Former Army Chief and Arunachal Pradesh Governor, General (Retired) J. J. Singh on Sunday said though war is not likely with China in the near future, India must keep modernizing and strengthening its defence mechanism as it would be a 'formidable deterrent'.
General Singh said China and Pakistan must also understand that 'patience' of India is not its 'weakness' and it is capable of defending its borders.
He said Buddhism, the 'religion of peace' travelled from India to China and there exists ample opportunity for India and China to resolve border issues peacefully but India must stay prepared for any eventuality.
General Singh said this while talking to mediapersons during 107th annual convocation of historic Khalsa College Amritsar (KCA) here.
He handed over 450 degrees to the students in the presence of Chander Gaind, secretary, Higher Education, Punjab, Khalsa College Governing Council (KCGC) president Satyajit Singh Majithia, vice- president Charanjit Singh Chadha and honourary secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina.
He said India must take up development of border areas, update intelligence network to deal with neighbours including China and Pakistan.
He said the present century belongs to Asia and China and India must work together as most powerful nations of this continent.
"We have shared history of peaceful co-existence despite border tensions in 1960s. There are ample opportunities that pending issues are resolved peacefully," said Singh.
Quoting that 'strength begets respect' he however said that the ongoing modernization of Indian defence forces must continue with full vigour.
During his inspirational Convocation address, he stressed on modernization of education and female literacy.
"If we teach girls they would be educated mothers and create an aware society to the benefit of mankind," he said as young students broke into applause.
He also expressed concern over rising trend of drugs addiction in Punjab, especially in border areas and sought corrective measures from government and society itself through awareness regarding the menace.
The Governor also sought educational exchange programs of Khalsa College and Guru Nanak Dev University with Arunachal Pradesh.
He was earlier welcomed by Majithia, Chadha and Chhina and KCA Principal Daljit Singh on his arrival at the function.
Gaind, who addressed students, also highlighted the programs of Punjab Government and how students must adopt professional approach in life.
He said the lessons that the students have learnt would go a long way in making there succeed in life.
Earlier, General Singh was so overwhelmed on seeing the grand college building and said that if he had the option to be born again, he would like to study at prestigious Khalsa College Amritsar.
Majithia said that the nation was proud on the ability of General Singh who was the first Sikh General of Independent India and an inspiration for the youth.
Daljit Singh read out annual progress report of the college highlighting achievements in academics, extra-curricular activities and sports.
The outstanding students were given gold medals and merit certificates.
Chhina later said in his vote of thanks that the students were lucky to have received degrees from a highly decorated soldier who rose to the pinnacle of glory in his career from humble beginning.
KCA also honoured Chhina and Santokh Singh for their contributions to the KCGC and society at large.
KCGC additional honourary secretary S.S. Kathunangal, joint secretaries Ajmer Sigh Heir, S.S. Abdal, SS Mannan, Nirmal Singh, Harminder Singh, Rajbir Singh, Principal, Khalsa College of Education J.S. Dhillon, Khalsa College of Engineering and Technology, Amarpal Singh, Principal, Khalsa College of Education (Ranjit Avenue) Surinderpal Kaur Dhillon, Principal, Khalsa College Chawinda Devi, Baljinder Singh Singh were also present on the occasion.
By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)