Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said the Shaurya Smarak, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow, here would apprise people, especially the younger generation, of the valour and sacrifices of those guarding India's borders. "I always cherished a dream that Bhopal should have a grand and unique Shaurya Smarak that would apprise the people, especially the younger generation of the valour and sacrifices made by the sentinels of our borders besides filling them with spirit of patriotism," Chouhan said in a blog on the occasion. "Our history is replete with glorious sagas of brave sons and daughters of the land. They are household names and favourite characters of our folklores for eons. These all symbolise our gratitude to them," he said. "It is a matter of pride that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a great patriot committed to all round development of the country, is going to inaugurate the memorial," he said, adding, "Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will also grace the function. Our endeavour is to ensure presence of chiefs of three forces of the country on this historic occasion." Built on 12.67 acre at a cost of Rs 41 crore, the memorial has been conceptualised very imaginatively. It has been envisaged as a journey through the various experiences of life, war, death and liberation of spirit (victory over death), all exhibited through an extremely non-archetypal design, he said. "The forms, volumes and textures conceived in each of these zones depict, metaphorically, various aspects of this journey.
Designed as a quasi-subterranean structure that is more submerged than visible on ground, it is indeed to influence the mind and soul of the visitor by being contemplative in spirit.
"The 62-feet high Shaurya Stambh, rising from the ground, depicts the life of a soldier, built on a foundation of inner strength and courage. Their sacrifices at various stages of life and ultimately of life itself are displayed very vividly.
"The traditional eternal lamp Amar Jyoti, lit in reverence to the martyrs, is represented by a state-of-the-art holographic image at the memorial. An Interpretation Centre has been set up on the premises, designed as a semi-open congregation space with an information display system, explaining the essence of the memorial and providing a preview to visitors before physically experiencing it," Chouhan said.
A film/walk through with picture clips along with write-up in Hindi and English would facilitate Indian as well as foreign visitors. As an integrated part of the memorial, a War Museum commemorating patriotism and valour of the Indian forces has also been set up. "This museum is a small showcase of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force containing thematic paintings of valour, starting from Mahabharat period to freedom struggle. "They present a cultural history of our time along with pictures of gallantry award winners like Paramveer Chakra and Mahaveer Chakra. Different diorama of Army, Navy and Air Force along with small models of aircrafts, tanks and ships will be a centre of attraction," Chouhan said. The Shaurya Smarak is an imaginative and colourful presentation of valour of Indian forces and a humble tribute to the martyrs, he added.