As the country celebrates 65th Independence Day on August 15 it still does not have a National War Memorial to honour the sacrifices of the brave soldiers who laid down their lives to preserve this freedom. Proposed design of the National War Memorial As the country celebrates 65th Independence Day on August 15 it still does not have a National War Memorial to honour the sacrifices of the brave soldiers who laid down their lives to preserve this freedom. The stalemate between the government and the armed forces over the venue and design of the war memorial continues and the project conceptualized in 1960â€™s is still far from being materialized. According to sources the three services chiefs â€“ Admiral Nirmal Verma, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne and General Bikram Singh â€“met Defence Minister AK Antony last week to apprise about the forcesâ€™ decision to have the memorial at India Gate, the structure constructed by the British as tribute to the soldiers who gave their life while fighting in the World War-I. â€œAfter much deliberation, the Armed Forces have found that the â€˜chhatriâ€™ (Canopy) at the India Gate is the best suited place to get a National War Memorial â€“ it is central and easily accessible,â€ a senior armed forces official said. The latest design by noted architect Charles Correa and supported by the three services includes a landscape memorial around the Canopy near India Gate on the Central Vista, with names of about 50,000 martyrs inscribed on it. Most portions of the marble slabs on which the names would be etched would actually be below ground level. They would be in a circle around the canopy next to the India Gate. People can walk along the slabs, pay their respects and move to India Gate. The memorial will be dedicated to the Indian, soldiers, sailors and airmen who sacrificed their lives post-independence. So far India has faced six major war or conflicts and in 1947-48 Jammu and Kashmir Operation it lost over 1,100 soldiers, in 1962 nearly 3,250 soldiers died, in 1965 the number was 3,264, in Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka the number was 1,157 and in 1999 Kargil Conflict 522 soldiers were martyred. The unexplained delay has been a cause of much discontent amongst the armed forces. A young officer whom I spoke to said: â€œIt is very demoralizing to know that the soldier had to fight not only for pay and parity but also a memorial for its valiant martyrs. The delay is sadder considering that an imperial power paid tribute to Indian soldiers in the form of India Gate, but what have we as a country done to remember their sacrifices?â€ The lack of a National War Memorial means that on every Republic Day or Independence Day the Indian dignitaries pay homage at the â€œTomb of Unknown Soldierâ€ resurrected in the memory of soldier who died in World War-I. The proposal has been in limbo for the last few decades even as the armed forces continue to hold presentations and meetings with various regulatory bodies like Delhi Urban Arts Commission, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Central Vista Commission, Heritage Conservation Committee and the like. After haggling over the venue of the memorial, when the regulatory bodies objected to it being constructed around the canopy as it would spoil the ambience of the heritage site, the stalemate now is on the height of the walls surrounding it. While the armed forces want it to be 12-feet tall, the regulatory bodies have put their foot down that the wall should not be any taller than four feet. After a strong worded letter from the Defence Minister, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had set up a Group of Minister including Antony, the Urban Development Minister and the Finance Minister. The proposal to build a national war memorial was first mooted in the early 1960s but was shelved following Indiaâ€™s defeat against China in 1962. The proposal gained momentum following the Kargil conflict in 1999.