On the day he inaugurated India's first ever War Memorial, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at the Gandhi-Nehru family for putting themselves ahead of the nation and ignoring the sentiments of the armed forces of the country.
Addressing the gathering of Indian security forces at the Major Dhyan Chand National stadium in the National Capital, PM Modi highlighted the reason why it was his government which has managed to build the War memorial, and not the previous government's.
"Our government is fortunate to build and inaugurate this memorial. Around 25 years ago, files of this memorial began. During Atal ji's government, files moved forward. But after that, it all cooled down. Today, every solider and citizen is asking as to why was this behavior meted to the soldiers," the Prime Minister said.
He then went onto the narrative of country vs family, accusing the Gandhis of over the years choosing the latter and disrescpecting the army.
"When it comes to improving the forces, or giving proper respect to the martyrs, for some, family comes before the country.....The families of the martyrs, the soldiers who laid their lives for the nation - why were treated so unfairly? What was the reason that they could not pay attention to the memorial? Was it family-first? The difference between India first and family first is the answer to this. Right from schools to hospitals, highways to airports, stadium to award, we saw that everywhere, only one family's name was linked. It was because of this one family that India's history, greatness never got its recognition," PM Modi added.
WATCH: From OROP To Super-speciality Hospitals And Women Fighter Pilots To Gallantry Awards, PM Modi Lists His Government's Efforts To Benefit India's Armed Forces Personnel - Past, Present And Future - At National War Memorial Inauguration
The National War Memorial is a state-of-art memorial which boasts of four thematic concentric circles with a talll ceremoical obelisk at its centre that will bear the eternal flame. The layout of the memorial located behind the India Gate canopy and across the National Stadium consists of four concentric circles, radially outwards:
The central obelisk is topped with an Ashokan Capital and the base bears the famous couplet 'Shaheed ki mazron par...' by poet Jagdamba Prasad Mishra 'Hitaishi'.
The names of 25,942 battle casualties have been inscribed across 16 walls that consist of granite pieces bearing the name, rank, and regiment of the fallen heroes.