India@74: Don’t challenge India’s sovereignty, Modi cautions China, Pakistan

Don’t mess around with India’s sovereignty – this was the overarching message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on India’s 74th Independence Day.

“The world has seen in Ladakh what our brave soldiers can do to deliver on this resolve. From LoC (Line of Control) to the (Line of Actual Control), the country’s armed forces have given a fitting response to countries that threatened the country’s territorial sovereignty,” PM Modi said in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the majestic Red Fort.

It was a pointed reference to the two neigbours with which India’s relationship is currently under severe stress. PM Modi’s speech acquired an added significance as India’s weeks-long border standoff with China has entered a period of stalemate.

As opposed to troublesome neighbours, PM Modi proposed a new neighbouhood of hearts.

Sporting a white and saffron turban with a kurta, PM Modi underlined that India is connecting with its neighbours, whether they are connected to us through land or the sea, with the partnership of security, development and trust. “Today, neighbours are not only those who share the same geographical boundaries but also those who meet our hearts. Where there is harmony in relationships, there is amity,” he said.