Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his radio programme “Mann Ki Baat” on Sunday urged people to light a lamp for soldiers while celebrating festivals amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

He also said that the country stands firmly with the country’s brave soldiers and security forces.

“The soldiers are serving the nation away from their family as they guard the country’s borders to ensure that the people in the country are safe from external threats,” PM said.

“Lots of festivals like Eid, Diwali will take place at this time of the year. During these festivals, we also have to remember our brave soldiers who have also stood at the borders. We have to light a lamp at home, in honour of these brave sons and daughters of Mother India,” he said.

“Today is the festival of Vijay Dashmi – Dussehra. I extend my best wishes to all of you on this auspicious occasion. This festival of Dussehra is the festival of victory of truth over untruth. But at the same, it is also a festival of victory of patience over crises. Today, all of you are living with great restraint, celebrating festivals with modesty. Therefore, in the battle, we are fighting, victory is certain,” he said.

“Previously, a large number of people used to gather in Durga Pandal for darshan of Goddess Durga. It was affair like atmosphere. But this time it did not happen. Earlier, big fairs were also held on Dussehra. But this time their form is also changed. Thre festival of Ramleela was also a big attraction, but there are some restrictions for it also. This time all large gatherings are banned. There will be Eid, Sharad Purnima, Valmiki Jayanti, Dhantesras, Diwali, Chhatth Pooja, Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti festival in coming days. During this corona crisis, we have to work with restraints,” he added.

On the occasion of Dussehra, the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh performed “Shastra Puja” at Sikkim’s Sherathang, less than 2 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Defence Minister was accompanied by officers and jawans of the Indian army.

As part of the occasion, Singh worshipped weapons, equipment and armoured vehicles as a priest chanted prayers in Sanskrit.

Rajnath Singh had extended Dussehra greetings on Twitter. “Best wishes to all the countrymen on the festival of Vijayadashami. On this auspicious occasion today, I will visit the Nathula area of Sikkim and meet the soldiers of the Indian Army and will also be present in the arms worship ceremony,” he wrote.