Mumbai: Asserting that military might was the biggest deterrent to war, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday declared his government`s commitment to modernising the defence forces saying "when we are capable, no one can dare challenge us".
Inducting stealth destroyer INS Kolkata, the country`s largest indigenously built warship, into the Navy, he said defence forces would be modernised to ensure that "nobody casts an evil eye" on the nation.
"Fighting a war and winning it has now become less difficult these days. But a modern military, armed with state- of-the-art weaponry, alone is a guarantee against war. When we are capable, no one can dare challenge us," Modi said addressing naval officers and sailors at the Naval Dockyard here after commissioning the warship.
"When people have a sense of our military capability, nobody will ever dare to cast an evil eye on our nation," he said, describing INS Kolkata as proof of India`s intellectual prowess.
Stressing the importance of maritime security in fast- expanding global trade, the Prime Minister said India, with its vast coastline, was playing a major role in it.
"In the coming days, INS Kolkata will inspire confidence to those involved in maritime trade. INS Kolkata is also a great communication platform and will be useful in securing India`s trade interests at sea," he said.
"To ensure that India emerges even stronger, to ensure that our jawans don`t feel there is something wanting in our capabilities vis-a-vis other countries in protecting our nation, the government wants to modernise the defence forces," he said.
Referring to the decision of allowing 49 per cent FDI in defence, Modi said his government had made several provisions in the budget for defence offset to bring in global technology in the defence sector. The world`s best arms and equipment manufacturers would be invited to set up facilities in India and in coming years, the country shall become self-reliant in defence production, he said.
"Instead of having to import even small things (military hardware), we want India to become an exporter of these equipment over the next few years," he said.