December 1, 2011 3:08:42 am
At 328-ft tall,it is taller than Qutub Minar
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday inaugurated Fateh Burj,the tallest victory tower in the country,commemorating the victory of Sikh warrior Baba Banda Singh Bahadur over Mughal governor Wazir Khan. The 328-ft tower is dedicated to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur who had the distinction of establishing the Sikh rule in India in 1711.
Badal threw open the imposing structure,a part of a memorial spread over 20 acres,to public in the presence of Arunachal Pradesh Governor and former army chief J J Singh and over 20,000 decorated ex-servicemen who paid homage to the Sikh warrior on the battleground of Chappar Chiri.
Badal accompanied by five high priests and senior leaders of Sikh clergy,Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh,Jathedar Kesgarh Sahib Tarlochan Singh,Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa,former BJP president Rajnath Singh,Uttrakhand Chief Minister B C Khanduri,Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and others unveiled the inaugural plaque after the ardas (prayer). He later unveiled the statue of Banda Bahadur and dedicated the Fateh Burj to the nation.
There was a spectacular display of martial arts by various teams of Nihangs on horse backs and Gatka teams and a mock war scene of Chappar Chiri was enacted.
Addressing the gathering,Badal said that Banda Bahandur was a true socialist who abolished the zamindari system and made the tillers and cultivators the actual owners of the land and issued coins and seals in the name of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh. More than 90 per cent of the Sikhs are not aware of the heroic deeds in the Sikh history, the CM said.
Former BJP chief Rajnath Singh announced that he would urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to include the history of these memorials in the school syllabus. Chapters on these historic memorials must be included in the NCERT and CBSE text books so that our future generations are made aware of rich legacy of Khalsa Panth, Rajnath added.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal appealed to the youth to take a vow to abstain from the menace of drugs and apostasy (patit) as befitting tributes to the great gurus.
Later,addressing a rally Harman Singh Dhuma,chief of Sant Samaj said,The government should also erect a memorial in the memory of Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale.
Lashing out at the Congress,Dhuma blamed the party for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh also flayed the Congress.
The retired defence officers,including Lt Gen Gaganjit Singh,Air Marshal Randhir Singh,Capt Bana Singh and Maj Gen US Sidhu,also praised the memorial.
The first Sikh officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,Senior Sergeant Baltej Dhillon,and former Canadian MP Ruby Dhalla said,Now,people in other countries would know about the Sikh history.
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