The Amar Jawan Jyoti has been a historic symbol that has always remained constant at the Delhi’s India Gate. The eternal flame was a tribute to all the martyred soldiers that the country lost in the 1971 war and others and has remained lit for almost 50 years now.
But now on Friday, 21st January 2022, the flame was merged with the flame at the National War Memorial that is just a few meters away from India Gate.
This decision brought about a lot of criticism and backlash especially from opposition parties and even general people too, who felt as if a part of India’s history was being rewritten or changed in some way.
Is The Amar Jawan Jyoti Being Extinguished?
One criticism and fear a lot of people had after hearing of this move was that the Amar Jawan Jyoti is going to be extinguished. However as per government sources “The flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti is not being extinguished. It is being merged with the flame at the National War Memorial. It was an odd thing to see that the flame at Amar Jawan Jyoti paid homage to the martyrs of the 1971 and other wars but none of their names are present there.”
One of the reasons given for the change was that the placing of the eternal flame at India Gate could be seen as “a symbol of our colonial past”. And that it made sense for the flame to be where the names of all the soldiers lost in those wars are engraved.
Another reason given for the merging of the two flames was that the maintenance of both the flames was getting difficult. So as per the government, the solution could be to merge the two flames.
The National War Memorial is around 400 metres away from the India Gate and ceremony, where the two flames were merged into one, was presided over by the Integrated Defence Staff chief Air Marshal Balabadhra Radha Krishna who also actually merged the two flames.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti was kept aflame for all these years with the use of cylinders of liquified petroleum gas, or LPG. One cylinder of these was able to the keep the flame burning for around 1 and a half day. In 2006 though a change of fuel was made from LPG ot PNG or piped natural gas.
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