Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while addressing an event in Dehradun on Monday
Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while addressing an event in Dehradun on Monday

Sitharaman criticises previous govts for not building a national war memorial

ANI | Updated: Mar 04, 2019 17:31 IST

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], Mar 4 (ANI): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday criticised previous governments for not building a national war memorial as a mark of respect to armed forces personnel who lost their lives in operations since Independence.
The National War Memorial was inaugurated in the national capital by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25.
"The matter of a national war memorial was pending for 70 years. Every year, we go to pay respects to our jawans at the Amar Jawan Jyoti. The names of jawans, who lost their lives during the First and Second World Wars, are written there...This meant that there was no memorial for any of our jawans, who lost their lives in wars and counter-terrorism activities (since Independence)," she said while addressing an event here.
"Did anyone stop the previous governments from making a war memorial? In 2014, the BJP in its manifesto stated that a war memorial will be made. After coming to power, the Prime Minister made a small group on this which included retired jawans too. After that, an open competition was held on how to make this memorial... Youths from all over India took part in it. Later a judges' panel decided the best model," Sitharaman said.
"That too happened after taking permission from so many authorities...," the Minister said, adding the monument was made between 2016 and 2018.
"It has panel of all the wars India fought till now. In Rezang La, the whole unit was killed (khatam hua). Even the last bullet was used in the 1962 war, but (we) didn't give even an inch of our land to China. Aise shandaar yudh karne wale Rezang La ka bhi udhar ek bada panel me dhikhaya gaya ki kya h Rezang La," she said.
The memorial is spread over an area of approximately 40 acres and is a tribute to Indian soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice for the country post-Independence.
It is dedicated to soldiers who laid down their lives defending the nation during Sino-Indian war in 1962, Indo-Pak wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971, Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Sri Lanka and in the Kargil Conflict in 1999.
The monument has four concentric circles, namely, the ‘Amar Chakra’ or Circle of Immortality, the ‘Veerta Chakra’ or Circle of Bravery, the ‘Tyag Chakra’ or Circle of Sacrifice and the ‘Rakshak Chakra’ or Circle of Protection.
The complex also includes a central obelisk, an eternal flame and six bronze murals depicting famous battles fought by the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy in a covered gallery (Veerta Chakra).
Likewise, 16 walls have been constructed in the Tyag Chakra for paying homage to the 25,942 battle casualties. (ANI)

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