Taking cognizance of the Hindustan Times report highlighting how the Punjab archeology department was doing only partial restoration of the house of martyr Sukhdev in Ludhiana, the state government has started the process to acquire the entire building for conservation.
The report “Pak preserves Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s house, Punjab betrays martyr Sukhdev” (September 14) contrasted the Pakistani and Punjab efforts to preserve the memory of two freedom fighters who had gone to the gallows together. Following that story, the state government notified in various newspapers on October 17 that it would preserve the entire building in Ludhiana’s Mohalla Naughara.
The notification issued by Raji P Srivastava, secretary of the state department of cultural affairs, museums, archives, and archaeology, stated that looking at the historical importance of the house, its upper two floors would be declared heritage place under the Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1964.
The notice invited objections within two months from anyone with stake in the building.
The Hindustan Times report had highlighted how the state government was all set to abandon renovating the Ludhiana house after starting with great hype two months ago.
Of the three levels, it has decided to restore only the ground floor.
It had received Rs 3.24 crore from the central government for the restoration of the houses of freedom movement martyrs and decided to spend equally on the houses of Sukhdev in Ludhiana, Lala Lajpat Rai at Dudhike village in Moga district, Kartar Singh Sarabha at Sarabha village in Ludhiana district, and Udham Singh at Sunam in Sangrur district.
While it planned the full restoration of the other three houses, martyr Sukhdev’s house was to get only partial justice, since a family occupied the two upper floors that could collapse anytime.
Kin welcome move
Ludhiana’s Vishal Nayyar, maternal grandson of Sukhdev’s younger brother, Parkash Chand Thapar, who runs Amar Shaheed Sukhdev Welfare Society, has welcomed the full-restoration move.
Earlier, he had demanded that the house be restored as it was. Sukhdev Thapar, known commonly by his first name, was executed along with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru on March 23, 1931, by the British colonial government of that period.