Come Thursday, tourists will have another reason to visit this tech hub. A gigantic Tricolour, measuring 78×48 feet, will flutter at a spectacular height of 65 metres (213 feet) at the National Military Memorial in the city centre, making it one of the world’s largest flags.
Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj would hoist the flag in the presence of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, home minister K.J. George and Lok Sabha lawmaker from Haryana Naveen Jindal, who founded the Flag Foundation of India.
“Names of about 24,000 martyrs have been inscribed in plaques on the memorial’s walls. Models of weapon systems will be on display at the 10,000 square feet underground motivation hall in the memorial park,” National Military Memorials Committee chairman Rajeev Chandrasekhar said in a statement here ahead of the historic event.
Touted to be the first ever military shrine built by the public in a civilian area, the memorial has been built in honour of those who laid down their lives for the nation.
“The 700-tonne monolithic granite flagstaff is 70 feet tall,” Chandrasekhar said.
While the Karnataka government built the Rs.40-lakh memorial, Chandrasekhar spearheaded the novel project in recognition of the bravery and sacrifices of the armed forces.
Work on the memorial began in February 2009 after Governor Rameshwar Thakur laid the foundation stone in the presence of former minister of state for defence Pallam Raju and former state chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
“A military memorial by citizens is a fitting tribute to the martyrs and their families. The armed forces are a dedicated group of people who give up their today for our tomorrow with selfless service and nationalism, which is a matter of pride and dignity for the nation,” Chandrasekhar said.
India Gate in the national capital (New Delhi) is the only military memorial in public area which displays names of 70,000 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives fighting for the British army during World War I.
“But India Gate was built by the British, while the Indian government did not build even one such national memorial in a public area since Independence,” Chandrasekhar recalled.
The memorial is divided in two sections, with one being the emotional and commemorative segment to honour post-Independence martyrs and others in the underground motivational hall to inform, educate, arouse curiosity and develop a national security psyche.
As one of the largest armies in the world, the Indian military has 13 lakh men and women, with 11 lakh in reserve and 13 lakh paramilitary forces. In addition, there are 25 lakh ex-servicemen across the country.
Though the memorial was to come up near India Gate in the national capital, the urban development ministry and the Delhi Art Commission objected on the grounds that it would spoil the setting in and around the existing war memorial (India Gate).