OCTOBER 20 has come to acquire a special significance for us all. It was on this date two years ago that our northern neighbour, whom we had treated as a friend, launched an attack on our borders. During the weeks that followed this fateful day, the world witnessed a most heart-warming demonstration of the basic unity and solidarity of the Indian people.
The observance of National Solidarity Day is an annual reminder of this fundamental unity. On this day, the thoughts of the whole nation turn to our Armed Forces who gallantly guard our extensive borders and who have, throughout history, been famous for their courage and stamina.
We believe in peace and peaceful development, not only for our¬selves but for people all over the world. Our main preoccupation is with economic and social development at home and peace and friend¬ship abroad. To our Armed Forces, who have been guarding our frontiers, facing the rigours of winter in the mountains; who have been taking part in peace-keeping programmes under the auspices of the UNO and of the Geneva Agreements on Indo-China; whose sense of discipline, unity and loyalty inspires the whole nation, I send my greetings on National Solidarity Day. The whole nation remembers them today with gratitude, affection and admiration.