Shaheed Bhagat Singhs birthplace in Pak crumbling

Bhagat SinghThe dilapidated wall of the primary school at Banga village in Pakistan where Shaheed Bhagat Singh studied.

The contribution of Shaheed Bhagat Singh in the freedom struggle seems to have been left within India only, with Pakistan not preserving buildings and articles connected with his birth and childhood.

A local group, during a recent visit to Pakistan, was pained to notice the pathetic condition of the room where Bhagat Singh was born, his classroom and other structures connected with his childhood.

They have urged the union government to to get certain structures at Chakk Number 105, known as Banga village in Jaran Wala tehsil of Layalpur district (now Faisalabad), preserved as memorials of the martyr.

In a communiqué addressed to Dr Manmohan Singh, PM, Pratibha Patil, President, and Parkash Singh Badal, CM, Punjab, the youths, led by Davinder Singh Purba, Sukhdev Singh Dharamkot and Sarabjit Singh, have pointed out the dilapidated condition of the structures.

In fact, residents of Banga village, birthplace of the martyr, were not even aware about the significance of the place. “A majority of Banga residents were amazed to see us there. Jaffar Cheema, director, Dyal Singh Research and Cultural Forum, Lahore, host of the seminar on the occasion of birth centenary of the martyr, was the only person who could tell us a little about various structures connected with the life of Bhagat Singh,” said Purba and Sarabjit Singh.

They added that the condition of a majority of the structures was critical.

All rooms, except the one where Bhagan Wala (later known as Bhagat Singh) was born, have been changed by the parents of Iqbal Virk, cultivator of the land belonging to Bhagat Singh’s clan. The room that should have been preserved as a monument by the Pakistan Government is in a dilapidated condition.

Consistent piling of sand outside the room has resulted in the burying of the structure halfway. The main door is virtually closed and children use a side window to enter the room laced with moisture and foul smell.

“As we were allowed to visit the village during night, we could see very little inside the room. However, we could notice that iron girders had rusted and bricks of walls eroded with time,” said Davinder Purba.

The building of the village primary school where Bhagat Singh studied was also in a critical condition. All efforts of Iqbal Virk to get it repaired had gone in vain.

The playground where he used to play had turned into a pond. The place where Bhagat Singh had served langar to members of the 13th jatha of Jaiton Morcha is conspicuous by its non-existence. The British Government had issued warrants against Bhagat Singh for helping the jatha.

Admirers of Bhagat Singh have urged the government to impress upon the Pakistan Government to help preserve the structures. His writings and clothes, which are lying at a library in Lahore, should be brought to Punjab before his 100th birth anniversary that falls on September 28, they demanded.

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