In a stern warning to Pakistan, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said India will stop counting the bullets it fires in response if its neighbour continues to violate the ceasefire. He was in Mumbai to address a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers’ meeting on Saturday.
Singh’s statement comes in the backdrop of repeated violations of the ceasefire along the Line of Control, in J&K. An Army jawan was injured as Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire along the LoC in the Poonch district of J&K on Saturday. “We want friendly relations with all our neighbours, including Pakistan. However, Pakistan is constantly unhappy and keeps violating the ceasefire every other day,” Singh said.
Singh also said the use of ‘Swadeshi’ (indigenously manufactured goods) must be promoted. Addressing the Indian Merchants’ Chamber, a prominent body of Mumbai-based traders and businessmen, Singh invoked Thomas Macaulay, the British historian, and asked businesses to further the cause of ‘Swadeshi’.
Reading out an extract of Macaulay’s letter to the British Empire, Singh said, “Macaulay said Indians were of high moral value and could not be ruled out. But he added the only way to rule over the Indians was to make them feel they are inferior and everything that originates from the West is superior to them.” Pushing for the growth of the indigenous goods industry, Singh said, “Our country’s economists frown upon Swadeshi. They have been blindly copying western models and embracing globalisation, liberalisation and modernisation. In copying the West, we’ve lost our sense and as a result, our identity.”
Singh praised the government’s policies of luring foreign direct investment (FDI), even as he frowned upon globalisation in the same breath. “We have brought in 48% more FDI than ever before. This is a sign that the government is making changes in our economy,” he added.