New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): Several senior veterans favoured the merger of flame at the Amar Jawan Jyoti with the one at the National War Memorial while some opposed it citing the emotional connect with it.
In a historical step, days before Republic Day, the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate lawns was merged with the flame at the National War Memorial on Friday.
Lieutenant General (Retd) Vinod Bhatia who served as the Director General of Military Operations hailed the Centre's decision and said, "it is a good decision".
"Today is a great occasion, the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate is being merged with the National War Memorial. It's a good decision," said Bhatia.
"Amar Jawan Jyoti honours our soldiers in 1971 for 50 years. We have a National War Memorial which honours nearly 25,000 soldiers, sailors who made the supreme sacrifices in defence of India. The time has come to shift the Amar Jawan Jyoti to merge it with National War Memorial," he said.
Former Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Lt Gen Satish Dua (Retd) supported the move saying 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.
The officer said the controversy was needless as the flame of Amar Jawan Jyoti is being merged with that of National War Memorial, it is not being extinguished.
"National War Memorial is the designated war memorial at national level to pay homage all India's bravehearts, past present or future," he added.
Another veteran Lt Gen PJS Pannu (Retd) said, "This is a very good decision taken by the government, shifting is not the question, the honour lies where the names of the soldiers are written. The National War Memorial is the only place the soldiers should be honoured.
Air Force veteran Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur said that the eternal flame at India Gate is part of Indian psyche.
"You, I and our generation grew up saluting our brave jawans there. While National War Memorial is great, the memories of AmarJawanJyoti are indelible," he tweeted earlier in the day. (ANI)