Tuesday, August 11, 2009

GoMs To Resolve War Memorial Row In Delhi..Cdr Prem P Batra Retd

From: premparkashbatra

Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:51 AM

Subject: GoMs To Resolve War Memorial Row In Delhi

Lt Gen NS Malik
Convener Of Conclave

Maj Gen Ian Cardozo
War Memorials

Maj Gen Prince JS Sandhu

CS Kamboj

Dear Sirs,


1. Most times History leaves me bewildered and unsure. There is School History, Pre and Post Independence, there is a Military History at NDA, there is contemporary History which may have been partly witnessed. All are at variance. Depends who is having structured and written.

2. Now we need a GoM to resolve War Memorial Row as per News Clip.
Armed Forces want it to be in some way part of Memorial at India Gate which is objected to by Urban Development Ministry. So PM has appointed a GoM headed by FM-Shri Pranab Mukerji [ Minister for all seasons], RM-Shri AK Antony [ Always friendly] and UDP-Shri S Jaipal Reddy[ Always vociferous unless he is a Minister].

3. Celebrations for the 150th anniversary of 1st War of Independence of 1857 were organized and funded by GOI when Ex-Minister Shri Mani Shankar Iyer was at the helm of Ministry of Youth Affairs. The Celebrations went on for one year. The Chairman of the Committee was one of the 3 Turks whose most famous face was Shri Chandra Shekhar. A Seminar was held at Constitutional Hall. I was pleasantly surprised to be told that where India Gate is, the place earlier was a huge Graveyard! So they wanted a piece of place for 1857 SHAHIDS. One gathered the impression that there are some forces who are always trying to establish that the real Architect of India's Independence was our beloved 1st Prime Minister Pundit Nehruji.

4. Of course Leyton constructed War Memorial at India Gate mostly for white soldiers in mind. Then no one could, quiet rightly, change anything without the expressed permission of PM-Pundit Nehruji. Now there is some Art Board whose sanction must be evoked to construct anything that may affect the sanctity and sky line of the Raj-New Delhi.

5. Armed Forces also quiet rightly want to honour their Dead Soldiers where the Eternal Flame burns which they guard. The GOI, I believe, also has not decided where the Memorial for 1857 SHAHIDS should come up. Delhi Police wants one too. In one State there is no think as to how the SMAARAKS and Parks should come up but they must.

6. Army and the Navy too are ambiguous in their approach. Battles before 1947 are studied mostly the way the British wrote them. Agreed Indian side battle history mostly is embedded in folklore and unwritten form. But why it must be grudged. If India's post Independence history can be written in official and non official forms probably due fear factor then why grudge earlier peoples when dissent was ruthlessly smothered. Navy too has history at Naval Barracks Mumbai but it is lying mostly in dark corners.

7. RTI here would be of little use. Media, the 4th pillar of the State is very active now.

8. Honestly, Sirs, I would like to be enlightened. And why there is a difference in bloods on Indian soil.

With best regards,

Cdr Prem P Batra Retd.
(Email ID - premprempb@rediffmail.com )

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