an evil eye, we give a befitting reply," he added.
Speaking about the country's armed forces, the Defence Minister said, "We will soon stop buying arms and ammunition from other countries, as everything will be manufactured in India. Presently, we are selling weapons worth Rs 13,000 crore. Eight years ago, this figure was only Rs 900 crore. By 2047, it will go up to Rs 2.75 lakh crore."
"'Amrit Kaal' is ending in 2047, which will take another 25 years. By 2047, India will become a 'Vishwaguru'," he added.
Praising Rajasthan, he said the soil of the state tells the story of women with valour, as he remembered the sacrifices made by Panna Dai and Hadi Rani, among others.
Hadi Rani was a brave queen of Rajasthan, who sacrificed her life to motivate her husband to go to a battle.
Remembering Panna Dai, Singh said, "She did not worry about being called a 'kumata', as she sacrificed her own son. She had only one goal -- to safeguard the kingdom of Mewar."
Union Minister of State Krishan Pal Singh Gurjar was also present for the event, which was attended by all the MPs and MLAs from Udaipur district.
The event was originally scheduled to be held in June, but it had to be postponed due to the protests against the Agnipath scheme for short-term recruitment into the armed forces.
(With inputs from IANS)