Here’s Why Amar Jawan Jyoti Will Be Merged With National War Memorial Flame
The flame lit up at the Amar Jawan Jyoti will be merged with the eternal flame of National War Memorial on Friday.
New Delhi: In a historic move, the flame lit up at the Amar Jawan Jyoti will be merged with the eternal flame of National War Memorial on Friday in the run-up to the Republic Day celebrations. Amid this, the Centre said there is a lot of misinformation circulating regarding the flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti.
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Sources said the flame of Amar Jawan Jyoti is “not being extinguished” but it is being “merged with the National War Memorial flame”. “It was an odd thing to see that the flame at Amar Jawan Jyoti payed homage to the martyrs of the 1971 and other wars but none of their names are present there,” sources said.
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Sources claimed that the names inscribed on the India Gate are of only some martyrs who fought for the British in World War I and the Anglo-Afghan War and thus is a symbol of our colonial past. “The names inscribed on the India Gate are of only some martyrs who fought for the British in the World War 1 and the Anglo Afghan War & thus is a symbol of our colonial past,” sources said.
According to the sources, the names of all Indian martyrs from all the wars, including “1971 and wars before and after it are housed at the National War Memorial. Hence it is a true shraddhanjali to have the flame paying tribute to martyrs there”.
“It is ironic that people who did not make a National War Memorial for seven decades are now making a hue and cry when a permanent and fitting tribute is being made to our martyrs,” sources said.
What Congress said
Earlier, the Congress took a swipe at the government over merging Amar Jawan Jyoti with National War Memorial flame and alleged that the move is like “extinguishing history and is nothing short of crime”.
Congress MP Manish Tewari on Friday tweeted, “Extinguishing Amar Jawan Jyoti tantamounts to extinguishing history For it commentates sacrifice of those 3,483 brave soldiers who cleaved Pakistan into 02 parts and redrew map of South Asia post partition It is ironical that in 50 th year of liberation of Bangladesh, Government seems to be working overtime to erase India’s finest hour in Post Independent History”.
He said Amar Jawan Jyoti is imbued in the National Consciousness and a billion people have grown up venerating it. “Why can’t India have two eternal flames? Amar Jawan Jyoti & National War Memorial,” he questioned.
Amar Jawan Jyoti: A brief history
The eternal flame known as Amar Jawan Jyoti was built in 1972 underneath the India Gate arch to commemorate the soldiers martyred in the Indo-Pak War of 1971. The black marble plinth pedestal with a reversed rifle, capped by a helmet, bounded by four eternal flames served as India’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The words ‘Amar Jawan’ are scripted in gold on the cenotaph. On important days, VIPs and top ranking military officials pay their respects at this monument.
The rifle and helmet at the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial belong to an unknown soldier who fell in the Jessore sector during this war. The rifle is an L1A1 self-loading rifle and the four urns are each ignited with the permanent light (jyoti) from CNG flames. The Amar Jyoti Jawan memorial was inaugurated by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on January 27, 1979.
Amar Jawan Jyoti and National War Memorial
The existence of Amar Jawan Jyoti was questioned two years ago after the National War Memorial came into being and the nation got a new eternal flame there. Back then, the Indian Army had stated that Amar Jawan Jyoti will continue as it is an “inseparable” part of the country’s history.
Earlier, tri-services chiefs and visiting delegates used to pay respect at the Amar Jawan Jyoti. Even on all important days like Republic Day and Independence Day, tri services chiefs used to pay respect at Amar Jawan Jyoti.
But with the new eternal flame at the National War Memorial and wreath-laying ceremony on all designated days being carried out at the memorial, the force will now merge the Amar Jawan Jyoti with the other.
The National War Memorial was built in memory of all soldiers and unsung heroes who laid down their lives defending the nation since Independence.
It is spread over 40 acres in the India Gate complex behind the canopy, and is dedicated to soldiers killed during the Indo-China War in 1962, Indo-Pak Wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971, Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Sri Lanka and in the Kargil Conflict of 1999, besides those killed in the UN peacekeeping missions. It is a memorial symbolised by an inverted bayonet and soldier’s helmet over it with an eternal flame burning beside it.
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