New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): Congress MP Manish Tewari on Friday slammed the Central Government and said that merging Amar Jawan Jyoti with War Memorial Torch means "erasing history".
Speaking to ANI, the Congress MP said, "Whatever is being done is a national tragedy and an attempt to rewrite history. Amar Jawan Jyoti is the soul of crores of people. Merging Amar Jawan Jyoti with War Memorial Torch means erasing history. BJP has built the National War Memorial, that does not mean they can extinguish the Amar Jawan Jyoti.""Extinguishing Amar Jawan Jyoti tantamounts to extinguishing history For it commentates sacrifice of those 3,483 brave soldiers who cleaved Pakistan into 02 parts and redrew the map of South Asia post-partition It is ironical that in 50th year of liberation of Bangladesh," he added.
He further said that the government seems to be working overtime to erase India's finest hour in Post Independent History.
Amar Jawan Jyoti is imbued in the National Consciousness. A billion people have grown up venerating it. He asked, "Why can't India have two eternal flames? Amar Jawan Jyoti and National War Memorial.""Redeveloping the Central Vista was hubris enough but extinguishing the eternal flame at India gate is nothing short of a crime. I am surprised that the nation is silent as a national icon would be snuffed out in the project to re-write History," he asserted.
He further appealed to all the political parties and the citizen of the country to stop this tragedy and said that this is our duty to stop this.
Earlier today, the Government sources had said that a lot of misinformation is being spread with regards to the same and it clarified that the flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti is not being extinguished. It is being merged with the flame at the National War Memorial, the sources said.
It 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 were 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," the sources added.
The Central Government lashed out at the Congress party which 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. NWM was inaugurated in February 2019.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti flame at the India Gate would be extinguished and merged with the flame at the National War Memorial today.
"The Amar Jawan Jyoti flame at India Gate will be extinguished and merged with the flame at the National War Memorial on Friday in a ceremony," said an Indian Army official to ANI on Thursday.
The ceremony would be presided over by the Integrated Defence Staff chief Air Marshal Balabadhra Radha Krishna who would merge the two flames, officials said.
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. (ANI)