Rajnath Singh also said the tradition of women as both caregivers and protectors have continued over the centuries and remains deeply embedded in the customs and traditions of the region.
In a rare statement, Defence Minister and BJP leader Rajnath Singh today hailed the leadership of former prime minister Indira Gandhi and former president Pratibha Devisingh Patil while addressing an international seminar. Singh was speaking about women empowerment in India at the inaugural session of a seminar on the ‘Role of Women in the Armed Forces’, organised by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
“India’s former Prime Minister, Shrimati Indira Gandhi not only led the country for a number of years, she also did so during times of war. And more recently, Shrimati Pratibha Patil was the President of India and the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces,” said Rajnath Singh in an apparent reference to India Gandhi’s role in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
Speaking at the SCO-International Webinar on ‘Role of Women in the Armed Forces’. https://t.co/hz6kAxM5wQ
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) October 14, 2021
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a Eurasian group with headquarters in Beijing.
The defence minister also talked about Rani Laxmi Bai and said India has a positive experience in harnessing women’s power in national development.
Rajnath Singh also said the tradition of women as both caregivers and protectors have continued over the centuries and remains deeply embedded in the customs and traditions of the region. “If Saraswati is our goddess of knowledge, wisdom and learning, mother Durga remains associated with protection, strength, destruction and war,” he said.
The defence minister further said that women shall be able to join the National Defence Academy from next year.
Singh also said that India remains deeply committed to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. He said that India has long-standing and natural linkages throughout history to all the countries which are part of the SCO. “Our shared culture, ethnic, civilisational and geographical past has only been reinforced by our warm relationships and close ties. I have no doubt that this augurs well for a mutually fulfilling relationship in the future,” said Singh.