Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate to be extinguished and merged with NVM

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The Amar Jawan Jyoti located at India Gate will be extinguished after burning for 50 years. The eternal flame of Amar Jawan Jyoti will now be merged with the torch at National War Memorial at a program today just days ahead of the Republic Day’s celebrations.

The ceremony for the same will be held at 3:30 pm and will be presided over by Air Marshal Balabadhra, the chief of the Integrated Defense Staff as per the official reports. The decision to merge the eternal flame with the National War Memorial’s torch has been taken because the upkeep of both the flames was becoming more difficult. 

The arguments in favor of the decision have stated that since the National War Memorial has already been built to honor the martyrs of the nation, there is no need to have two separate flames to be lit at the India Gate in Delhi. The War Memorial, like the India Gate, has the inscription of all the martyrs. The names of the martyrs include those who lost their lives in different operations from the 1947-1948 war with Pakistan to the clashes with the troops of China at Galwan Valley. The names are also inclusive of the fatalities in the counter-terrorist operations on the walls of the National Memorial. 

The National War Memorial was built over forty acres at an estimated cost of around Rs. 176 crore and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2019. All the events related to the military that used to take place at the India Gate were shifted to the Memorial. The eternal flame at the War Memorial is placed below the central 15.5 m obelisk. The names of the 25,942 soldiers are inscribed on the four concentric circles called the Amar Chakra, Veerta Chakra, Tyag Chakra, and the Rakshak Chakra. The names of the martyrs are inscribed on granite tables in golden letters. The Memorial also has 6 bronze murals in a gallery in the Veerta Chakra that depicts the famous battles fought by the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and the Indian Navy. 

The India Gate was built by the colonial government to honor the soldiers of the British Indian Army who died in the First World War (1914-1921). The eternal flame of the India Gate called the Amar Jawan Jyoti was first lit in the memory of the Indian martyrs who died in the war of 1971 with Pakistan. 

Former Navy Chief, Admiral Arun Prakash said that the nation now has a proper National War Memorial so it is appropriate to shift the eternal flame to a new location. 

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