Memorials for 40 ‘muktas’, Mai Bhago left to rot in Muktsar
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.”
Broken statues of Sikh and Mughal soldiers; and (below) the statue of Mai Bhago without a sword at the Muktsar memorial.