Prime Minister Narendra Modi today told the nation that the National War Memorial - a tribute to the nation's martyrs - will be inaugurated on Monday. Speaking on his monthly radio address "Mann ki Baat", the Prime Minister said the lack of a National War Memorial was a matter of pain to him. The announcement comes amid huge anger in the country over the February 14 terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama.
"People are angry after the Pulwama attack, but this anger needs to be directed towards ending terrorism," the Prime Minister said. Forty CRPF men had died when a suicide bomber of Jaish-e Mohammad drove an explosive-filled car into the 78-vehicle convoy that was carrying the men from Jammu to Srinagar.
This was the last radio address by the Prime Minister before the national elections, scheduled to be held by May. But in his tweet on the matter, he also signalled confidence that he would be back for a second and more terms.
In a tweet from the handle of the Prime Minister's Office, he said, "My thoughts over March, April and the whole of May, I will share with you after the elections. Mann ki Baat will begin with a new faith and your blessings and I will continue to share my thoughts with you for years".
In another tweet, he said, "Respecting the democratic traditions, the next Mann ki Baat will be held on the last Sunday of May."
The National War Memorial, a project announced in 2015, was expected to be inaugurated last year. But it had to be postponed following delay in completion. Built at the heart of Delhi near the India Gate - a memorial to Indian soldiers who fell in the First World War, built by the British - the National War Memorial comprises four concentric circles with a central obelisk.
"The never ending wait after nation's Independence for a War Memorial is about to be over. India not having a National War Memorial used to surprise me and really pain me. This new memorial has been built near India Gate and Amar Jawan Jyoti," the Prime Minister said.
Acceding a long-pending demand of the armed forces, the government had approved the project in memory of over 22,500 soldiers, who laid down their lives since Independence.