Unveil National Military Memorial 15Aug2018 #InMyFathersName #NMM

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#MatterOfHonour #RememberOurMartyrs Calling all #FaujiBrats #EnoughisEnough.

Time to action the #NationalMilitaryMemorial (#NMM). In 2009, Karnataka took the praiseworthy initiative to honour our fallen soldiers with India’s first National Military Memorial. It was to be launched the same year but it has been shrouded in indifference, cobwebbed files and bureaucratese, insulting those very martyrs  our state chose to honour with this Memorial, as well as the soil and flag they fought for.

As citizens, now the children of retired military men and women come together ask for what is right. We demand that the State Government formally unveils the Military Memorial by  Independence Day, 15 August 2018. 

The origin: It all started for me when I went walking to the Memorial after ages, took a lot of pictures, spoke to people, heard all the excuses, and then was filled with anger and mortification at the neglect and inaction. The NMM, The Unknown Soldier, is incomplete and ignored, and nobody is doing anything about it. Something that was started  as the first National  Military Memorial in the country, to commemorate the sacrifice of the military, now remains disregarded, the area strewn with rusting planes and model tanks.

The excuses: Apparently, a large #obelisk  (#Veeragallu) has been carved for the memorial and has to be brought from a mine 45 kms away, which of course, costs several  crores of rupees. Which is not affordable in the Budget. So, the file is being passed from desk to desk and not one authority has undertaken the responsibility to complete it. They say the Memorial cannot be launched before this stone arrives. To all intents and purposes, no one seems to be able to move a file, let alone a piece of stone for the military.

THEN WHY DID YOU START THIS? What kind of stone or obelisk is this that you didn’t budget for it? Who are the vendors who are being so obdurate? Why is there no ownership?  What was the thought process that predicated the launch and running of a Military Memorial on this single piece of stone?

The irony is, what is needed is already there: the Unknown Soldier, the large granite slabs with the many names, regiments and dates of those who laid down their lives for our country, as well as the tallest tricolour in our city, flapping proudly in the breeze against the sky. Whatever our original intention was, we have now made this Military Memorial a tawdry token, a sad  indication of what our collective will and our wishy-washy resolve is all about.

Who is in charge? We have waited long enough while the ball has been passed from the Military Memorial Association to the BBMP, and back. I don’t even know who the stakeholders are, though apparently the CM is the Chairman.  I have sat on TV panels in June /July 2017 where the CM, ministers and bureaucrats all said they were hugely embarrassed by the inaction and would fix the problem immediately or latest by 15 Aug 2017. That was one year ago!

The military, after giving whatever what was required for the memorial from their side,  has stood back quiet and dignified, and possibly embarrassed by the inaction of the Government. They have stood there waiting for the medal on the chest( a medal they did not ask for, in the first place) for eight long years now. Think of the mortification, the humiliation.

This has gone on for way too long. And the excuses just don’t wash. GoK, you yourself  started this, now please finish the project.

So who or what is holding this up? The BDA who chairs this project or the BBMP who maintains it ? Or the Home Secretary under whom it comes? 

8 years ago ,the Veeragallu  at 75 feet and 700 tonnes was to be shifted by Ahmedabad based Nabros Transport at 5.6 crores tender. Coordination with BDA , BBMP, NHAI & Bangalore Traffic Police was required in 2012 and shift imminent . Nothing happened . But can it take 8 years and over 6 postponements? Who owns this now ?

As it stands, the Memorial lies ill-maintained, unsupervised,with the museum below often flooded, all this after being constructed at great cost. The contractor in charge of the area does his best but apparently does not get paid on time.

This is not a road , this is not a signpost or a wall. This is your salute to the sacrifice of the military. You don’t stop a salute midway. They didn’t ask you to do this, and now that you have started , they still stand at attention, mortified but silent and waiting.

There are over 22,600 names of fallen soldiers on those black granite slabs who have given up their lives   post-Independence. If you have even the least bit of respect for the man in olive green, have the decency not to let trifling bureaucratic sidebars come in the way of finishing what was  started.

This is a crying shame. Those names on the granite slabs  took a bullet for their country, yet we will not even shift a stone after taking a vow to do so. Their sacrifice is being sullied, their families are being insulted.

An appeal to #FaujiBrats. This is something we should take on for our fathers in uniform, for the country and for the cause of real patriotism. This one is for you, Col DGK Chetty, the army man under whose protective shadow I was proud to grow up. I can never pay you or the Fauj back,  but I can definitely try and  do this. 

#InMyFathersName 

Please tag all the Fauji Brats you know . Respect the sacrifices made. Come, stand with the #FaujiKids.

Jai Hind.

Links:

  1. www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/.../First-war-memorial-bravehearts.html
  2. https://www.bharat-rakshak.com/ARMY/heritage/421-the-national-military-memorial-bengaluru.html
  3. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/disrespect-martyrs-bengalurus-national-military-memorial-rots-authorities-neglect-it-63036
  4. http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report-supreme-court-okays-the-military-memorial-1431237
  5. http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2016/nov/03/bengaluru-war-memorial-lies-in-wait-for-veeragallu-and-care-1534313.html
  6. https://architexturez.net/doc/az-cf-122821 Architects
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/priya-chetty-rajagopal/jai-hind/10153469133176422/
  7. http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report-fourth-time-lucky-for-bangalore-war-memorial-1671796
  8. https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/bangalore-war-memorial-misses-fifth-deadline-25643.html
  9. http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report-bangalore-will-october-be-sixth-time-lucky-for-national-military-memorial-1867026
  10. https://www.deccanherald.com/content/632860/long-way-go-completion-national.html
  11. https://www.indiatoday.in/latest-headlines/story/new-war-memorial-dedicated-in-bangalore-39327-2009-02-10
  12. https://www.deccanherald.com/content/262205/military-memorial-not-yet-ready.html
  13. https://www.hindustantimes.com/ht-view/kargil-vijay-diwas-must-be-commemorated-not-politicised/story-YFIlIs57gJxCTsddMEJBrO.html
  14. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/bringing-this-stone-home-is-one-massive-problem/articleshow/63176787.cms
  15. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/why-should-the-veeragallu-be-monolithic/article3760937.ece
  16. http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Layout/Includes/TOINEW/ArtWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=TOIBG%2F2010%2F07%2F08&GZ=T&ViewMode=HTML&EntityId=Ar00203&AppName=1
  17. https://www.ndtv.com/cities/supreme-court-clears-national-military-memorial-in-bangalore-429373
  18. TV Debate : https://youtu.be/JjuNyHW9OzM

 

 

 



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