As row erupts over Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate with opposition parties cornering government over “extinguishing” its flames, the later has come up with a clarification on its move.
The government has said a “lot of misinformation” has been circulated.
Reports quoting government sources said the flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti is not being extinguished, but is being merged with the flame at the National War Memorial.
"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," the reports quoted government sources as having said.
The India Gate was built by the British. The Amar Jawan Jyoti was put under the India Gate in 1971.
The names inscribed on the India Gate are of only some martyrs who fought for the British in the World War 1 and the Anglo Afghan War and thus is a symbol of our colonial past, the government sources said.
They said the names of all Indian martyrs from all the wars, including 1971 and wars before and after it are housed at the National War Memorial.
Hence it is a true homage to have the flame paying tribute to martyrs there, they added.
Earlier, various opposition party leaders including Rahul Gandhi had launched a scathing attack on the government.
Rahul Gandhi had said: ‘‘It is a matter of great sadness that the immortal flame for our brave soldiers will be extinguished today.Some people cannot understand patriotism and sacrifice.’
Congress leader Manish Tewari had also alleged that extinguishing the flame tantamounts to removing history.
"Extinguishing Amar Jawan Jyoti tantamounts to extinguishing history. For it commentates sacrifice of those 3,483 brave soldiers who cleaved Pakistan into two parts and redrew map of South Asia post partition," he said.
Tewari said it is ironical that in the 50th year of liberation of Bangladesh Government seems to be working overtime to erase India's finest hour in post independent history.