NEW DELHI: In a ceremony on Friday 21 January 2022, the Indian government announced that the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate used for soldiers will be merged with the torch at the National War Memorial.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti or the flame near the India Gate in the National capital was constructed in the year 1971 after the big victory of India in the Indo-Pak war and with the formation of the country Bangladesh. On 26 January 1972, the flame was inaugurated by Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of the country at that time.
The burning flame or Jyoti structure comprises of a helmet of soldiers, a marble pedestal and an inverted bayonet that symbolizes the sacrifices of Indian soldiers fighting the nation.
On each side of the cenotaph, there is a flame burning which total forms four flames. Among the four Jyoti only one remains burning all the time but during the occasion of Independence Day and Republic day the entire four flames are set ablaze.
Earlier until the year 2006, liquefied petroleum gas was used so that the fire continues from the Amar Jawan Jyoti but after that piped natural gas is required to the flame alive and currently natural gas is only used.
The decision has been taken to move the Amar Jawan Jyoti after 50 years by merging it with the flame at the National War Memorial.
The National War Memorial is located 400 m distance if it is measured from the opposite side of the India Gate. It was inaugurated after the BJP government came into power on 25 February 2019 by Prime Minister Modi.
The National War Memorial is meant for those Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the nation in different wars such as the India-Pakistan war 1947, Indo-Pak war 1965, Indo-China war in the year 1962, Kargil Conflict 1999 and Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka.
The government decision of merging the Amar Jawan Jyoti with the National War Memorial has given rise to many controversies among political leaders across the country as the opposition leader stands against the change in moving the iconic eternal flames.
According to reports, the significant decision was made after receiving complaints from officials about the difficulty in upkeeping both the flames.
The Congress leaders made various accusations against the government saying that it is removing the history of the country by extinguishing the Amar Jawan Jyoti.