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50-Year-Old Amar Jawan Jyoti Merged With 'Eternal' National War Memorial Flame

The ceremony was presided over by the Integrated Defence Staff chief Air Marshal Balabhadra Radha Krishna.

Updated
India
3 min read

Video Producer: Naman Shah

Video Editor: Rajbir Singh

Days ahead of the Republic Day celebrations in the national capital, the 'eternal' flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti, which has been burning for 50 years, was extinguished and merged with the torch at the National War Memorial on Friday, 21 January.

The ceremony was presided over by the Integrated Defence Staff chief Air Marshal Balabhadra Radha Krishna.

"The Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate will be extinguished and merged with the flame at the National War Memorial on Friday in a ceremony," news agency ANI had quoted an Indian Army official as saying earlier in the day.

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What Is the Amar Jawan Jyoti & Why Was it Merged With the War Memorial Flame?

Amar Jawan Jyoti is a memorial constructed after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 to commemorate the martyred and unknown soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces who died during the war. The marble pedestal, on which a cenotaph is situated, is bound by four urns, one of which holds a continuously burning flame that lends the monument its name.

Amar Jawan Jyoti

(Photo: PIB)

The Jyoti is located at India Gate, which was stablished by the British government in 1921 in the memory of the British Indian Army soldiers who lost their lives between 1914 and 1921, in the World War I and in the Third Anglo-Afghan War.

Since 1972, it has been a custom for the president of India, the prime minister, the three service chiefs, and other dignitaries to place a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti on Republic Day to pay homage to the deceased.

The National War Memorial, inaugurated in 2019, includes an eternal flame housed by a central obelisk, and six bronze murals depicting famous battles fought by Indian Army, Air Force and Navy.

The memorial commemorates the names of Indian defence personnel who have lost their lives in various military operations.

As per official sources, the Amar Jawan Jyoti flame was merged with the war memorial torch as the latter contains the names of all Indian martyrs from the various wars.

"The names inscribed on the India Gate are of only some martyrs who fought for the British in the World War 1 and the Anglo Afghan War and 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," the sources were quoted as saying.

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The extinguishing of the flame was not met with public outcry, with many arguing against the loss of its historical significance.

"It is a matter of great sadness that the immortal flame that used to burn for our brave soldiers will be extinguished today. Some people cannot understand patriotism and sacrifice - never mind… We will once again light the Amar Jawan Jyoti for our soldiers!" Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet on Friday.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published: 
Edited By :Saundarya Talwar
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