The news: The Centre on Monday informed that the Amar Jawan Jyoti for soldiers at India Gate will be merged with the torch at the National War Memorial in a ceremony. A part of the flame will be carried to the war memorial this afternoon. Soon after the decision, many political leaders slammed the centre’s decision.
What the opposition said:
- Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday in a tweet said, “It is a matter of great sadness that the immortal flame that used to burn for our brave soldiers will be extinguished today.”
- Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said, “Merging Amar Jawan Jyoti with War Memorial Torch means erasing history. Whatever is being done is a national tragedy and an attempt to rewrite history. The BJP has built the National War Memorial but that does not mean they can extinguish the Amar Jawan Jyoti.”
- AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted, “Modi again insulted our freedom fighters. It was due to their struggle that rights to life, liberty, equality, freedom of religion, freedom from untouchability, etc were guaranteed. Modi thinks this struggle was “waste of time”. Shameful. Duties without rights is slavery,”
What the Government said:
- “The flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti is not being extinguished. It is being merged with the flame at the National War Memorial. It was an odd thing to see that the flame at Amar Jawan Jyoti paid homage to the martyrs of the 1971 and other wars but none of their names are present there,” said government 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,” the official said.
Facts and Figures:
- The 40 acres National War Memorial, where the flame will be merged, was built in 2019 at a cost of Rs 176 crore and inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- The India Gate was built by the British in the memory of soldiers of the British Indian Army who died in World War-I.
- The Amar Jawan Jyoti was placed under the India Gate in 1971, when the Indira Gandhi-led Congress government was in power.