The famed eternal flame ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’ that has been burning for 50 years at the India Gate lawns will be extinguished forever. Ahead of the Republic Day, the torch will be merged with the National War Memorial’s torch at a program to be held today.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin from 3.30 pm and will have the Integrated Defence Staff chief, Air Marshal Balabadhra Radha Krishna present, according to officials.
The decision was reportedly taken as it became increasingly difficult to maintain two eternal flames burning. It was also argued that since there was a National War Memorial built for the martyrs of the country, there was no need for a separate flame to be lit at the India Gate.
The National War Memorial also has the names of the martyrs similar to that of the India Gate where the names are inscribed. The National War Memorial further has the names of all the Indian defence personnel who lost their lives in different operations from the 1947-48 war with Pakistan to the clash with Chinese troops at Galwan valley.
Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the National War Memorial in February 2019. Since then, all military ceremonial events that earlier took place at the India Gate, were shifted to the memorial.
The eternal flame at the war memorial is positioned below the central 15.5 m obelisk. There are four concentric circles – the ‘Amar Chakra’, ‘Veerta Chakra’, ‘Tyag Chakra’, and the ‘Rakshak Chakra’ with the names of 25,942 soldiers inscribed on the granite tablets in golden letters.
Notably, the India Gate was built by the British government where the Amar Jawan Jyoti was lit in 1972 in memory of the Indian Army men who made the supreme sacrifice in the 1971 war against Pakistan.