In the run-up to Republic Day, the Centre stated that the everlasting light at Amar Jawan Jyoti will be extinguished after 50 years and united with the flame at the neighboring National War Memorial (NWM). However, the decision did not sit well the oppositions parties and several controversies are looming around this matter.
The Congress party accused the BJP administration of “erasing history” by putting out the Amar Jawan Jyoti. Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi lashed out, stating that certain individuals do not comprehend patriotism and sacrifice, and that the Congress will relight the Amar Jawan Jyoti. Rahul took to twitter and said it is a matter of great sadness that the immortal flame for our brave soldiers will be extinguished today. Some people cannot understand patriotism and sacrifice. We will once again light the ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’ for our soldiers, he added.
While Congress leader Manish Tewari claimed that quenching the light is the same as eradicating history. Manish’s tweet read, “To destroy Amar Jawan Jyoti is to extinguish history. For it reflects on the sacrifice of the 3,483 heroic warriors who divided Pakistan and redrawn the map of South Asia after partition.” He further added that the government seems to be working overtime to erase India’s finest hour in Post Independent History.
However, official sources stated that there is a lot of disinformation on the subject, and that the flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti is not being extinguished, but is being combined with the flame of the National War Memorial. According to government officials, it was strange to notice that the flame at Amar Jawan Jyoti paid tribute to the martyrs of the 1971 and earlier conflicts, but none of their names were present.
According to official sources, the names carved on the India Gate are only of a few victims who fought for the British in World War I and the Anglo Afghan War, and so serve as a reminder of our colonial heritage. The National War Memorial, they added, has the names of all Indian martyrs from all conflicts, including the 1971 war and wars before and after it. As a result, having the flame paying honor to martyrs there is a real homage, they said.