CM LAYS FOUNDATION STONE OF SARAGARHI MEMORIAL
Ferozepur: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Tuesday announced that work on construction of a state of the art monument to commemorate the martyrdom of 21 valiant Sikh warriors during the historic battle of Saragarhi at Ferozepur will be completed within a time period of six months.
Addressing the gathering after laying the foundation stone of the monument here today, the Chief Minister said that there is no cap on funds for the construction of this architectural marvel adding that the work on it will be completed within six months by all means. He said that the valour and sacrifice of soldiers during the battle of Saragarhi will ever inspire our coming generations to serve the country selflessly and zealously. Remembering the supreme sacrifice made by the 21 valiant soldiers who laid their lives while protecting the sovereignty of the country, Bhagwant Singh Mann said that it was an unprecedented saga of bravery and heroism.
The Chief Minister said that his head bows in reverence to pay homage to the supreme sacrifices by the brave soldiers of the country who chose death rather than surrender before a mighty enemy. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the exemplary valor of the 21 soldiers of the 36 Sikhs stationed near Samana ridge (now in Pakistan), who laid down their lives after a fierce battle following an attack by nearly 10,000 Afghans on September 12, 1897 hardly finds any parallel in the world history. He said that the battle of Saragarhi will remain an iconic moment in India’s military history and a reminder of how, when pushed to the brink, Punjabis can rise beyond their capacities.
Underscoring the need for propagating the spirit underlying the battle, the Chief Minister said that the state government is committed to ensure that the legacy of this most famous `Last Stands’ in military history becomes a symbol of inspiration and motivation for the younger generations. Bhagwant Singh Mann unequivocally said that Saragarhi Battle Warriors exemplify the grit and determination of brave Sikh warriors who attained martyrdom while facing the enemy. He said that the country will ever remain indebted to these brave sons for their supreme sacrifice.
The Chief Minister said that he will personally monitor the work on this monument in the coming times and ensure that it is completed within the six months. He said that any sort of inordinate delay in this noble cause is unwarranted and undesirable adding that high standards of construction will be adhered to in the construction of this memorial. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that corruption during construction work will not be tolerated and will be dealt with severely by ensuring strict action against those involved in it.
The Chief Minister slammed the previous governments for blatantly ignoring this place of immense importance. He said that the previous state government had announced to construct a memorial and Rs 1 crore was issued in the year 2019. However, Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the work was never initiated as additional funds worth Rs 25 lakh that were required for the memorial were never allotted adding that this reflects the apathy of these governments towards the martyrs.
The Chief Minister also announced to make stupendous efforts for developing Ferozepur district as hub of tourism in the state. He said that the Saragarhi memorial along with Hussainiwala Memorial, where Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Sukhdev and Shaheed Rajguru, were martyred fall in this distric only. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that these places of immense historical importance along with Hussainiwala border will be showcased to the world for attracting tourists from across the globe.
The Chief Minister said that we need not to count the martyrs of Punjab as every village of Punjab has an imprint of these heroes on its soil. He said that as a fact of matter every inch of this sacred land has the footprint of great Gurus, saints, seers, martyrs and poets. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that Punjabis have been blessed with an indomitable spirit of hard work and resilience due to which they carve out space for themselves.
The Chief Minister also recalled that during his stint as Lok Sabha Member, the house had paid tributes to chotta sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh on their martyrdom day after he had pursued the matter with then Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. He said that the unprecedented and supreme sacrifice made by chotte sahibzadas will ever inspire humanity to fight against tyranny, oppression and injustice adding that they showed exemplary courage and fearlessness to stand up against the might of the Mughal Governor of Sirhind. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the sahibzadas had inherited the traits of valor and selfless service from Dashmesh Pitaah, who fought relentlessly for the sake of humanity.
The Chief Minister said that the month of December during which the sahibzadas and Mata Gujri ji were martyred is the month of mourning for the entire humanity. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that he had already directed the officers to ensure that no function of happiness is celebrated at government level during this month in future. He said that this will be tribute by the state government to sahibzadas and Mata Gujri ji by the state government and the people.