August 14, 2021 10:35:57 pm
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Saturday inaugurated the Jallianwala Bagh Centenary Memorial Park, set up in the memory of all those who died in the massacre of April 13, 1919.
“This second memorial at the site of the gory massacre is a tribute to all those unknown martyrs who laid down their lives during the Jallianwala Bagh massacre,” said Amarinder while dedicating the memorial to people of Punjab.
“Nobody knows the exact number of lives lost, although the DC office has the names of only 488 who fell to the bullets of the troops led by General Dyer, who fired on the orders of the then Governor of Punjab, Michael O’ Dwyer,” said the CM.
The CM said with 1,250 bullets fired on that day, the number of dead would actually have run in thousands.
The memorial has been built over 1.5 acres at a cost of Rs 3.5 crore at Amrit Anand Park in Amritsar’s Ranjit Avenue. Soil from villages across the state was brought to the site for the construction of the memorial.
The CM said a special team of historians and scholars has been constituted by Guru Nanak Dev University to carry out research on martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh and freedom fighters who were imprisoned at Cellular Jail, Port Blair. Once the research is complete, names of more martyrs may be discovered, he said, adding that sufficient space has been kept on the columns of the memorial to incorporate more names in future.
Currently, names of the officially known 488 martyrs have been inscribed on black and grey granite stone walls of the memorial.
The CM also paid floral tributes to the unsung heroes and honoured 29 family members of the martyrs who died in the massacre.
The newly inaugurated memorial consists of five white stone pillars rising upwards. The pillars symbolise the spirit of the martyrs rising towards the sky. Different heights of the five pillars correspond to various age groups of martyrs, children, teenagers, youth, middle aged and the elderly. They also signify the five fingers of the hand and the cohesive power of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the nation.
The white colour of the stone is a symbol of purity of their sacrifice. The central black stone on a circular platform from where these pillars arise symbolise the empty space and the void created by the sacrifice of these martyrs.
The CM is on a two-day visit to the city, where he will also lead the Independence Day celebrations on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, he inaugurated Sant Prem Singh Murale Wale Chair at Guru Nanak Dev University. The chair is set up in memory of the spiritual personality and eminent educationist with Rs 1 crore contribution from the state government in the current fiscal.
“The Chair will help scholars and researchers undertake extensive research on the life and philosophy of the great saint, who was a pioneer of the practice of imparting formal education at a time when education was not considered important,” said CM .
In response to concern expressed by minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa about the paucity of funds, he said grants will be increased for such research. Bajwa, in his introductory remarks, had lamented that the chairs established in universities die their own death due to paucity of funds.
Sant Prem Singh Murale Wale had established Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa Lubana School in 1921 and subsequently another school was established in the memory of the saint. Sant Prem Singh was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly in 1937 and 1945, and remained a member of the SGPC from 1926 to 1950, playing a proactive role in the gurdwara reforms movement.
The CM also inaugurated the school of education, department of mass communication and other projects at the university.
Lauding the enormous contribution of the Lubana community towards the spread of Sikhism, the CM said the pivotal role played by legendary devotees Makhan Shah Lubana and Lakhi Shah Vanjara, during the lifetime of ninth Sikh Guru Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib, will continue to inspire Punjabis.
The CM later visited the Government Medical College and Hospital, where he inaugurated the basic science block and laid stone of a new hostel for boys.
He later visited the Government Medical College & Hospital where he laid foundation stone for Basic Science Block and a New Hostel for Boys
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