Netizens Split Over Merging of India's Eternal Flame Linked to War Heroes at National War Memorial

CC BY-SA 4.0 / KCVelaga / Amar Jawan Jyoti Amar Jawan Jyoti (English:Flame of the immortal soldier) at India Gate
 Amar Jawan Jyoti (English:Flame of the immortal soldier) at India Gate - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.01.2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National War Memorial at the iconic India Gate on 25 February 2019. It has been built as a monument to soldiers and unsung heroes who have laid down their lives for the nation since its independence in 1947. The names of 25,942 soldiers have been inscribed in gold letters on granite tablets there.
The Indian government on Friday will merge the ceremonial flame of "Amar Jawan Jyoti", a war memorial existing at Delhi's iconic India Gate, with the one existing at the recently built National War Memorial in the city.
Amar Jawan Jyoti, which has existed for 50 years at the British-era India Gate, is a memorial constructed after the Indo-Pakistan War (Bangladesh War) of 1971 to commemorate the martyred and unknown soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces.
The merging of flames will performed in a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and will be presided over by Integrated Defence Staff chief, Air Marshal Balabhadra Radha Krishna, officials said.
But the government's move, taking place just a few days ahead of the country's 73rd Republic Day, has evoked mixed public reactions on social media.
Some netizens have supported the government's decision, while there are many who have slammed the authorities.
Supporting the move to merge the eternal flames, a user called the decision "great" and said that "Amar Jawan Jyoti under [the] India Gate was a failure of Congress towards the Indian Army".
Several others also supported the move and tweeted in favour of the decision.
Meanwhile, several social media users have slammed the government for merging the "Amar Jawan Jyoti" as they believe that "it is an insult to the martyrs of the 1971 war".
Rahul Gandhi, the leader of India's main opposition party Congress, has also slammed the federal government over the decision.
He said in a tweet in Hindi: "It is a matter of great sadness that the immortal flame that used to burn for our brave soldiers will be extinguished today. Some people cannot understand patriotism and sacrifice - never mind… We will once again light the Amar Jawan Jyoti for our soldiers!"
The federally ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) later shared a clarification about the decision.
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said in a tweet that "there is a lot of misinformation regarding the flame of Amar Jawan Jyoti".
According to media reports quoting government sources the decision was taken after it was found that the upkeep of the two flames is becoming increasingly difficult.
It has also been argued that since the National War Memorial has already been built to commemorate the nation's martyrs, a separate flame lit at the India Gate would be unnecessary.
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