|Tuesday, August 1, 2000,
Shaheed Udham Singh
KURUKSHETRA, July 31 — A virtual sea of humanity had descended at the state-level function organised at Shahbad to pay rich tributes to Shaheed Udham Singh on his martyrdom day reminding one of the popular couplet “Shaheedon ki chitaon pe lagenge har baras mele, Watan par marne walon ka yahi baki nishan hoga” (There will be annual fairs at the tombs of martyrs, this is what they will leave behind after their death).
Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, who presided over the function, announced a number of programmes to commemorate the memory of Shaheed Udham Singh. He said a chair named after Shaheed Udham Singh would be instituted in Kurukshetra University, Udham Singh Memorial College at Matak Majri in Karnal district will be taken over by the government and a polytechnic named after Shaheed Udham Singh would be set up at Tohana.
He also announced that a piece of land would be provided to set up a suitable memorial at Kurukshetra, besides providing an alternative site for the statue of Shaheed Udham Singh at Shahbad Markanda. He said that a ‘harit Haryana’ (green Haryana) campaign would be launched for which trees would be provided free of cost to commemorate the memory of the martyr.
Paying rich tributes to Shaheed Udham Singh, Mr Chautala urged the people to plant a sapling each to commemorate the memory of the great son of the soil who despite losing his parents at an early age grew up as a true nationalist and gave a new direction to the freedom struggle by avenging the cold-blooded murder of hundreds of innocent men, women and children at Jallianwala Bagh by killing General Sir Michael Frances O’Dwyer in London 21 years later.
He also announced a grant of Rs 11 lakh from his discretionary fund for construction of a bhavan at Kurukshetra in the memory of Shaheed Udham Singh. and land for the bhavan.
Mr Chautala also gave a clarion call to the youth to rise above narrow considerations of caste, creed and community and safeguard with the same spirit of dedication which Shaheed Udham Singh used to by calling himself ‘Ram Mohammad Singh Azad’.
He also lauded Member of Parliament and film actor, Mr Raj Babbar for portraying ShaheedUdham Singh in a film. He said that he was deeply inspired by viewing the film produced by Mr Iqbal Singh.
Mr Chautala honoured Mr Raj Babbar, Mr Iqbal Singh and Mr Sadhu Singh, former MLA Jalandhar, who had brought the ashes of Shaheed Udham Singh from London to his native village Sunam in Punjab and Mr Sikander Singh for his scholarly work on the life and times of Shaheed Udham Singh.
Mr Raj Babbar was all praise for the efforts made by Mr Chautala in organising the state-level function to commemorate the memory of Shaheed Udham Singh. He said that a lot of research had gone into Shaheed Udham Singh’s life before making the film.
He complimented Additional Director of Cultural Affairs, Haryana, Mr Kamal Tewari for playing the role of Saifuddin Kichlu in the film Shaheed Udham Singh.
Mr Sikander Singh, who compiled a history of Shaheed Udham Singh right from his joining an orphanage at an early age till his death at the gallows said 10 files on Shaheed Udham Singh’s life had been obtained by him in London.
Among others who spoke on the occasion were Bibi Kartar Kaur, Member, Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, Mr Sadhu Singh, former MLA from Punjab, Haryana Ministers Mr Ashok Kumar. Mr Jaswinder Singh Sandhu and Mr M.L. Ranga and Mr Banu Ram Gupra, freedom fighter.
The Department of Public Relations had organised an exhibition of documents and photographs on the life and times of Shaheed Udham Singh to acquaint the people with the life of the great martyr. The documents displayed in the exhibition included photo copies of Shaheed Udham Singh’s admission to an orphanage, leaving the school and the statement which he had prepared to be read out during his trial.
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