India's response to any attempt to test it will be "fierce", Prime Minister Modi said amid the ongoing standoff with China

The entire world is troubled by the forces of expansionism which is a mental perversion reflective of 18th century thinking, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a veiled dig at China on Saturday.

Without naming China, he said India had come out as a forceful voice against the ideology of expansionism.

He was speaking to soldiers at the Indian border post of Longewala in Rajasthan in what has been an annual tradition since he became Prime Minister in 2014. "My Diwali is not complete without being with the soldiers," he said. During his visit, he also sat in a tank.

While India believes in understanding and explaining, the country's response to any attempt to test it will be "fierce", he warned. Today, India hits the purveyors of terrorism in their home, he declared.

"The world knows that this country will not compromise at all on its national interest," he said.

The Prime Minister's remarks came amid the ongoing standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Pointing out that "vigilance is the key to security", PM Modi said only a nation that has "the capability to face the attackers and intruders" can be secure.

"Irrespective of advances in international cooperation and changes in equations, we simply can't afford to forget that vigilance is the key to security, alertness is the basis of happiness, and strength is the confidence of victory," the Prime Minister said.

Lauding the armed forces, he pointed out that it is because of the security provided by them that India is able to forcefully hold forth on the international fora. India's military power has enhanced its negotiating power, he added.

Recalling the Battle of Longewala, Prime Minister Modi said it would always be remembered in the annals of strategic planning and military valour. The ugly face of Pakistan, whose army was terrorising innocent citizens of Bangladesh, had been exposed.

"Pakistan opened the front on western border to divert the global attention but our forces gave them a befitting reply," he said.

Explaining the stress on Atmanirbharta and 'Vocal for Local', he said the government had recently decided that over 100 weapons and accessories would no longer be imported. He also expressed the hope that youth-led startups in the defence sector would take the country forward on the path of Atmanirbharta.