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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Military struggles for war memorial sanction

Rahul Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 04, 2009
First Published: 00:29 IST(4/8/2009) | Last Updated: 00:37 IST(4/8/2009)

On the edges of London’s iconic Hyde Park is a monument that could inspire our netas and babus.

It’s a tribute to the thousands of animals that served alongside the British and Allied forces in 20th century wars.

The memorial depicts horses, dogs, mules, elephants, camels and pigeons. It’s a Rs. 16-crore testimony to their sacrifice. But India is yet to repay a debt of honour to its fallen heroes.

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The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has expressed reservations about a Defence Ministry proposal to construct a national war memorial to honour soldiers who fell in the Second World War and post-Independence wars.

Pallam Raju, Minister of State for Defence, told Rajya Sabha that his ministry had prepared a concept paper for a war memorial at India Gate.

“However, the MoUD has expressed reservations with respect to statutory clearances and availability of land.”

The military has been pleading with the government to build a war memorial at India Gate, which commemorate soldiers who fought for the British in the First War.

The MoUD fears the war memorial could ruin the landscape around India Gate. An assurance from the Defence Ministry hasn’t worked.

Will the unknown Indian soldier’s sacrifice go unnoticed?


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