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Current Affairs

Amar Jawan Jyoti

Date: 24 January 2022 Tags: Architecture

Issue

The Union government has decided to merge the Amar Jawan Jyoti with the flame at National War Memorial.

 

Background

The eternal flaming burning at the memorial was constituted to remember the fallen soldiers of the country in various wars and conflicts since independence.

 

Details

The flame was first inaugurated in 1972 Republic Day to mark India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

 

The memorial

  • The memorial consists of a black marble plinth, a cenotaph, which acted as a tomb of the unknown soldier.

  • It also includes an inverted L1A1 self-loading rifle with a bayonet, on top of which is a war helmet of a soldier.

  • There are four burners on the installation. At least one burner would be lit during normal days but all four are alive during special occasions. The flame would never be allowed to extinguish.

 

Burning flame

  • The eternal flame would burn continuously beneath the India gate using the help of gas cylinders. It was for the first time that the flame was extinguished.

  • In 2006, the mechanism was changed by connecting the burner to underground piped natural gas instead of cylinder.

 

Importance of location

  • The All India War Memorial, later renamed India Gate, was built by the British in 1931. It remembered more than 90,000 British Indian Soldiers who had fallen during various wars and campaigns.

  • Since it commemorated fallen Indian soldiers, the Amar Jawan Jyoti was established below to remember soldiers fallen after independence.

 

Need for the shift

  • The government claims that the names of all fallen soldiers are not mentioned at India Gate memorial. The new National War Memorial contains all the names.

  • Since both memorials serve the same purposes, it was felt unnecessary to keep two flames burning continuously. In addition, the India Gate is a symbol of India’s colonial past.

 

National War Memorial

  • It is a memorial that commemorates all the soldiers who have laid down their lives in the various battles, wars, operations and conflicts of Independent India. It was inaugurated in 2019.

  • A collective memorial at national level, for all fallen soldiers, never existed. The government finally decided for construction and design was selected through competition.

 

Features

  • Raksha Chakra:  Marked by a row of trees, each of which represents soldiers, who protect the country.

  • Tyag Chakra: It has circular concentric walls. The walls have independent granite tablets for each of the soldiers who have died for the country since Independence. 

  • Veerta Chakra: It has a covered gallery with six bronze crafted murals depicting the battles and actions of our Armed Forces.

  • Amar Chakra: It has an obelisk, and the Eternal Flame. This flame is continuously burning since 2019.