New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): Former Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Lieutenant General (Retd) Satish Dua on Friday termed the Centre's move of merging the Amar Jawan Jyoti with the eternal flame at the National War Memorial as the "right decision".
Speaking to ANI, Lt General Satish Dua said, "India Gate was built to pay tribute to the heroes of World War I. Since we did not have any national war memorial, we continued with India Gate. After the victory of the 1971 war, the Amar Jawan Jyoti was installed in 1972. It was not there before 1972. As we did not have a national memorial it continued to remain so."
"The merger of Amar Jawan Jyoti with the National War Memorial is the right decision to make. There should be no controversy. National War Memorial has a national character," he added.
In a historic move by the Centre ahead of the Republic Day celebrations, the Amar Jawan Jyoti or the "eternal flame" for soldiers at India Gate, was merged with the torch at the National War Memorial in a ceremony on Friday.
A part of the flame was carried to the war memorial this afternoon in a ceremony that was presided by the Integrated Defence Staff chief Air Marshal Balabadhra Radha Krishna. He laid a wreath after which a torch was lit from the Amar Jawan Jyoti, and the flame doused. The torch was then taken to the national war memorial by a ceremonial guard from the Guards Regiment of the Indian Army.
After travelling for around 150 metres, the torch was used to symbolically merge the flame from Amar Jawan Jyoti with the one at the National War Memorial. Air Marshal Krishna presided over the ceremony at both locations.
The India Gate memorial was built by the British government in memory of the British Indian Army soldiers who lost their lives between 1914-1921. (ANI)