March 25, 2023

amar jawan jyoti: Amar Jawan Jyoti to be merged with National War Memorial flame | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Amar Jawan Jyoti or the “eternal flame” at the iconic India Gate will be extinguished after 50 years on Friday and merged with the flame at the adjoining National War Memorial (NWM) in the run-up to the Republic Day this year.
“A part of the flame at the Amar Jawan Jyoti will be carried to the NWM during the solemn ceremony to merge the two flames around 3.30 pm on Friday. The ceremony will be presided over by the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Air Marshal B R Krishna,” a defence ministry official said on Thursday.
India Gate was constructed by the British in memory of 84,000 Indian soldiers killed fighting for the Empire in World War-I and the Afghan campaign. The Amar Jawan Jyoti, in turn, was built under its arch by the Indira Gandhi government to honour the 3,843 soldiers who died liberating Bangladesh in 1971.
All national-level functions to pay homage to fallen soldiers, including the Republic Day and Independence Day, have been shifted from the Amar Jawan Jyoti to the NWM after it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2019.
“The names of 26,466 fallen soldiers, who laid down their lives in wars and counter-insurgency operations since Independence, are etched on the NWM walls. All our heroes are honoured there every day in a ceremony,” the official added.
There was divided opinion on the Modi government’s decision to extinguish the Amar Jawan Jyoti. “It’s sacrilege… The Amar Jawan Jyoti holds a special place in the hearts of our citizens,” said a veteran who did not want to be named.
Others, however, saw nothing wrong with the move. “India Gate was built to pay homage to soldiers who died in World War-I and earlier. The Amar Jawan Jyoti was later added as an ad hoc arrangement. Now that we have a proper NWM, it is appropriate to shift the eternal flame to the new location,” said former Navy chief Admiral (retd) Arun Prakash.

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