On Facebook, a post that alleges that names of Freedom Fighters are inscribed on the India Gate and also the community wise split of them is doing the rounds from many years. The detailed description put in the post is – ‘95,300 names of Freedom Fighters are inscribed at India Gate, New Delhi. From above, a list of religion and caste-based total is given as: Muslims-61,395 ; Sikh-8,050 ; Hindus(Backward) ; Hindus(Dalits) – 10,777 ; Hindus(High Cast)- 598; Hindus(sanghi fro RSS). Indian freedom struggle is written with Muslim blood.’ Let’s try to verify the claims made in the post.
Claim: India Gate has the names of the freedom fighters inscribed on it.
Fact: The India Gate commemorates the Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during World War I. The memorial bears the names of the British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919. There is no mention of the religion or the caste of these dead soldiers. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When we tried to verify the above claim, a search with the keywords “India gate new delhi background” resulted in a number of search results. Among them, the link of ‘Delhi Tourism’ website that describes the details of the India Gate monument can be found. In this webpage, it is mentioned about India Gate as- “It(India Gate) commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during World War I. The memorial bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919”. So, India Gate has the names of the British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919 and not the names of freedom fighters as described in the post.
During the search process, it was found that the database of the names of all the soldiers inscribed on the India Gate is held by the ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)’. When searched on their website, the database which was found can be seen here. In this list, the details such as the soldier’s name, rank, service number, date of death, age, grave service number and regiment country of service can be seen but there is no mention of his/her religion or caste.
In the ‘about’ section of their website, it was found that CWGC does not discriminate the dead soldiers on ground of their military rank, race or creed.
To summarise, India Gate does not have the names of ‘Freedom Fighters’ inscribed on it.
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