The recent Uri Attack has left every citizen with a mixed emotional rush of grief, pain and anger. Early morning on Sunday, four armed militants attacked the Indian Army Brigade headquarters situated near the town of Uri, near the Line of Control in the Kashmir valley, killing 18 jawans.
In the aftermath of the attack, when emotions are running high, to the extent that a war with our neighbours is being contemplated, Dr Harsh Vardhan, India's union minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, has posted on his Facebook page an appeal to the youth of India to avenge the death of our jawans by channelising the pain and anger into making India a self-sufficient nation. In his Facebook post, Dr Vardhan has urged citizens to isolate our neighbours through entrepreneurship, hard work and becoming a self-reliant nation in the years to come.
Below is the complete post -
"Today, India retaliated to Pak firing. The army foiled another infiltration bid and gunned down at least 10 terrorists in Uri sector, J&K. This surge in infiltration is not just by Pakistan but by the nation that's supporting it.
We're all saddened by the loss of our Jawans in the Uri Attacks. Nothing that we do can compensate for their loss. Yes, we'd like to avenge them, but neutralising these terrorists is a short term solution. Because a terror factory in our neighbourhood keeps manufacturing them by scores, brainwashing innocent young kids who should be wielding books instead of guns at their age. It's a shame that in the 21st century, when we aim to make this world a peaceful place, there are nations that wish to bleed humanity with their extremism and bigotry.
The truth is, we can't expect the world to be kind and peaceful just because we ourselves believe in staying such. There will always be nations with imperialistic ambitions and can stoop to any level to establish a regional hegemony. Direct military action is only one way to counter such nations, but in this age and era there are better and more indirect ways to achieve this end.
Take the economy, for example.We're a nation of a billion people, one of the largest markets of the world. Unfortunately we have, in the last two decades, indirectly helped our enemies grow by importing the goods they have been dumping in our markets. Especially in the field of electronics, electrical equipment and other tech.
Imagine the billions of dollars we provide by buying these goods. Thanks to a market like ours, the goods are manufactured in large volumes, making it possible for them to produce it really cheap, killing any competition from elsewhere, domestic included.
So how do we counter this?
Calls for boycotting them fall as empty rhetoric. The question is, everyone likes to buy them because they’re cheap and get the job done. Domestic alternatives are expensive in comparison and even they use the same imported spares. More than half of the things we use are imported because we do not have the facilities and technical know-how to manufacture them at home.
It is in these times that the role of the citizenry comes into play.
There was a time when people with talent used to fade away unheard. But that shall be no more. You have chosen a government that has brought to you schemes like Startup India. Our PM has prepared an ecosystem where anyone can become an entrepreneur. All you need is talent, dedication and zeal.
It's now our duty to procure and develop technology, and establish units for manufacturing the things that we've been in the practice of importing so far.
Being the minister of Science and Technology, I urge the youth to take advantage of various entrepreneurship schemes, fellowships and research grants in the field, and unleash their talent for the rapid scientific growth of the country.
Your talent and hard work can make a difference to the India of tomorrow. An India that doesn’t have to depend on foreign ToT for producing better fighter jets and submarines. An India that is self-reliant in its defence and security. Can we do that? I’m sure we can because I see a generation that has massive potential in it and a love for this great nation.
The government is with you to provide you skills, R&D support, technical expertise, ease of doing business, tax benefits and even seed funding. You have to take this initiative forward. You have to take this nation forward. You have to equip it with everything it needs in this century and beyond. You have to make it an exporter of surplus rather than an importer of deficits.
We will avenge our brothers and sons, the army is at the job. But if you want a complete and long lasting revenge, start boycotting imports from enemy nations. Start your own units, industrialise this nation with modern tech and do your bit to making this nation stronger and self-reliant.
So we no longer have to use equipment that we suspect may have spytech in it.
So we no longer have to fill the pockets of nations that support the taking of the lives of our soldiers.
So that we can make this nation rock solid on its foundations and take it to a stage of technical advancement where no enemy can dare touch us.
This will be a real tribute to every soldier that has fallen, and the beginning of an era where we can be proud of our strengths and achievements. You have a responsibility to carry forward, and we are with you.