India finally gets a National War Memorial! Located in Delhi’s India Gate area, it was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. The Prime Minister also addressed a large gathering of ex-servicemen.
The monument commemorates the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers since Independence with the names of 25,942 martyrs inscribed on it.
Another Eternal Flame
PM Modi lit the ‘eternal flame’- signifying the souls of soldiers who laid down their lives for the country- under a 15.5 metre tall obelisk at the memorial.
This will be the second eternal flame after the Amar Jawan Jyoti under the arch of India Gate.
PM Narendra Modi also met the next of kin of the recipients of the Param Vir Chakra award.
The ceremony was accompanied by the dropping of flower petals by Indian Air Force helicopters.
Three IAF fighter aircraft also displayed the ‘missing man’ formation symbolising the departure of a fallen comrade.
National War Memorial – Key Features
The National War Memorial is spread over 40 acres and consists of four Chakras- Raksha Chakra, Tyag Chakra, Veerta Chakra and Amar Chakra.
The outermost chakra, Raksha Chakra has been made by a row of 750 trees which represents the soldiers guarding the nation.
The Tyag Chakra consists of 16 walls which have granite tablets inscribed with the names of the soldiers. Presently, it contains 25,942 names.
The Veerta Chakra comprises of six bronze murals depicting the famous battles of the three services. Each mural weighs between 600 – 1,000kg.
The innermost Amar Chakra has an obelisk. The obelisk stands at a height of 15.5 metres and is visible even from the entrance of the complex.
A retreat ceremony involving lowering of flags will be held here every evening.
Param Yodha Sthal is located adjoining the main complex. The structure has the busts of 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees.
Each bronze bust is surrounded by a lush green patch, complete with pathways and informative plaques about the recipient.
The memorial also has features like evening artificial lighting and a walking plaza.
PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat
On Sunday, PM Narendra Modi paid tribute to the martyred soldiers of the Pulwama terror attack during his monthly radio-broadcast ‘Mann ki Baat’.
He said that he was surprised that India didn’t have a national war memorial.
There should be such a monument to remember the contributions of soldiers, added PM Modi.
Amar Jawan Jyoti
The Amar Jawan Jyoti consisting of the eternal flame, the rifle and the helmet, was built under its arch for the soldiers who died in the 1971 India-Pakistan war.
The monument also honours the soldiers who sacrificed their lives after that.
On the other hand, the British had constructed the India Gate in 1931 as a tribute to the 83,000 Indian soldiers who had sacrificed their lives in World War 1 and the Anglo-Afghan war.