Friday, July 3, 2020

Dharma Chakra Day: PM Modi to address celebration of Asaadh Poornima tomorrow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi (ANI): On Asaadh Poornima on July 4, President Ram Nath Kovind will on Saturday inaugurate the Dharma Chakra Day from the Rashtrapati Bhavan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would deliver a video address on the occasion to emphasise the teachings of Lord Buddha and the eight-fold path shown by him. The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), under the aegis of Union Ministry of Culture, is celebrating Asaadh Poornima as Dharma Chakra Day.

Dharma Chakra Day commemorates Buddha's first sermon to his first five ascetic disciples at the Deer Park, Rsipatana in the present day Sarnath near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The day is also celebrated by Buddhists all over the world as the day of Dharma Chakra Parvattana or "Turning of the Wheel of Dharma". This day is also aptly observed as Guru Poornima by both Buddhists and Hindus as a day to mark reverence to their gurus.

"In keeping with the historical legacy of India being the land of Buddha's enlightenment, his turning the wheels of Dharma, and Mahaparinirvana, President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the Dharma Chakra Day from the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi would deliver a video address on the occasion to emphasise the teachings of peace and justice of Lord Buddha and the eight-fold Path shown by him to overcome sufferings of sentient beings," said the Prime Minister's Office in a statement.

Moreover, a special address by the President of Mongolia will also be read out and a valuable Buddhist manuscript of Indian origin preserved in Mongolia for centuries together, will be presented to President Kovind. Minister of Culture Prahlad Patel and Minister of State for Minorities Affairs Kiren Rijiju will also address the opening ceremony.

Rest of the events on this day, including messages from top Buddhist religious leaders, masters and scholars from different parts of the world will be streamed from Sarnath and Bodh Gaya. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the whole program is being conducted virtually, like a very successful virtual Vaisakh (Buddha Poornima) on May 7 this year. The event on July 4 is expected to be witnessed by around 30 lakh devotees worldwide via live webcast, the statement issued by PMO further read. (ANI)

PM in Ladakh: Age of expansionism is over, this is the age of development

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing soldiers in Ladakh's Nimmoo on Friday. (Photo:ANI)

New Delhi (ANI): Taking an apparent dig at China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the age of expansionism is over and added that the new age of development is here.

"Age of expansionism is over, this is the age of development. History is witness that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to turn back," Modi said addressing soldiers in Ladakh's Nimmoo. However, the Prime Minister did not mention China at all in his address to the soldiers.

The remark comes amidst the ongoing tension between India and China at Line of Actual Control in the eastern Ladakh. In a violent face-off 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley on June 15-16 when Chinese troops attempted to unilaterally change the status quo during the de-escalation.
The Prime Minister also said that the people of Ladakh have rejected every attempt to create separatism in the region.

"Ladakh is the head of the country. This is the symbol of pride for the 130 crore citizens of India. This land belongs to the people who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the country... Every attempt to create separatism in the region was rejected by the nationalist people of Ladakh," Modi said.

He also said: "We are the same people who pray to the flute playing Lord Krishna, but we are also the same people who idealise and following the same Lord Krishna who carries the Sudarshan Chakra."
The two countries -- India and China -- have been involved in talks to ease the ongoing border tensions since last month.

Lauding the bravery displayed by the soldiers, the Prime Minister said: "The bravery that you and your compatriots showed, a message has gone to the world about India's strength."

"Your courage is higher than the heights where you are posted today," he added.

"Atmanirbhar Bharat ka sankalp aapke tyag, balidan, pursharth ke karan aur bhi mazbut hai,"(The determination of self-reliant India gets strengthened from your sacrifice and courage)," the Prime Minister said.

The soldiers were observed maintaining social distancing while PM Modi's address here.

PM Modi on Friday made a surprise visit to Ladakh and was briefed by senior officers at Nimmoo amid ongoing tension with China. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane.

He reached Nimmoo, early morning today and interacted with Army, Air Force and ITBP personnel.
Located at 11,000 feet, this is among the tough terrains, surrounded by Zanskar range and on the banks of the Indus.

Sources had earlier informed about CDS Rawat's visit to Leh today. General Rawat's visit holds importance since it comes in the wake of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to Ladakh being rescheduled.

Earlier, the Defence Minister was scheduled to visit Ladakh today to review the preparedness of the army amid the ongoing standoff with China.

The situation at the India-China border remains tense after 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in a violent face-off in the Galwan valley on June 15-16 when Chinese troops attempted to unilaterally change the status quo during the de-escalation. India and China have been involved in talks to ease the ongoing border tensions since last month. (ANI)

CDS of India Gen Bipin Rawat to reach Leh today: Sources

Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi (ANI): Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat is scheduled to reach Leh on Friday, said sources. He will be briefed on the present situation in the Eastern Ladakh sector by the 14 Corps officials.

General Rawat's visit holds importance since it comes in the wake of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to Ladakh being rescheduled. The Defence Minister was scheduled to visit Ladakh today to review the preparedness of the army amid the ongoing standoff with China.

The situation at the India-China border remains tense after 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in a violent face-off in the Galwan valley on June 15-16 when Chinese troops attempted to unilaterally change the status quo during the de-escalation. India and China have been involved in talks to ease the ongoing border tensions since last month. (ANI)

Indian Envoy meets National Space Council, discusses India-US collaboration in science and space

Indian Ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu (Photo: ANI)

Washinton (ANI): Indian Ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu on Thursday (local time) said that he had held several meetings with Kelvin Droegmeier, Director, Office of Science and Tech Policy, and Scott Pace, Executive Secretary, National Space Council this week to discuss India-US collaboration in science and space.

"Engrossing conversations this week w/ Kelvin Droegmeier, Director, Office of Science & Tech Policy, & Scott Pace, Executive Secretary, Natl Space Council on collaborations btw India & US in science & space. The knowledge partnership between our democracies will define our future," Sandhu tweeted.

Earlier today, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun and Sandhu inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi statue at a park in Washington DC, which was vandalised on June 3 during the George Floyd protests. (ANI)

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