Mann Ki Baat: PM belittled contribution of ordnance factories post-Independence; not a single word on China

Modi omitted any mention of Jawaharlal Nehru’s contribution to nation’s defence sector by establishing many PSUs like HAL, BEL, BDL, BEML after Independence; he did not talk about LAC conflict either

Mann Ki Baat: PM belittled contribution of ordnance factories post-Independence; not a single word on China
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NH Political Bureau

Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who does not hesitate to blame Pakistan for even trivial things that happen along the LoC – has maintained radio silence for weeks over the Chinese incursion in Ladakh.

People expected that the PM will finally say something about it in his radio show Mann Ki Baat on Sunday but the PM, who gleefully talked about the Balakot strike, has not only disappointed the general public but also even his own supporters.

Interestingly, Modi did not hesitate to attack the country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru without naming him. Further, he evidently lied about the defence sector at the time of Independence.

PM Modi said, “Friends, before Independence, in the realm of the defence sector, our country was ahead of many countries in the world. There used to be a multitude of ordnance factories. Many countries that lagged behind us then are ahead of us now”.

“After Independence, we should have made efforts in the defence sector, taking advantage of our prior experience…. We did not. But today, in the field of defence and technology, India is relentlessly endeavouring to advance on those fronts…. India is taking strides towards self-reliance,” added Modi.

But records suggest that Modi, whose government has allowed 100 per cent FDI in the defence sector, once again spread untruth by lying about the defence sector. According to scrutiny of facts available in the public sphere:

  • When the British left India, there were only 18 ordnance factories in the country
  • Arms, weapons, ammunition, etc were manufactured based on British technology
  • Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had a vision and mission about achieving self-reliance in defence and indigenisation of defence production
  • As a result, many defence PSUs like HAL, BEL, BDL, BEML and others were established after independence
  • As of now there are 41 ordnance factories, with 23 of them established after independence
  • Not a single factory was established by the BJP government in the last six years

Reacting to the PM’s blatant lie, CPI general secretary D Raja said, “How can the Prime Minister belittle the contribution of the Indian ordnance factories? Even in the COVID-19 crisis period, the ordnance factories have produced different types of PPEs required for the doctors, nurses and other medical staff for fighting the spread of COVID-19”.

Saying that instead of weakening “indigenous defence industry in public sector” Modi government should stop privatization bid, Raja added: “The government is now planning to privatise the entire defence production and has allowed 100 per cent FDI in defence. The government has decided to convert the 41 ordnance factories, which are now directly under the government, into public sector undertakings and then to privatise them. Handing over the defence of our country to the private corporates is against our national interest.”

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