Punjab council’s pre-Independence records procured from Pakistan

As many as 43 volumes of the records of Punjab Legislative Council on Tuesday became part of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha library.

By: PTI | Chandigarh | Published: December 5, 2017 9:03 pm
Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal who pursued the matter with the Government of Punjab in Pakistan submitted the voluminous records for the period 1937 to 1947 to the Punjab Assembly Speaker. (Source: Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

The views of the members of Punjab Legislative Council on partition, important debates and key resolutions passed by the 170-member body before the country’s independence can now be found in exhaustive records sourced from Pakistan.

As many as 43 volumes of the records of Punjab Legislative Council today became part of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha library here.

Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal who pursued the matter with the Government of Punjab in Pakistan submitted the voluminous records for the period 1937 to 1947 to the Punjab Assembly Speaker here. These records were earlier not available in India.

We officially and unofficially requested the government of Punjab in Pakistan for records but they said they also have one copy and this copy cannot be given, said Badal.

“Then we used our contacts and managed to get the photocopy done and bring it here,” said Badal.

He said the records include information about the Indian Independence Bill.

“Besides, the then chief minister of undivided Punjab Khizar Hayat Tiwana who had once said Pakistan over my dead body. He had said in the Punjab assembly that he would not let Pakistan become…What was the decorum in the Punjab Assembly at that time and how the members responded to each others. It will be an eye-opener,” said Badal.

From these records one comes to know that there were only two members of the Muslim League party in Punjab Legislative Council (during 1937 till 1947) who were raising the demand for Pakistan, he said. Four Christian members of the House opted for Pakistan, Badal further said.

He said at that time, the debates in the House used to be recorded in English language only irrespective of language used by the members.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana K P Singh said, “a lot of political developments that took place during 1937 till 1947 in undivided Punjab Legislative Council can now be recovered. These records will provide an insight into the conditions that led to division and more other such developments.”

One copy of the records will also be handed over to the Haryana Assembly.

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