It’s been two years since the Modi government approved the proposal for the construction of a National War Memorial at India Gate in honour of our martyrs and now the construction is finally set to begin. Construction will commence in mid-November once the World Food India 2017 ends, and will take a year to complete. Construction was to begin in October, but was delayed due to events such as the Run for Unity and World Food India.
Since 1947, the country has fought six wars/operations, including the India-Pakistan wars of 1947-48, 1965, 1971, the 1962 war against China, the Kargil conflict of 1999 and the operation in Sri Lanka against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. This memorial will be in honour of the supreme sacrifice of over 22,600 soldiers who attained martyrdom in these wars. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is most likely to inaugurate the memorial on completion.
It is being said that the memorial will come up at India Gate’s C Hexagon, and a museum will be built at Princess Park next to the lawns.The work will be looked after by officials from the Ministry of Defence. Activities at India Gate will be restricted but there will be no traffic restrictions.
The project is expected to cost around Rs 500 crore. It will include an underground tunnel that will connect the memorial and the museum. The memorial’s walls will be engraved with the names of martyrs while the museum will showcase ‘heroic moments of the country’s defence forces’.
India Gate was built by the British as a memorial to 82,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who died between 1914-21 in the First World War. The sad part is, however, that despite the many wars fought since Independence, we still don’t have a memorial in remembrance of those soldiers who gave their lives fighting the enemy. This memorial is another example of how the Modi government respects and acknowledges the sacrifice of our soldiers, and how the Congress which makes grand claims of its dedication towards the forces couldn’t come to construct such a memorial despite being in power for most of the years.