PM Modi breaks tradition; pays tribute to martyred soldiers at National War Memorial, instead of Amar Jawan Jyoti

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid homage to the fallen soldiers at the newly-built National War Memorial on 71st Republic Day.

This year it was the for the first time Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke the tradition and paid tributes to martyred soldiers by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial, instead of the Amar Jawan Jyoti beneath the India Gate arch.

The iconic memorial in the India Gate complex behind the canopy was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25 last year. Spread over an area of approximately 40 acres, National War Memorial comprises four concentric circles, namely -- the 'Amar Chakra', 'Veerta Chakra', 'Tyag Chakra' and the 'Rakshak Chakra' with names of 25,942 soldiers inscribed in golden letters on granite tablets.

The memorial is dedicated as a tribute to soldiers martyred during the Indo-China War in 1962, Indo-Pak Wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971, Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Sri Lanka and in the Kargil Conflict in 1999, and also those in the UN peacekeeping missions.

On the other hand, Amar Jawan Jyoti is symbolised by an inverted bayonet and soldier's helmet over it with an eternal flame burning beside it. It was built in 1972 underneath the India Gate arch to commemorate soldiers martyred in the Indo-Pak War of 1971.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday extended his greetings to the people on the occasion of the 71st Republic Day. "Wishing everyone a happy #RepublicDay," PM Modi tweeted in English as well as Hindi. Celebrations will be held all across the country to mark the day.

(Inputs from Agencies)

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