India’s National War Memorial Is Important For What It Reminds Us

This is India’s war memorial. It took us over seven decades to build a space that honoured our war heroes, but here it is now, standing with pride just behind India Gate in Delhi. Did we need this war memorial? Some might say no, we didn’t, because this would be glorification of war. But how we see the war memorial now has changed over the years. Today, we look at it as a symbol of solidarity our solidarity for those among us who went to fight for our country. It’s a mark of respect for those who had to do what most of us wouldn’t ever be called to do lay down our lives for the greater good of our people. This war memorial, therefore, is a reminder that the loss is not for the individual soldiers and their families alone but for all of us, collectively, to bear. If you haven’t been to the National War Memorial, you might wonder what it looks like. We’ll tell you. It’s made up of four concentric circles depicting the journey of a soldier from birth to martyrdom. The outermost circle, called the Rakshak Chakra or Circle of Protection, is a ring of dense trees. Within that is the Tyag Chakra or Circle of Sacrifice, a circular line of granite tablets, upon which are inscribed the names of martyrs in wars from 1947 to 1999. Then comes the Veerta Chakra or Circle of Bravery, which is a gallery depicting some of India’s fiercest battles, such as the Battles of Gangasagar and Longewala, in bronze murals. And the innermost circle is Amar Chakra or Circle of Immortality, featuring the eternal flame, whose symbolism is unambiguous. There is also a garden in the memorial where busts of the 21 Param Vir Chakra are displayed. And there is also a souvenir store, managed by the Army Wives Welfare Association, and whose proceeds go towards the welfare of soldiers and their families. And that’s about it. These are what make up India’s National War Memorial. It was a long time coming, but here it is now, a sacred space for remembering the fallen forever. And a reminder for all of us, of the cost of war.

3 thoughts on “India’s National War Memorial Is Important For What It Reminds Us

  1. The Congress was obsessed with memorials for their first family, but were thankless when it came to the armed forces.

  2. Initially it was pure fear – that the military will take over the civil government like what happened in other countries which gained independence at the same time. But that fear is not needed anymore as it is impossible for the military to take over now. The civil government is entrenched now unlike in Pakistan or Indonesia or Egypt. Finally, we are secure so it's okay to celebrate. We must celebrate those who made sacrifices so we all can live peacefully – farmers, businesspeople, soldiers, scientists, administrators, politicians and more. That is their due and we never keep debts.

  3. I know how it feels but we should all thank NDA govt for some good things they have achieved..
    Like making this war memorial… scrapping 377(done by sc, but they could have stopped it)., And now recruitment of women in our army…
    It's ok to have ideological differences, but we should appreciate the good things they have achieved

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