- Amar Jawan Jyoti flame at the India Gate will be merged with the flame at the National War Memorial
- Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate was included in 1970s after India's victory over Pakistan
- National War Memorial was built in India Gate complex by Modi govt and was inaugurated in 2019
The Centre has clarified that the Amar Jawan Jyoti flame at India Gate is not being extinguished but being merged with the flame at the National War Memorial. The Government's clarification came amid sharp criticism from the Opposition leaders over reports that the flame, that has been burning for 50 years, will be extinguished.
"There is a lot of misinformation circulating regarding the flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti. 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 inscribed on the India Gate are of only some martyrs who fought for the British in World War 1 & the Anglo Afghan War & thus is a symbol of our colonial past. 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," sources said.
"It is ironic that people who did not make a National War Memorial for 7 decades are now making a hue and cry when a permanent and fitting tribute is being made to our martyrs," sources added.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti was constructed as a memorial for Indian soldiers who were killed in action in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, which India won, leading to the creation of Bangladesh. It was inaugurated by the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi, on January 26, 1972.
Military officials said on Thursday that the flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti will be "extinguished" on Friday afternoon, according to a PTI report, and merged with the flame at the National War Memorial, which is just 400 metres away on the other side of India Gate.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on February 25, 2019, inaugurated the National War Memorial, where names of 25,942 soldiers have been inscribed in golden letters on granite tablets.