NCC days taught me valuable lessons: PM Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Walking down memory lane, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today recalled his days as a young NCC cadet, saying his stint there taught him a lot, including values such as patriotism and way of life.

Modi said that the annual National Cadet Corps Republic Day Camp was like a mini India and said unity in diversity is the country's beauty and strength. "My childhood memories have been refreshed because I have also been an NCC cadet," he said addressing the PM's Rally at the NCC's annual Republic Day Camp here.

Narendra Modi

He said it was a privilege for him to come back to an atmosphere where he learnt the patriotism and way of life. Modi also tweeted a picture of him as a young NCC cadet.

The Prime Minister, however, rued that he was never selected to come to Delhi for the Annual Camp. He added that a boy cadet from his school who had come to Delhi for the parade had turned into an instant celebrity at his school.

The Prime Minister fondly remembered his NCC days, added that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, BJP's Delhi chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi and actor-turned-MP Jaya Bachchan were all NCC cadets. He appreciated the assembled cadets for the effort they had put in to be selected to come to Delhi for the Republic Day celebrations.

Addressing the cadets, Modi said, one experiences the string of unity while living in the country and exhorted them to contribute to the nation, especially by taking the cause of the cleanliness.

"In NCC and in everyday life, we keep hearing that be it Kutch or Kohima, it is our country, our soil. Our country is full of diversity," Modi said highlighting the need to visit various parts of the country and to interact with the people there.

Underlining that there was unity in diversity, Modi said, "This is the beauty of our country. This is the strength of our country. This is the prosperity of our country". He also said that being a cadet helps one understand India better.

To stress the point further, Modi refereed to the countrywide tours that Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi had undertaken during their time to understand the nation. He said that girl cadets had participated in large numbers. He also recalled that on Republic Day, the entire parade seemed to have become a celebration of "Stree Shakti" (women power).

He said through that parade, people across the country had now got the message that Rani Lakshmibai and Jija Mata are today present in every village and every family.

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