Table of Contents
Follow Mr Mathew and his students on their trip to Amritsar and learn some wonderful facts.
The Sacrifices of Sikhs
The traditional dance of Punjab is Bhangra is full of energy and zest. Historically, Punjabis are people of great valour, having contributed significantly to India’s independence. Revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and Lala Lajpat Rai are called Shaheed-e-Azam and Sher-e-Punjab respectively. Mr Mathew proceeds to tell the story of the brutality inflicted by General O’Dwyer on 20,000 Indians on 13th April 1919. The mass had gathered for a meeting when the general blocked all exits and open fired without any warning. 1000 people were killed and over 1500 were injured.
He told the students about the partition of India in 1947, the bloodshed and horror of the partition. However, the Punjabis worked hard and rebuilt their lives. They started the Green Revolution and made Punjab the granary of India. In 1966 Punjab was reorganized on the basis of language and this reorganized state came into being on 1st November 1966. The hilly areas like Kullu Manali, Kangra, and Shimla were integrated with Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh was made the capital of both, Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh was declared a union territory.
The Bhakra Dam is a 740 feet high dam and its reservoir, Govind Sagar can store up to 9 billion cubic metres of water. The powerhouses at Bhakra and Nangal provide electricity to many neighbouring states including Haryana, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. Pandit Nehru called the Bhakra dam the temple of modern India.
The Gurbani from Gurudwara
Vicky could hear the Gurbani from the Golden Temple and asked Mr Mathew about the source of the melody. The Golden Temple is a gurudwara in Amritsar surrounded by water. This is the holiest shrine of the Sikhs and is built in the centre of a tank. The double-storeyed temple has a golden dome on the top. Mr Mathew describes in detail the architectural beauty of the temple. Anandpur Sahib, located on the banks of river Sutlej is another holy place of the Sikhs. It was founded by Sri Guru Teg Bahadur and lakhs of Sikhs celebrate here, the founding of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.
Next, they discuss the planned city Chandigarh designed by the French architect Le Corbusier. The city was inaugurated by India’s former President Dr Rajendra Prasad in October 1953. Mr Mathew shares that Jalandhar is an important manufacturing centre of sports goods in the country. He also shares that Ludhiana constitutes ninety-five per cent of the nation’s hosiery industry. At the end of the tour, they all leave to devour the delicious Amritsari jalebis.
History bears witness to the sacrifices made by the Punjabis. They have always faced all battles bravely and continue to significantly contribute to the nation’s development. India became a developing country and it was greatly due to the contributions and hard work of the Punjabis.