In a unique tribute to the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre on the centenary commemoration of the tragic event, the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has decided to build a memorial in Amritsar with soil from all the 13,000 villages of the state to eulogize the immense contribution of Punjabis in the national freedom struggle.
The decision got the go-ahead from the Chief Minister during a meeting the State Level Implementation Committee regarding Centenary Commemoration of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
The Rural Development and Panchayats has been designed the nodal department to coordinate with the Panchayats of the nearly 13,000 villages across the state for this solemn cause. The Chief Minister has also asked the Deputy Commissioner Amritsar to identify a strategic spot in the city, where a suitable memorial would be erected with the soil brought from these villages. He has directed the Cultural Affairs and Tourism Department to engage with the Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust, which had created the Partition Museum at Town Hall, Amritsar, to conceptualize and plan the Jallianwala memorial.
The Chief Minister has asked the Principal Secretary Cultural Affairs to coordinate with all the concerned departments to ensure a grand function at Amritsar on April 13, 2019. Captain Amarinder also asked the ACS Home to make elaborate security arrangements to ensure hassle-free access to the people for paying respects to the martyrs at the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial. At the same time, he said, the devotees visiting Sri Darbar Sahib should not be put to any sort of inconvenience caused during the centenary commemorations.
Captain Amarinder also asked the Commissioner Municipal Corporation Amritsar to complete the development works initiated in view of the centenary commemoration. The Municipal Commissioner assured the Chief Minister that all the ongoing development works would be completed by March 31, 2019.
The Chief Minister directed the Cultural Affairs department to organise commemorative functions at historic places like Sunam Udham Singh Wala, Khatkar Kalan, Jagraon, Malerkotla etc associated with freedom fighters and martyrs of the national independence struggle.
The Chief Minister suggested that the Department of School Education should include a chapter in its curriculum on the Jallianwala Bagh carnage to imbibe the spirit of patriotism and nationalism amongst the students. He also asked the ACS Higher Education and Secretary School Education to organise seminars, symposiums, declamation contests and panel discussions on the various aspects of the tragedy.
Responding to the suggestion, ACS Higher Education SK Sandhu informed the meeting that national seminars, along with symposiums on the theme of Jallianwala Bagh would be organized, in addition to printing and distribution of pamphlets and folders and staging of Nukkad Nataks.
Apprising the Chief Minister about the decisions taken by the State Level Implementation Committee, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said that with a special focus on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the Art and Culture Heritage Trust would organise a Heritage Walk in the old Amritsar town, in addition to an exhibition depicting some known and unknown facts about the massacre. Apart from these, an exhibition would also be held in 10 cities of the state to highlight the saga of the Indian freedom struggle.
It was also informed in the meeting by the Principal Secretary Cultural Affairs that a coffee table book on Jallianwala Bagh was being prepared with the help and guidance of Punjab Lalit Kala Academy. A two-day Jallianwala Bagh centenary Lit-Fest would be organised in GNDU Amritsar and dramas in Hindi and Punjabi would be organised by North Zone Cultural Centre in association with National School of Drama. The Punjab Arts Council/Sangeet Natak Academy would also stage plays and Kavi Darbars in various districts. Besides, a dedicated website/mobile app would be launched, and a light and sound show would also be organized on the occasion.
Prominent amongst those present in the meeting were Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Principal Secretary Tourism and Cultrual Affairs Vikas Pratap, DC Amritsar Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon, Secretary Education Krishan Kumar, Director Cultural Affairs MS Jaggi, Vice Chancellor of GNDU Jaspal Singh Sandhu and VC Punjabi University BS Ghuman.