Memo­ri­als for 40 ‘muk­tas’, Mai Bhago left to rot in Muk­t­sar

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Htpunjab - Sarb­meet Singh let­ter­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com ■

MUK­T­SAR : Ahead of the Maghi Mela in Muk­t­sar, mon­u­ments built in the mem­ory of 40 ‘muk­tas‘ (lib­er­ated ones) and Mai Bhago are in an ut­ter state of ne­glect.

The Mai Bhago Park, where a scene from the war be­tween the Mughals and Sikhs has been de­picted, is in a di­lap­i­dated con­di­tion. On most days, it proves to be a safe haven for drug ad­dicts and drunk­ards. Stat­ues here have de­vel­oped cracks for want of restora­tion; a statue of Mai Bhago on a horse is sim­ply weath­er­ing away, hav­ing been left to the el­e­ments.

An­other me­mo­rial, ded­i­cated to 40 Muk­tas and Mai Bhago is far from com­ple­tion, around 14 years af­ter the foun­da­tion stone was laid in May 2005.

Bibi Ja­gir Kaur, the then SGPC pres­i­dent and for­mer chief min­is­ter Parkash Singh Badal, had laid the foun­da­tion stone.

A social worker from Muk­t­sar, Harpreet Singh, said, “Au­thor­i­ties should com­plete the me­mo­rial as soon as pos­si­ble. The names of the 40 Muk­tas and the his­tory of that war should also be in­scribed, so that the young can be ed­u­cated about our his­tory. The di­lap­i­dated con­di­tion of the mon­u­ments hurts the sen­ti­ments of lakhs of Sikh devo­tees.”

On Sun­day, some work­ers were spot­ted do­ing ren­o­va­tion at the Mi­nar-E-Mukta, where the world’s tallest Khanda of 40 feet is in­stalled.

Karan Kaur Brar, for­mer Muk­t­sar Congress MLA said, “In our pre­vi­ous ten­ure, the Congress gov­ern­ment had con­structed five gates and the Mi­nar-E-Mukta. The SAD gov­ern­ment failed to take the projects for­ward.”

Muk­t­sar deputy com­mis­sioner MK Arvind told HT over phone, ““We are ren­o­vat­ing the Mi­nar-E-Mukta me­mo­rial. The Mai Bhago park needs huge funds to be set right. A De­tailed Project Re­port (DPR) for this is ready. Ten­ders will be floated soon for its ren­o­va­tion.”

PHO­TOS: SANJIV KU­MAR/HT

■ Bro­ken stat­ues of Sikh and Mughal soldiers; and (below) the statue of Mai Bhago with­out a sword at the Muk­t­sar me­mo­rial.

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