NEW DELHI: The iconic Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate will be extinguished forever on Friday as it will be merged with the flame burning at the National War Memorial. “The Amar Jawan Jyoti is being merged with the eternal flame at the National War Memorial on Friday in an appropriate military ceremony,” said an Army officer.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti was inaugurated on January 26, 1972 to commemorate the country’s victory in the 1971 India-Pakistan war and as the nation’s tribute to the brave soldiers who laid down their lives. The monument consists of a platform on which a cenotaph is situated. On the top of the cenotaph is a rifle which stands on its barrel and a helmet is placed on the top of the rifle. The platform is bound by four urns which hold continuously burning flames called the Amar Jawan Jyoti.
Till the inauguration of the National War Memorial in February 2019, India did not have a war memorial dedicated exclusively to the Indian Armed Forces. The India Gate was constructed in 1931 as a memorial to soldiers of the British Indian army. Inscribed on the surface of the 42-metre-high arch are the names of 13,516 soldiers who died in the First World War (1914-1918) and the Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919).
The National War Memorial was built in honour of the soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice to defend the country since its Independence. It has 29,000 tablets on which 25,942 names have been etched and it is updated as and when a soldier is killed in action.
The memorial has four Chakra with Amar Chakra (Circle of Immortality) having an obelisk with the eternal flame that symbolises the immortality of the spirit of fallen soldiers. Since its inauguration, all military homage ceremonies have been shifted to there from the India Gate memorial.