While lighting the flame located at the bottom of the 15.5-metre long erected obelisk, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National War Memorial in the heart of national capital, Delhi, near India Gate. The memorial is spread across 40 acres land in the India Gate complex at the centre point of Delhi. PM Modi entered the memorial in his own dashing style with Union Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, and chiefs of three defence forces viz; Army, Air Force and Navy, around him escorting him to the ‘eternal flame’, the flame that denotes soldiers’ souls. It has 16 walls in it’s space which has 25,942 war martyrs’ names inscribed on it. PM Modi along with Sitharaman and three chiefs laid wreath to the unsung heroes of the nation at the museum. The entire museum can accommodate 250 people at anytime.
The National War Memorial was built in a period of one year, starting February 2018 and finished in February 2019. The project has caused the expense of Rs. 176 crore. The inauguration ceremony was attended by a huge number of ex-army men who thanked PM Modi for gifting the country it’s first War Memorial museum.
PM Modi told all Indians through his last ‘Mann ki Baat’ that National War Memorial is nothing less than a holy place to visit. He said that the museum is a gratitude to those brave hearts who met martyrdom for the country’s protection and prestige.
PM Modi said at the event that he feels pained for not having such a museum in the last 60 years. “About two and a half decades ago, the file of this memorial started moving, for a brief period during former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s regime, the process was expedited but after him, situation was back to square one,” recalled PM Modi while taking a jibe at Congress party’s ruling regime.
PM Modi asserted some of the efforts his government has made to meet the demands from the nation’s defence forces. “In 2009, forces demanded 1,86,000 bullet-proof jackets, but faced enemies without them. Our government in 4.5 years bought over 2,30,000 bullet proof jackets,” PM Modi was quoted as saying in the TV reports. He also recalled Bofors and Helicopter deal scam where the nation lost it’s own funds during Congress rule. “From Bofors to Helicopter deal, all the investigations are pointing to one family, it says a lot, now these people are putting all efforts to make sure that Rafale aircraft don’t arrive in the country,” quoted TV reports as said by PM Modi.
PM Modi, however, emphasized that his government is making all efforts to bring Rafale jets in India and it will fly in the air above India’s land.