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Update on Banda Singh Bahadur Memorial
An 11 member delegation comprising historians, journalists and intellectuals met the Chief Minister of Punjab – Parkash Singh Badal on 25th October 2009 to urge him to build a memorial in the memory of Banda Singh Bahadur in the historic village of Chappar Chirri, situated around 15 kilometres from Chandigarh. The delegation submitted the following memorandum giving details of the place and its historic importance:
Hourable S Parkash Singh Badal
We, the undersigned, who constitute a coordination committee, highly appreciate
your recent statement wherein you have announced to raise a memorial to
commemorate the victory of Baba Banda Bahadur and his brave soldiers for their
victory against Mughal forces at Chhapar Chiri. It is needless to talk about the
immense significance of this battle in the history of India, It suffices to say
that this great historical battle was a result of personal directions given by
the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh, which galvanized thousands of ordinary
Sikhs from Punjab to pick up ordinary weapons to take on the might of the Mughal
forces and register a historic victory.
Sadly, 300 years on, we have not been able to take care of these important
places of our great historic past. In the recent past, our committee has made attempts to create awareness among
the younger generations about our great heritage. Here, we want to make it very
clear that we have no connection with any political group or party. We have come
together with the single objective of facilitating the setting up of a memorial
at Chhapar Chiri and once that aim is met, our committee would dissolve itself.
Presently, we would like to offer some suggestions to the state government under
your able guidance, for setting up the memorial. The first and foremost
challenge before us was to have an accurate demarcation of the exact land where
the battle was fought. Based on the available material in the historical
references, and after consulting the local villagers, our experts, also studied
the local geographical area and used military expertise after visiting the area
several times before finally identifying the exact battlefield. WE have marked
the boundary with a red line on the map enclosed.
According to the revenue records of Chhapar chiri, about five acres of land
covered under (khasra numbers?) 409, 410, 411 and 412 used to be under sand
dunes till a few years ago. These 30-35 ft high dunes were used by Baba Banda
Bahadur as a high point to observe the battlefield and to direct the course of
battle for the Sikh army.
Almost half of the area under Khasra number 453 used to be `Jhiri'- which is
more or less preserved in its old form- and which was meant for guerilla
Another 5 acre area under khasra numbers 408 and 453 was also part of the
About 25 acres of land, marked on the map, was the actual theatre of war where
hand to hand fight between the Sikhs and the Mughal forces was fought, and where
digging in the past few decades, has brought out several iron weapons which were
used during the battle.
In all, about 35 acres of land, related to the battle of Chhapar Chiri has been
identified, which needs to be acquired for raising the memorial, We can not
stress the importance of incorporate the spots of sand dunes and the `Jhiri' in
the proposed memorial, any more. It is imperative to say that most of the
battlefield should be also included in the memorial. We also want to clarify
that the proposed land for memorial does not include any part to the existing
Gurdwara's building or land. We are also not against the proposed golf club
which GMADA plans to raise on the land. Rather, the golf grounds would help the
adjacent land of the memorial and the village atmosphere clean and green. Our
only concern is to spare the demarcated land out of land mass which is to be
acquired for the golf club.
For the noble cause of raising a memorial for the battle of Chhapar Chiri, we
want to bring up the following points for your kind consideration-
1. The government should make an announcement for demarcation of the land, based
on the map enclosed in order to formally identify the battlefield of the great
war which was fought on the personal directions of the Dashmesh Guru.
2. Orders should be issued for acquiring the demarcated land which is not under
3. An immediate ban on construction on the demarcated land. If a road or
passage or any public building is proposed to be built in the area, then it
should be held back till the time a final plan for the memorial is prepared.
This matter assumes greater significance since the tercentenary anniversary of
the battle falls next year, on May 12.
We would be submitting another proposal relating to the financial resources and
organizational setup regarding the memorial, subsequently.
Baljit Kaur, Convenor,
Coordination Committee for the Memorial of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur
Pritam Singh (IAS retd)
President, Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh
Lt Gen Kartar Singh
CEO, International Sikh Confederation, Chandigarh
After a patient hearing to the delegation led by Bibi Baljit Kaur, Sardar Badal
announced the allocation of 20 acres of land for the memorial and assured the
delegation that directions would be immediately given for notification of the
acquisition of the land.
Bibi Baljit Kaur was accompainied by the chairperson of the International Sikh
Federation General Kartar Singh, President of the Institute of Sikh Studies –Pritam Singh Kohli, President of the Sikh Education Society –Gurdev Singh,
Ex-Principal Khalsa School, Kharar –Tarlochan Singh Sidhu, former Sarpanch of
ChapparChirri –Zora Singh, Sarpanch of ChappariChirri –Surjit Singh, leading
historian Kirpal Singh, former vice chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University –Dr.
J. S. Grewal, leading journalist Sukhdev Singh, Karamjit Singh and principal of Y P S Dr. Harish Dhillon.
Bibi Baljit Kaur said that the Institute is grateful for this historic decision
of the chief minister.
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