Capt warns against subverting heritage character of Khalsa College

  • Usmeet Kaur, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Jan 31, 2016 09:08 IST
Khalas College in Amritsar (HT File Photo)

After the Khalsa College Governing Council initiated a fresh move to establish Khalsa University, Punjab Congress president and Amritsar MP Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday questioned the logic behind the move which, he apprehended, would dilute and subvert the “heritage status” of Khalsa College.

The MP said that at no cost would he allow the distinct identity and place the college held in Punjab’s cultural history be diluted, usurped or subverted for the greed of a few controlling the college governing council.

In a statement, Amarinder said he would stage a protest against the move in front of the college in case the governing council decided to go ahead with the decision.

The former Punjab chief minister maintained that he was not opposed to anybody setting up a private university. “But certainly not at the cost of our golden heritage of which Khalsa College is an important symbol,” he warned, adding that those at the helm of the governing council must remember that it was not their private property but the public trust they were holding, for which a number of Punjabis, including his ancestors, had made immense contribution.

Amarinder said he would see to it that the college, which officially enjoyed a heritage status, retained the distinction and did not fall prey to the greed of a few. “I am concerned not only because I am the local MP but also because I am a Punjabi who holds his history and culture as sacrosanct. That is why I warn the governing council against the ill-intended move,” he asserted.

He questioned the logic behind setting up the university as Guru Nanak Dev University was doing a great job. He said if the council’s intentions were really aimed at expanding the academic activities, it should think of setting up a university in southern Punjab.

Varsity move ploy to usurp prime land, says Bir Devinder

Chandigarh: Punjab’s former deputy speaker Bir Devinder Singh on Saturday said the idea to establish Khalsa University, Amritsar, in the private sector “manifests the blind lust of Satyajit Singh Majithia”, a close relative of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, to usurp the prime land of Khalsa College, Amritsar.

In a statement issued here, Bir Devinder said the move fell through in 2011 after it was thoroughly opposed by the stakeholders and the Sikh community. “I’m afraid it seems the mischievous motive of the RSS through their agents to destroy the exalted glory of the 124-yearold minority institute of the Sikh community,” he said.

“The courses they propose to run at the university could well be designed within the curricula of the autonomous college. I am told the Khalsa College Charitable Society (KCCS) has spared Rs 7 crore to raise the requisite equipment and relevant infrastructure. It is a paltry amount to set up a university of great academic standards. It’s nothing but a joke and a misconceived passion of a few individuals to obliterate the resources of the Sikh community for their narrow parochial gains,” he said.

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