Updated: Fri, 21 Jan 2022 12:13 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Centre on Friday clarified that the eternal flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti is not being extinguished but will be merged with the eternal flame at the National War Memorial at the India Gate complex in New Delhi. The government said that the flame at Amar jawan Jyoti paid tributes to the martyrs of 1971 and other wars however none of the names who made that supreme sacrifice for the country was present there.
"It was an odd thing to see that the flame at Amar Jawan Jyoti paid homage to the martyrs of the 1971 and other war heroes but none of their names are present there but now 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. This would be a true tribute to our fallen heroes," government sources as quoted by news agency ANI said.
The clarification from the government came after Congress criticised the move and accused the BJP government of "removing history" by extinguishing the Amar Jawan Jyoti and merging it with the eternal flame at the National War Memorial. Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi hit out, saying some people cannot understand patriotism and sacrifice, and added that the Congress will light the Amar Jawan Jyoti once again.
"It is a matter of great sadness that the immortal flame for our brave soldiers will be extinguished today.Some people cannot understand patriotism and sacrifice - never mind...We will once again light the 'Amar Jawan Jyoti' for our soldiers," Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
बहुत दुख की बात है कि हमारे वीर जवानों के लिए जो अमर ज्योति जलती थी, उसे आज बुझा दिया जाएगा।— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 21, 2022
कुछ लोग देशप्रेम व बलिदान नहीं समझ सकते- कोई बात नहीं…
हम अपने सैनिकों के लिए अमर जवान ज्योति एक बार फिर जलाएँगे!
Reacting to Congress' accusation, the Central Government lashed out at the grand old party and said that Congress was in power for close to 7 decades, however, did not even think of making the iconic National War Memorial (NWM), something that present-day Prime Minister Narendra Modi did in his very first term in office in January 2019.
The India Gate memorial was built by the British government in memory of the British Indian Army soldiers who lost their lives between 1914-1921. However, the Amar Jawan Jyoti was included in the memorial structure in the 1970s after the massive victory of India over Pakistan in which 93,000 troops of the enemy country surrendered.
After a long wait and multiple considerations, the National War Memorial was built in the India Gate complex by the Narendra Modi government and was inaugurated in 2019. After the inauguration of the building in War memorial, all military ceremonial events were shifted to it from the India Gate memorial.
The National War Memorial has the names of all the Indian defence personnel who have lost their lives in different operations from the 1947-48 war with Pakistan to the Galwan valley clash with Chinese troops. The names of troops who lost lives in the counter-terrorist operations are also included on the walls of the memorial.