November 2018 \ News \ WAR MEMORIAL IN FRANCE
France to have memorial for Indians who took part in World War I

A memorial dedicated to Indians who fought in World War ...

Chhina said poppy is universally recognised in the UK and many Commonwealth countries as a symbol of remembrance and commemoration since the end of World War I. He said there was a strong need for India to have a uniquely Indian symbol that could allow citizens in India, as well as the international diaspora, to acknowledge the valour and sacrifice of the Indian armed forces in the service of the nation, including those who fell in the two World Wars. “In order to institutionalise a national culture of remembrance, the ‘India Remembers’ project initiated by the United Service Institution of India proposed that the marigold flower join the poppy as a uniquely Indian symbol of remembrance,” he said.

He said through the course of the India Remembers project, marigold was widely used by the participating community groups and added that the flower has been widely used in India-related commemorative events around the world. He mentioned that marigold was chosen because it is easily and widely available and also because saffron is often seen as a colour of sacrifice.

Chhina said the sculptor of memorial in France is Ram Vanji Sutar, who is also associated with the world’s tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He said the USI is helping to promote the niche concept of ‘Battlefield Tourism’ to popularise historical sites where Indian soldiers have fought and died over the ages. “We realised that local economy of a lot of places in Europe is sustained by battlefield tourism. People and school children visit these sites and see the places where the battles had been fought and there is huge spike in local economy,” he said.