GR News Desk | New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday dedicated the National War Memorial to the nation by lighting the ‘eternal flame’ in New Delhi. The memorial is located just East of the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate and is dedicated to the soldiers of armed forces who laid their lives in the service of the nation.
The demand for the memorial had been raised for decades, however with little to no effort being made in the past. The Prime Minister addressing the veterans praised his government for timely completion of the memorial. The War Memorial has been made with a budget of Rs 176 crore after being initially conceptualised in 1961. Names of 25,942 soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice in multiple conflicts after Independence has been engraved in gold on granite tablets, and placed on 16 ‘honour walls’.
The memorial was inaugurated by the prime minister in the presence of serving armed forces personnel and veterans who hailed the government for its efforts. Meanwhile, PM Modi targetted Congress in his address accusing the UPA government of “forgetting martyrs and ignoring them.”
“The demand for a national war memorial has been raised for decades, there were efforts in the last decade or two but nothing concrete took place. But with your blessings, we began the process of its construction in 2014 and we are inaugurating it within the set deadline,” the prime minister told the gathering. Modi also praised his government for introducing the One Rank One Pension (OROP) for defence personnel and criticised the Congress-led UPA government. He added that Rs 35,000 crore has been distributed under OROP by his government in the last four years.
Modi also commended the Indian Air Force for inducting women in combat flying by allowing them to take the throttles of fighter aircraft in their hands. However, in a jibe over the Gandhi family, Modi added, “These people had made the forces a source of their income. Maybe they could not get anything by remembering the martyrs, therefore they decided to forget them. The scandals of Bofors to the tainted helicopter deal reaching to one family says a lot, now the same people are desperately trying that the Rafale does not fly in the Indian skies. But in the next few months, when the Rafale flies in India their conspiracies will be brought down.”
The inauguration of the war memorial was marked by a flypast by IAF helicopters over Rajpath which showered rose petals overhead.