Tag Archives: india gate

MOVING THE FLAME FROM AMAR JAWAN JYOTI TO THE NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Amar Jawan Jyoti India Gate
National War Memorial

   

Millions of Indians watched the poignant ceremony that saw officers in full ceremonial regalia undertaking the solemn and symbolic merger.

    But even as the epochal moment was playing out a rancorous protest erupted behind the scenes. More than one critic of the Modi-led NDA acerbically observed that a “power drunk” Prime Minister after toying with Kisan sentiments, was now flagrantly insulting the honour of the fallen Jawan. The NDA was accused of hubristically re-imagining India in its own twisted ideological vision. That in its hurry to do so it would stop at nothing even if that meant snuffing out the eternal flame that illuminated the heroism of the martyrs of the 1971 Bangladesh War.

    There’s little doubt that since 1972 the Amar Jawan Jyoti has been the most brightly flickering tribute to the 3,483 brave soldiers who played a heroic part in the cataclysmic cleaving of Pakistan that indelibly scarred that countries collective psyche.

    But it is also true that the febrile recriminations that we have heard over the last few days are based, at best, on what is only the illusion of an insult.

KNOW THE FACTS

    First, the facts. The eternal flame honouring the Amar Jawan has not been extinguished. It had merely been merged with the flame that burns out of a giant torch placed at the heart of the National War Memorial.

    This merger was an expected natural progression as the National War Memorial, which was inaugurated in 2019, is intended as a homage to martyrs of conflicts after Independence. Moreover, it had become the site of almost all recent military tributes.

    Secondly, the Amar Jawan Jyoti was always a makeshift memorial housed temporarily under the arch of India Gate. Ever since it was dedicated to the nation in 1972 the understanding was that the flame would be shifted to a more elaborate and permanent memorial. But somehow the endeavour to construct a national martyr’s memorial was not pursued and the Amar Jawan Jyoti found itself in a somewhat awkward limbo. As a default memorial, if you like, commemorating the sacrifice of the unknown soldier of the 1971 Bangladesh War under an archway built to celebrate the fighting spirit of Indian British Army Soldiers.

    Indeed, India Gate was built as a tribute to the fallen soldiers who fought under the British Flag in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The names of the combatants had been etched into the masonry of the structure. But no such etched-in-stone honour was given to the 1971 soldiers nor was a new memorial dedicated to them. The real assault on history then isn’t so much that the eternal flame was moved but the fact that for decades we consigned the heroes of 1971 to live on in posthumous anonymity—their gallantry symbolised by an unknown soldier.

         REAL HONOUR FOR 1971 HEROES

    Why on earth should the relatives of the fallen braves of 1971 have to salute the memory of an unknown soldier when their loss was clearly definable to them? And why couldn’t the state have bothered to erect a permanent monument all these years?

    In fact, the delay in constructing a permanent memorial in particularly jarring when one considers that in America the Vietnam War Memorial was built in 1980 (made from stone panels quarried from a site near Bengaluru in fact) within a few years of the end of that conflict. What’s more, the state paid their heroes an individual tribute by listing the names of which of each of the 58,320 men and women who died. That’s 58,320 names etched in stone.

    Frankly, India Gate—an Artistic Arc de Triomphe-as a house for the Amar Jawan Jyoti masks a travesty. It may have been intended as a tribute to the hundreds of India’s bravest who fought for the British, but it is also a monument to British immorality. India Gate lists the names of Indian conscripts that had no choice but to fight someone else’s arguably unjust was waged to preserve illegal colonial acquisitions. Worse, outside the trench these Indians were never considered equals to their British counterparts. They were all but canon-fodder.

ESSENCE OF INDIA

    While this dark fact does not take anything away from the valour of our ancestors, it does put a question mark over India Gate as the choice of a memorial to honour the sacrifice of those martyred in 1971. For one should never forget that the braves who died during the Bangladesh War sacrificed themselves to preserve lofty ideals: inclusiveness, liberty and equality—the very essence of India.

    It is plain to see why the New National War Memorial is by far better suited to house the eternal flame of gallantry.

Rahul Shivshanker

Editor-in-Chief. Times Now

Compiled by Kamlesh Tripathi

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our Publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai; Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida; India. Shoolini University, Yogananda Knowledge Center, Himachal Pradesh and Azim Premzi University, Bangalore).  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K; Herrick District Library, Holland and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, USA).

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories, Book reviews and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; Indica, 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; Happy Days, November 15, 2020; The Karma Cycle of Paddy and Wheat, December 15,2020; Power Vs Influence, January 31, 2021; Three Refugees, March 15, 2021; Rise and Fall of Ajatashatru, March 31, 2021; Reformed Ruler, May 15, 2021; A Lasting Name, May 31, 2021; Are Animals Better Teachers?, June 16, 2021; Book Review: The Gram Swaraj, 1.7.21; Right Age for Achievements, 15.7.21; Big Things Have Small Beginnings, 15.8.21; Where is Gangaridai?, 15.9.21; Confront the Donkey Within You 30.9.21; Know Your Strengths 15.10.21; Poverty 15.11.21; Top View 30.11.21; The Bansuriwala 15.1.22;  

(ALL THE ABOVE BOOK TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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SHORT STORY: CORONA ANIMAL CONFERENCE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Sit and enjoy the conference during these rare days of the lockdown. Here we go:

    Pained by human atrocities some likeminded animals who even happened to be old friends, prominent among them, being a cat, cow, dog, donkey, horse and monkey decided to meet somewhere, to discuss the burning issue, and chalk out a way forward, as human lunacy was troubling them big time. But, tiger the king of the jungle excused himself, as his species, was already under threat, from human beings and he didn’t want to take an adverse position against them any further.

    The scheming cat who happened to be a relative of, the king of the jungle opened the conversation by saying, ‘Friends! To us, all human beings look the same but they are divided by something called the religion, and unlike us, who don’t follow any religion but only follow our heart, human beings are guided by their religion. And if we could only exploit their religion, we could divert their attention from us to save ourselves.’

    ‘But what is religion? Asked, the donkey.

    ‘Arrey yaar! You don’t know religion? No wonder you’re called a donkey. You must have often seen human beings walking into differently looking buildings to pray. That is called religion.’ Clarified the cat.

    ‘But what is religion supposed to do?’ Enquired, the donkey again, exposing his ignorance further.

    ‘Well, it is supposed to divide human beings. And it is doing that quite effectively.  For you might have noticed, human beings fight tooth and nail for anything and everything. And since I keep gallivanting most of the times. I see that with my own eyes. They might be our enemies but they are the biggest enemies of themselves’ Said the relaxing horse.

    Thereafter, the animals decided to go for a long walk just to graze and relax since they were old friends and had met after a long-long time, to have a heart-to-heart conversation with each other. And they all were leisurely walking side by side, along the river, while the monkey was happily sitting atop the donkey’s back is when the donkey asked the horse,

    ‘Arrey boss, the government is planning a lot, for the employment of human beings but what about us? In the present scenario I neither have a job nor a peaceful place to stand, nor even an assured morsel of food. Every day, I need to walk quite a distance and that too across the road to feed myself where, you only get some dry grass and pesticides laden dry leaves to munch. A few years back I used to get the same food, in fact much better in quality, right here, where we are walking, but today because of these multi-storeyed buildings there is nothing left for us. The horse felt sad for the donkey, and while maintaining his pace he softly said,

    ‘I know, it’s very sad, but yaar, you’re a donkey, at least you know the art of survival and no one expects wonders from you. But look at my plight. A bright talented horse that used to participate in derbies and equestrian shows. But with age catching up I was thrown out of my job. I was then bought by a tangewalla and he used me mercilessly in Chandini Chowk for some time, but when tongas went out of circulation, he kept me for a month thinking he’ll be able to sell me off, but when he couldn’t he just left me here one day and never came back. And today a skilled guy like me is not only unemployed but even harassed on the roads by moving vehicles and the traffic police.

    ‘My dear horse, that’s indeed sad. Such a skilled personality like you, meeting up with such a fate.’ Donkey consoled the horse.

    ‘My dear dog, how are things with you?’ asked the cow.

    ‘Not too good. These Indians could never get out of their colonial mindset. They still keep foreign breeds as their pets, and that leaves we—the Indian mongrels on the lurch, and it really takes a humongous effort to fend for ourselves. And how about you?’ the dog asked the cat. The cat beamed and stretched itself while lazing atop the horse’s back.

    ‘Well … well, surviving somehow, only because we cats are of no use to a man. Neither, they require our skin, nor bones, nor our flesh. And that makes things somewhat easier for us; otherwise you can see how they have massacred the tigers of our family. But I guess in today’s time cows are the real VIPs’

    ‘But why do you say so?’ asked the cow meekly.

    ‘Boss because, you are hitting the headlines practically every day.’ Replied the cat.

    ‘But for political reasons,’ was the doleful moo of the cow.

    ‘So then, what should we do to survive, and improve our lives? Let’s ask the monkey who is very quiet.’ Suggested the dog.

    Monkey, who was sitting merrily, on the donkey’s back, with his eyes closed, enjoying the spring sun and the sprawling boulevard of India Gate on account of Covid lockdown was a bit amused at the melancholic conversation that was going around. He preferred to remain quiet even when the dog had asked a pertinent question. After a few moments when the monkey didn’t answer, the cow repeated the question and coaxed the monkey for an answer.

    Clever monkey kept quiet for a while and then blinked his eyes and said,

   ‘Well … Man might change. Let’s wait for the Corona Virus to get over.’

   But … will man ever change? Well I would like to believe the monkey.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****