India and Pakistan may be at loggerheads today, but they share the same legacy, as also the stars of Independence struggle. So, Pakistan's efforts to preserve Bhagat Singh's birthplace at Chak No. 105 GB (now Bangay village) as a heritage site come as no surprise.
The Faisalabad district
administration decision was reported by The News on Sunday, weekly edition of The News International published from Pakistan.
The News report said the plan included developing the martyr's village as part of a wider campaign to preserve the region's history and restore 45 historical buildings. Faisalabad's district coordination officer (DCO) Noorul Amin Mengal visited Bhagat Singh's house and the report quoted him saying the district administration had constituted Lyallpur Heritage Foundation for research and preservation of the site.
The native village of philanthropist Sir Ganga Ram, also in the same district, is on the list, too. "Bangay is a typical central Punjab village, surrounded by wheat and sugarcane fields," Waqar Gillani, staff reporter of The News International, wrote in an email to HT.
The house where Bhagat Singh was born still has some of his family's belongings, including his mother's spinning wheel; a big copper paraat (kneading tray), two wooden trunks and a heavy closet of steel. The items occupy the two rooms of his now almost reconstructed house which now belongs to advocate Muhammad Iqbal Virk.
The daily also quoted Virk on his family's efforts to keep the objects safe.
Welcoming the move, Jagmohan Singh, Bhagat Singh's nephew in Ludhiana, said India should also participate with the help of Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). "Thanks to the Virk family for preserving the place for so long, it's a reflection of our common heritage, struggle and history," he said.
Last year, Mengal had also initiated the process to name a roundabout in Lahore after Bhagat Singh. It is at the spot (part of the old jail) where the revolutionary freedom fighter was hanged.
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