Exclusive National

PMO clears light & sound show at India Gate

NEW DELHI, 23/08/2015: Ex-Servicemen demanding One Rank One Pension (OROP), holding a candle light march from Jantar Mantar to India Gate in New Delhi on Sunday evening, August 23, 2015. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

NEW DELHI, 23/08/2015: Ex-Servicemen demanding One Rank One Pension (OROP), holding a candle light march from Jantar Mantar to India Gate in New Delhi on Sunday evening, August 23, 2015. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar   | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

more-in

Overrules objections raised by MoD, INTACH to 3D projections on the iconic monument.

India Gate, war memorial to more than 90,000 soldiers, is caught in an inter-ministerial conflict that has forced the Prime Minister’s Office to intervene.

The fight is primarily between the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) – over whether the iconic monument should be used as the backdrop for 3D image projections for an audience of more than 50 heads of state from Africa when they arrive for the week-long India-Africa Summit beginning October 23.

The Defence Ministry and the Delhi chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) have objected to the proposal they say is “disrespectful” to the soldiers. However, overruling the objections, the PMO has thrown its weight behind the MEA.

“The PMO has been approached and it is for going ahead with this proposal,” an official said, indicating a written communication is being sent. “It is believed the correct perspective has not been put to the PM on this issue,” a Defence Ministry official, disappointed by the decision, told The Hindu.

Both INTACH and Defence Ministry officials said that while they welcome the idea of showcasing the shared heritage of India and Africa and also India’s contribution to peacekeeping in Africa, such projections would hurt the sanctity of the war memorial itself.

AGK Menon, Convener of INTACH Delhi Chapter, told The Hindu that he is in the process of writing to the MEA and the Defence Ministry, detailing the objections. “There is a sanctity associated with it and an overwhelming feeling for the unknown martyrs. There has to be some sense of propriety. We are surprised that the MEA had overruled the sentiments of the people,” he said.

It was the MEA which proposed the audio visual gala at India Gate by a private event management company during the summit. As the summit is a major event in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s outreach to Africa, it is going all out to make it a success. “The audio visual display is a tribute to the ultimate sacrifice made by our peacekeepers,” said an official.

Mr. Menon added that while the idea to showcase India’s efforts to secure peace around the world, particularly in Africa, is laudable, he questioned the wisdom of commemorating the achievements on the war memorial, “Why not some other place, may be Vigyan Bhavan.”

One official lamented that India Gate had been used for such projections on several occasions and said that this is not the way a country treats its war memorial. “It is sacrilege to be dancing on the grave of the unknown soldier.”

In the recent past, India Gate has been used to mount visual projections of several campaigns of the Government like ‘End Polio Now’ and ‘Clean India.’

The Tourism Ministry in the past had to shelve a similar project for 3D projections after spending substantial amount of money due to objections over possible disrespect to the martyrs.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 11:31:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pmo-clears-light-sound-show-at-india-gate/article7626333.ece

Next Story