National War Memorial (India)

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National War Memorial - राष्ट्रीय समर स्मारक
Established25 February 2019
LocationIndia Gate Circle, New Delhi, India
Coordinates28°36′46″N 77°13′59″E / 28.612772°N 77.233053°E / 28.612772; 77.233053
TypeMemorial
ArchitectYogesh Chandrahasan, WeBe Design Lab, Chennai
WebsiteOfficial government website of the National War Memorial

The National War Memorial (राष्ट्रीय समर स्मारक) is a monument constructed by the Government of India in the vicinity of the India Gate, New Delhi, to honour its Armed Forces. The memorial is spread over 40 acres and is made around the existing chhatri (canopy) near India Gate.[1] The memorial wall is flushed with the ground and in harmony with existing aesthetics.[2] Names of martyrs killed in wars in 1947–48, 1961 (Goa), 1962 (China), 1965, 1971, 1987 (Siachen), 1987-88 (Sri Lanka), 1999 (Kargil), and other operations such as Operation Rakshak, are inscribed on the memorial walls.[3]

The innermost structure of the National War Memorial (India) complex called the Amar Chakra (Circle of Immortality). The other structures in the entire Memorial complex are the Veerta Chakra (Circle of Bravery), the Tyag Chakra (Circle of Sacrifice) and the Rakshak Chakra (Circle of Protection).

A War Museum will be also constructed in the adjoining Princess Park area. The Princess Park, is a 14-acres area north of India Gate, with barrack-type accommodation, built during World War II, which since 1947 has served as family accommodation for mid level armed forces officers posted in Service Headquarters in New Delhi.[4] The proposed National War Museum and the National War Memorial will be connected by a subway. The War Memorial and Museum are expected to cost ₹500 crore (US$70 million).[5]

One section of the Tyag Chakra (Circle of Sacrifice). Among the names visible is that of Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja, killed during the Kargil War.

Architecture and design[edit]

A global design competition was conducted and the result was announced in early April 2017. Chennai-based architects, WeBe Design Lab's proposal was declared the winner for the National War memorial and was accordingly chosen for the conceptualization of the architectural design and for coordinating the construction of the project.[6] The chief architect of the National War Memorial is Ar. Yogesh Chandrahasan of WeBe Design Lab, Chennai. Yogesh Chandrahasan who designed the project said:[7]

“The whole concept is based on the thought that the war memorial should be a place where we don’t mourn death, but celebrate the life of the soldiers and pay respect to the sacrifices made by them.”

The National War memorial and Museum was designated as Special Project. The task to ensure its "timely execution" was allocated to a special project division, which is under Chief administrative Officer, Ministry of Defence. The task was also been entrusted with the Military Engineer Services.[8]

The Memorial has five concentric circles, a central obelisk under which is an "eternal flame" representing the immortal soldier (amar jawan).[1][9] The concentric circles are called:

  • Amar Chakra (Circle of Immortality)
  • Veerta Chakra (Circle of Bravery)
  • Tyag Chakra (Circle of Sacrifice)
  • Rakshak Chakra (Circle of Protection)
The Param Vir Chakra section of the National War Memorial. In picture is Major Somnath Sharma, PVC.

These four concentric circles are designed as a Chakravyuh, an ancient Indian war formation.[10]

The Param Yodha Sthal has the busts of 21 recipients of the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military honour.[1]

Timeline[edit]

Floral decoration on inauguration of The National War Memorial
A Fountain in the National War Memorial, New Delhi
  • 1960 - Armed forces first proposes a National War Memorial.[3]
  • 2006 - In the face of persistent demand from the armed forces and armed forces veterans for a national war memorial in the India Gate area, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government constituted Group of Ministers' (GoM) headed by Pranab Mukherjee (before he became the President) to examine the demand for a National War Memorial.[11] In 2006 the Defence Ministry decided that the war memorial should be set up in the vicinity of India Gate. But panels under the Ministry of Urban Development said the area is a heritage area and should not be built upon.[12]
  • 20 October 2012 - After 50 years, the government decided to mark the anniversary of the offensive by China's PLA formations from bases in Tibet, against Indian border defences, on 20 October 1962, by a solemn ceremony at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, to honour Indian soldiers killed in the 1962 war. At the ceremony attended by chiefs of the armed forces, AK Antony, the Defenses Minister, announced that the Government has conceded the long-standing demand of the Indian Armed Forces for a National War Memorial and that a national war memorial will be built at India Gate. He added that the group of ministers has cleared all outstanding issues on the matter and the armed forces will finally get their wish.[13][14] The Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, opposed the GoM's recommendation to construct a war memorial in the vicinity of the India Gate .[11]
  • February 2014 - In the build-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections Narendra Modi spoke about how previous government had failed to construct the war memorial.[15]
  • 7 October 2015 - Cabinet passed the proposal to build the war memorial. Clears Rs 500 crore for the memorial and museum. Sanctions Rs 176 crore for the memorial.[16]
  • May 2016 - The Union Cabinet, was apprised of the decision taken by the Empowered Apex Steering Committee (EASC) that Princess Park Complex would be the suitable site for construction of the National War Museum. As regards the National War Memorial the same would be constructed at ‘C’ Hexagon of India Gate as approved by the Cabinet in its meeting held in October, 2015.[17]
  • 30 August 2016 - A global design competition for the NWM and museum launched on MyGov.in web portal.[18]
  • April 2017 - Result of the global design competition announced. Mumbai based sP+a Studio's proposal won the design for the national war museum. Chennai based WeBe Design Lab's proposal declared the winner for the memorial.[15] A total of 427 submissions were received for the "Global Design Competition for National War Memorial" while a total of 268 submissions were received for the "Global Architectural Competition for Indian National War Museum".[19][20] The jury was led by architect and planner Christopher Benninger.[1]
  • 15 August 2018 - NWM misses first deadline for inauguration.[3]
  • 1 January 2019 - National War Memorial construction complete (not the museum).[3][21]
  • 25 February 2019 - The National War Memorial was inaugurated on 25 February 2019.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Baruah, Sukrita (26 February 2019). "Explained: India's National War Memorial". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  2. ^ Gokhale, Nitin A. (11 July 2014). "Fulfilling a sacred contract with the soldier". News Warrior. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Pandit, Rajat (1 January 2019). "Delhi: War memorial ready, 60 years after it was first proposed". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  4. ^ "Budget 2014: India to finally get a national war memorial, Modi govt allocates Rs 100cr - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  5. ^ "In Delhi, Army loses Lutyens territory; govt plans to build war museum, apartments in Princess Park - Economic Times". 21 January 2013. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  6. ^ https://thewire.in/urban/national-war-museum-delhi-india-gate
  7. ^ Das Gupta, Moushumi (28 April 2018). "War memorial near India Gate to be completed by Independence Day". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  8. ^ "Charter of Duties". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  9. ^ Siddiqui, Huma (25 February 2019). "National War Memorial: India's tribute to her war heroes, see stunning pics". The Financial Express. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  10. ^ Yadav, Namrata (3 March 2019). "Are you looking for someone you lost, Ma'am? They asked my mother at National War Memorial". The Print. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  11. ^ a b Nitin Gokhale (16 December 2012). "National war memorial - an unrealised dream". NDTV. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  12. ^ P Sharma, Aruna (5 December 2006). "Ministry seeks new war memorial". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  13. ^ "In a first, nation pays homage to martyrs of 1962 Indo-China war". First Post. PTI. 20 October 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  14. ^ http://www.newsx.com
  15. ^ a b Bhatnagar, Gaurav Vivek (21 April 2018). "National War Memorial Takes Shape Six Decades After Being Conceived". The Wire. Archived from the original on 30 January 2019. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  16. ^ "Cabinet clears Rs. 500 crore for National War Memorial", The Hindu, 7 October 2015
  17. ^ "Site for construction of National War Memorial and National War Museum - Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  18. ^ Press Information Bureau, Government of India, Ministry of Defence. "Global Design Competition for National War Memorial and Museum". Press Information Bureau. Archived from the original on 30 January 2019. Retrieved 2019-01-30.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ "Global Architectural Competition for Indian National War Museum". MyGov.in. 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  20. ^ "Global Design Competition for National War Memorial". MyGov.in. 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  21. ^ Alex Philip, Snehesh (7 January 2019). "National War Memorial to honour 22,600 soldiers set for R-Day eve inauguration". The Print. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  22. ^ Pandit, Rajat (3 February 2019). "National War Memorial to be finally inaugurated this month". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 February 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2019.