NEW DELHI: Pitching for the government’s thrust on increasing defence capability, Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said India needs to be strong to maintain stability in the region as only a strong person or country can ensure peace and order. Speaking at an event to mark the formation of the Azad Hind government by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in Singapore in 1943, Gadkari said, “Our focus on increasing the capabilities of our defence sector is not for expansion or to take land from others. We believe in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole world is a family). We need to be strong to advocate for peace and world order. Otherwise, no one listens to a weaker person or country or takes it seriously. You can’t enforce these principles, if you are weak.” The minister also said there is a need to take the life of Netaji to students and the young generation beyond what they read in their textbooks. Addressing the programme organized by industry body Ficci, A Surya Prakash, chairman advisory board of the Indian National Army (INA) trust, said the government must accord a due place for Netaji in the Central Vista area, which is being redeveloped. Prakash, who is former chairman of Prasar Bharati, said the issue has been taken up with the housing and urban affairs ministry. “The Central Vista area has buildings or complexes named after Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi. There should be something in the scheme of things for both Netaji and Sardar Patel. These can be either statues, auditoriums or buildings named after them,” he told TOI on the sidelines of the event.

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