In the wake of ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’ being merged with the National war memorial flame, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel announced that Raipur will build a war memorial for martyred soldiers and other security personnel. It will be along with an eternal flame called the Chhattisgarh Amar Jawan Jyoti.
While announcing the war memorial Baghel said, “The flame at the memorial will glow continuously. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be performing the ‘Bhoomi Poojan’ for the memorial during his visit to the state on February 3.” Rahul Gandhi is set to visit Raipur in Chhattisgarh on February 3 to launch a financial assistance scheme named ‘Rajiv Gandhi Bhoomihin Krishi Majdoor Nyay Yojana’ for landless labourers.
This decision was announced soon after the central government’s move to merge the flame of India gate’s Amar Jawan Jyoti flame with the flame of the National war memorial.
CM Baghel in his interview with PTI expressed his disappointment with the central government by saying, “a society which does not respect its martyrs and does not preserve the memories of their sacrifices gets destroyed.” (Report by DNA).
Further adding he said, “We will honour the martyrdom of the brave-hearts (Police/Paramilitary/Army) of Chhattisgarh who sacrificed their lives for the nation in any part of the country, as well as the brave-hearts of the country who sacrificed their lives in the state through this memorial.”
The Significance of Amar Jawan Jyoti
The eternal flame of Amar Jawan Jyoti was established after India’s victory against Pakistan during the 1971 war by the then Prime Minister Indra Gandhi. The flame was ignited under India Gate (built-in 1931) which was built to commemorate the martyrdom of brave Indian soldiers who lost their lives during various wars since Independence. Since then the flame was never allowed to be extinguished and became an iconic symbol of the capital.
However, now when the central government merged the flame of Amar Jawan Jyoti with the National war memorial built-in in 2019 to commemorate all the fallen heroes, sparked a political row amidst the two political giants, Congress and BJP. Where Congress alleged that BJP is trying to erase the history by extinguishing the flame. On the other hand, BJP believes that the India Gate is a symbol of colonial past and Amar Jawan Jyoti’s flame should not be under it.