In one of the most ‘tragic’ national events, the historic eternal flame at India Gate in New Delhi – the Amar Jawan Jyoti – will be ‘doused’.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti, which was set up in memory of the soldiers who laid down their lives in the 1971 India-Pakistan war, continued to lit for fifty years.
But, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre has now decided to douse the eternal flame and ‘merge’ it with the flame at the adjoining National War Memorial.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti flame will be doused on Friday and a part of it will be carried to the National War Memorial and ‘merge’ with the eternal flame there.
This ‘misadventure’ of the BJP-led central government has got down well with many people in the country.
“Whatever is being done is a national tragedy and an attempt to rewrite history. 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,” said Congress leader Manish Tewari.
“This government has no respect for democratic tradition and established convention, whether in parliament or out of it. The sanctity acquired after fifty years of the Amar Jawan Jyoti is being lightly snuffed out,” Congress’ Shashi Tharoor said.
Notably, while the Amar Jawan Jyoti was set up during the tenure of former PM Indira Gandhi in 1972, the new national war memorial was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi in 2019.
Senior journalists in the country have also criticised the move of the central government.
“2 Amar Jawan Jyoti flames currently burn — at India Gate and the National War Memorial. My stand is simple: let them both continue to burn where they are. Why not use both to actually create more AJJs in other cities and towns,” journalist Shiv Aroor said.
However, government sources have claimed that the flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti at Delhi’s India Gate is not being extinguished and is only being ‘merged’ with the flame at the National War Memorial.