By Pardeep Luthra , KAHNUWAN CHHAMB (GURDASPUR) NOVEMBER 28: Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today dedicated the state-of-the-art ‘Chhota Ghallughara Kahnuwan Chhambh Shaheedi Memorial’ to the nation for perpatuating the rich legacy of Sikhism for our coming generations.
Addressing a mamoth gathering here after dedicating it amdist chanting of ‘Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akal’, the Chief Minister said that he was passionate to erect Virasat-e-Khalsa, Chhota Ghallughara, besides Wadda Ghallughara at Kup Rahiran depicting the hollocost of 35000 Sikhs and Fateh Burj at Chhapar Chiri to commemorate the supreme sacrifice of the legandry Sikh warrior Baba Bandha Singh Bahadur who established the Khalsa Raj in India. Both these memorials were ready and would be dedicated to mankind on November 29 and 30 respectively.
It may be recalled that the Chhamb Kahnuwan memorial commemorates the untold sufferings faced by thousands of innocent Sikh men, women and children at the hands of the Mughals and their satraps (Governors) like Diwan Lakhpat Rai in June, 1746 in and around Kahnuwan. As many as Seven thousand Sikhs attained martyrdom while fighting the Mughal army in just two and half months, while another three thousand were taken to Lahore where they were tortured to martyrdom. To commemorate this tragic but heroic chapter in the history of the Sikhs, the Punjab government decided to set up a befitting memorial at Kahnuwan Chhamb over an area of 10 acres of land at a cost approximately Rs.12.59 crore.
Mr. Badal further said: “People hardly remember these important events in the history. It is the bounden duty of the government to preserve them in the form of memorials for our futuer generations who were completely obvilious of our rich curlutral heritage”.
The Chief Minister further said that the Sikh history was replete with numerous selfless sacrifices and we have inherited this legacy from our great Gurus and Martyrs. He called upon the people to join hands to further strengthen the Sikh Panth rising above the narrow and vested interests by deriving inspiration from the supreme sacrifices of martyrs in Chhota Ghallughara. Mr. Badal said that it was the need of the hour to showcase these golden moments in the Sikh history to our future generations also so that they could be apprised of heroic deeds of Sikh martyrs.
The Chief Minister regretted the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s inability to attend the inauguration of Virasat-e-Khalsa at Sri Anandpur Sahib despite his personal request to grace the occasion but unfortunately the Prime Minister at the behest of state Congress leadership preferred to stay away from these celebrations. Mr. Badal said that it was his keen desire that an eminent personality of PM’s stature should have inaugurated this world class monument.
Slaming the opposition, Mr. Badal further said that he was dismayed that despite of extending personal invitations to all the Congress MLAs and Members of the Parliament but they did not participated in these important functions implying they have virtually bycotted it. Mr.Badal said that these leaders owe an explanatin to the public for their unbecoming behaviour and asked “Had they bycotted my invitation or these monuments by showing sheer disrespect to the great martyrs.
Training guns at Congress, Mr. Badal said: “Atrocities faced by Sikhs during the pre-independence era at the hands of Mughal emperors and later by the Britisher were still unforgetable but the excesses done by Congress to Sikhs in the post-independence era are far more humilating as they inflicted deep wounds on the Sikh pshyce because they are perpetrated by ones to whom we consider our own”.
Striking an emotional chord with the public, Mr. Badal said that the Almighty had bestowed upon countless blessings on him and he would ever remain indebted to Him and pray for giving enormous strength to further serve the Khalsa Panth, Punjab and its people.
While addressing Rural Development & Panchayat Minister Mr. Ranjit Singh Brahmpura said that prior to the SAD-BJP government nobody had ever bothered to preserve this rich legacy adding that it was the result of untiring efforts of the alliance government under the able leadership of Mr. Parkash Singh Badal that such monuments would reflect the magnificent heritage of the state.
Conducting the proceedings of the stage, the local MLA and the Education Minister Mr. Sewa Singh Sekhwan emphasized the need of such monuments adding he said that it was one of the biggest contribution of the state government to diseminate our rich cultural heritage which would be ever remembered as memoir to the golden pages of our history.
In her address the former Chief of Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee and former Punjab Minister Bibi Jagir Kaur while appreciating the efforts of the state government said that these memorials were a befitting tribute to the great martyrs who lost their lives for panth and the nation while fighting against dictatorial foreign rule.
Agriculture Minister Mr. Sucha Singh Langah in his address said that the Chhota Ghallughara memorial would be instrumental in keeping the memories of this great historic event afresh in the minds of the people. He also congratulated the Chief Minister for giving due recognition to the historical contribution of the state in freedom struggle by erecting such memorials.
In his address SGPC President Mr. Avtar Singh described the Chhota and Wadda Ghallughara as the watershed moments in the history of the Sikhism and the commemoration of these two great events by erecting suitable memorials in the memory of thousands of martyrs who laid down their lives was a step in the right direction to perpatuate our rich legacy for our younger generation.
In his address the former Minister and President of Youth Akali Dal Mr Bikram Singh Majitihia lauded the unique initiative taken by the Chief Minister to preserve the heritage of sacrifices made by the numerous martyrs in different phases of the Sikh history. Terming the day as historic moment, he said that these memorials were infact a real tribute to those people who have laid down their lives while fighting against the tyranny unleashed by the Mughal emperors on the Sikhs. Recalling the supreb sacrifices made by the Punjabis against the foreign invaders since times immemorial, Mr.Majithia said that it was a matter of pride for us that despite of 2% population the state has contributed in 90% sacrifices during the freedom struggle.
Earlier, the Chief Minister paid obesiance at the Gurdwara Sri Ghallughara Sahib and listened to the Gurbani Kirtan for an hour. He laid the foundation stone of a high level bridge over river Beas at a cost of Rs.70 crore. He also also laid the foundation stone for the widening and strengthening of the road connecting the site of memorial and Gurdwara Sri Ghallughara Sahib at Kahnuwan Chhamb with Gurdaspur-Mukerian Road at a cost of Rs.8.75 crore. Likewise Mr Badal also laid the foundation stone of 100% water supply and sewerage porject for the Gurdaspur city at a cost of Rs 3.77 crore.
Prominent amongst others who spoke on the occasion included Speaker Punjab Assmebly Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Capt. Balbir Singh Bath, eminent Sikh religious leader and philanthropist Baba Kashmira Singh, Mr. Ajit Singh Kohar, Mr. Hira Singh Gabria ( all Cabinet Ministers), MP Khadur Sahib Dr. Rattan Singh Ajnala.
Media Advisor to Chief Minister Mr. Harcharan Bains, Mr. Des Raj Dhugga, Mrs. Mohinder Kaur Josh and Mr. Sheetal Singh (all CPS), Mr. Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal, Mr. Gurbachan Singh Babehalli, Mr. Jasjeet Singh Bunny and Master Mohan Lal (all MLAs) and Mr.Dalbir Singh Verka, Right to Service Commissiner besides several leaders and workers of SAD-BJP and members of the SGPC also attended the function.