Direct your quest for brilliance towards making country proud: Punjab FM to youth

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Chandigarh, Dec 20 (PTI) Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Sunday called on the youngsters to direct their quest for individual brilliance towards making the country proud.

Bringing down the curtains on the fourth Military Literature Festival (MLF) through a virtual ceremony, he underlined the role played by it in reigniting the craze for the defence forces amongst the Punjabi youth.

Elaborating on the reasons for coming up with the MLF in 2016, Badal expressed his gratitude towards Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for his guidance and direction, according to a government release.

“Our great tradition of serving in forces was being diluted with youngsters not choosing the profession as a choice, which we wanted to change,” Badal said.

“The whole nation owes a debt of gratitude towards our forces for their services to the motherland,” said Badal.

The MLF, a joint initiative of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore in collaboration with the Army's Western Command, was launched in 2016.

The fourth edition of the MLF this time was held virtually in the wake of COVID-19.

On the last day of the festival, Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor asserted that the infrastructural development done in the colonial rule, including the Railways, aimed at fulfilling the interests of British.

“The conventional argument the British made is that they left behind a number of institutions and practices which India had benefited from but the problem is that none of those things had anything to do with the interests of India. Every single thing that they could point to was only created for the British in their interest in order to prolong their rule or enhance their profit,” he added, as per a government release.

Tharoor said the Railways is the best example as it was only built to transport the material to the ports from where it could be sent to England and another purpose was to fetch army to every part of India to put the situation of mutiny or any other law and order situation under control.

During a special session on “Pluralism, the Defence Forces- and the Question of who is an Indian”, former Army chief VP Malik said, “Our armed forces today are a true reflection of the basic concept of diversity and unity.” Soldiers have all classes, religions and living together in barracks and eating from the same kitchens, he said.

Secularism, discipline, integrity, loyalty are the essential values that are integrated among our men and women, he said. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK