Address by Governor at the inauguration of Armed Forces Flag Day Fund Collection Programme
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra at the inauguration of the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund Collection Programme of the Mumbai City And Suburban Districts at Sahyadri State Guest House, Malabar Hill, Mumbai at 5.30 p.m. on Thursday, 20 December 2018
Shri Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar, Hon’ble Minister of Labour, Earthquake Rehabilitation, Skill Development and Ex-servicemen Welfare, Smt Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, GAD, Lt. Gen. S.K. Prashar, GOC, Maharashtra, Goa & Gujarat Area, Rear Admiral Puneet Bahl, Flag Officer Commanding (Maharashtra) Naval Area, Dr Jagdish Patil, Divisional Commissioner, Konkan Division, Air Vice Marshal Rajeev Hora, Air Officer Commanding, Maritime Air Operations, Shri Sachin Kurve, Collector, Mumbai Suburban District, Shri Shivaji Jondhale, Collector, Mumbai City, ex-servicemen and their families, distinguished donors, representatives of donor-organisations, ladies and gentlemen…
Good evening and greetings to you.
Of all the programmes I attend in my capacity as Governor of Maharashtra, and as Chancellor of state universities, I attach highest importance to the Armed Forces Flag Day, which we are celebrating belatedly today.
The Armed Forces Flag Day observed on December 7th, gives each one of us an opportunity to express our solidarity with the personnel of the Armed Forces and to convey our sense of gratitude and our appreciation to the servicemen, ex-servicemen and their families for their sacrifices.
There is a famous Sanskrit verse in our ancient scriptures. It says
जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी
Which means, our Motherland is superior even to Heaven.
Our Armed Forces protect our Motherland, the unity and integrity of the nation and provide us a safe and conducive atmosphere to progress, prosper and develop as a society and as a Nation. We must therefore remain eternally grateful to our Armed Forces.
India’s armed forces are the nation’s pride, a symbol of our values of sacrifice, valour and the spirit of national integration. They stand committed to the task of defending the territorial integrity of the country from any challenges. We are proud of our men and women in uniform, and are indebted to them for their defence of our borders.
During the past few years, the Armed Forces have played a stellar role in assisting civil authority in meeting the challenges in Jammu and Kashmir and in tackling the insurgency in the North-East. Our armed forces have also rendered invaluable service during natural calamities, including in flood relief operations. Their sacrifice, courage and bravery are a source of inspiration, and an example, for the entire country.
Only last month, the nation observed the 10th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attack on Mumbai in which we lost some of the best and bravest officers of the Police and National Security Guards and a large number of innocent citizens. Thanks to our brave men and women in uniform, we ended the terrorist strike within 3 days and brought the lone surviving terrorist to justice. We also exposed the nepharious role of our enemy country in the terrorist attacks.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
While the Armed Forces and other security agencies are doing their duty with utmost dedication and commitment, I do feel that we must work hard to emerge as a nation known for discipline and service.
For more than 800 years, India remained under foreign subjugation; first under the Moghul rulers and thereafter under the British Rule. At various points of time, parts of India were under the control of the Portuguese, French and the Dutch. This foreign domination affected our rich cultural heritage, our education system and our economy immeasurably.
Until 1700 AD, India was among the richest nations in the world in terms of its share in the world economy, which was close to 25 per cent. By the time, the British left India in 1947, our country was reduced to be one of the poorest nations in the world, with a contribution in the world economy of less than 3 per cent. From 25 percent, we came down to 3 per cent.
It has been rightly said that Eternal Vigilance is the price of freedom and liberty. We can maintain and preserve our liberty, our freedom and our democracy only if we remain vigilant about our duty to the nation and observe discipline in all walks of life.
I do feel that there should be regular interface between the Armed Forces and our schools and colleges at least once in a year. It will not only enlighten them about the important role our Armed Forces play, but will also instil in them a sense of patriotism and discipline.
The Flag Day provides us an opportunity to reflect upon our duty and obligations towards the ex-servicemen, the war-widows, the war-disabled and those who have sacrificed their lives for the country.
I am glad to note that the two Collectorates in Mumbai have exceeded their target of flag fund collection for Mumbai and Mumbai suburban districts for this year. I congratulate the Collectors for their commendable effort. I also appeal to the people of Maharashtra to contribute to the Flag Fund generously.
I particularly wish to congratulate the donors and donor organisations who have made it a tradition to contribute to the Flag Fund every year. Through their generous donation, they have set an example for other organisations and individuals to emulate.
I conclude by extending my greetings and good wishes to the members of the Armed forces, the ex-servicemen and their families on this day.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!