Spent a day travelling through the historical sites of the ancient city of Baran which presently is called Bulandshahar. There are many important and beautiful landmarks in the city but these are in an utter state of neglect. The Old Jail of Bulandshahar once housed revolutionaries of the Great Uprising of 1857 as well as great freedom fighters. The program was organized by Mrs. Leenika Berri through her organization Kala Chaupal.
SOME PAST EVENTS
The village of Bilochpura in Dist. Baghpat derives its name from its residents who are descendents of migrants from Baluchistan. The residents of the village actively participated in the Great Uprising of 1857 under the leadership of Alla Dia. The residents of the village organized a program in memory of the freedom fighters of the great uprising where children recited poems and residents talked about the history of their village.
Had the honour of participating in a discussion on the Great Uprising of 1857. A banquet was hosted in the evening by Hon. Governor of Punjab and LG of Chandigarh at the Rock Garden for guests of the Military Literature Festival.
The contribution of Indian soldiers during battles fought in Europe during the First World War and their sacrifices for the nations of the continent has led to the evolution of strong bonds between these countries and India in this new age. A seminar held on 11th April, 2023, at the United Service Institution of India and the speakers delved on this aspect of shared history and went further to suggest crafting of a new world order from this shared past of the people of India and Europe.
A program was held at the Manekshaw Center Auditorium in Delhi Cantt to commemorate the state visit to India of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde as well as to honour the memory of Indian soldiers who died fighting in the battlefields of Belgium during the First World War.
Peter Alan Stanley FAHA is an Australian historian and research professor at the University of New South Wales in the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society. He was Head of the Centre for Historical Research at the National Museum of Australia from 2007–13. He as many books to his credit and this book is dedicated to Indian soldiers who fought at Gallipoli shoulder to shoulder with their comrades of Australia and New Zealand. The book launch was held at the Australian High Commission, New Delhi.
Excavation was renewed at Hastinapur after a long gap of more 70 years, the last such exercise was undertaken in 1952 under the legendry archeologist Dr. B. B. Lal. The newly established Meerut Circle of Archeology is a boon for the people of this region and this was the first major exercise of the department after its upgradation. Multiple trenches were dug over the archeological mound of Hastinapur and multiple layers of habitation were exposed.
The famous academic, author and former king of Kashmir honoured us by accepting our invitation to be the chief guest at a program organized by us at the Wheler Club on 23rd January, 2003, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chand Bose. He delivered a lecture to an august audience of ex-servicemen, doctors, businessmen, teachers as well as a group of children of Dewan Public School who game under the guidance of their teacher Mr. Routh.
It was a great honour for us to have described the events of the Great Uprising of Meerut to the legendry Dr. Kalam when he visited the Government Freedom Struggle Museum of Meerut. He showed a keen interest in the displays and interacted with children as well as citizens of Meerut.
Dr. Vandana Shiva was in the city where a program was organised by her organisation Navdanya to promote organic farming and launch a nationwide program for the protection of indigenous seeds and the right of farmers to produce their own seeds. Shahjad Rai Research Insititute, Indian Medical Association Meerut, scientists from Dept. of Biotechnology (SVBP Agricultural University), Holistic Health Foundation, Research and Relief Society, Janhit Foundation, Neer Foundation, Satyakam, Sarokar and farmers participated in the program. Dr. Veerotam Tomar and Dr. V. K. Bindra informed the audience about the harmful effects of pesticide use. Dr. J. V. Chikara delivered the IMA address. Mr. Ajay Gupta chaired the meeting. Dr. K. K. Sharma conducted the program and Mr. Amit Rai Jain delivered the vote of thanks.
On 23rd of April, 2017, went on a tour of a cluster of Gurjar villages of Dist. Baghpat which had participated in the Great Uprising of 1857. On one of the primary villages named Bichpuri, Dunlop writes in 1858 - `'Ihen came to the Goorjur village of Bichpooree; this had taken an active part in all Sah Mull's misdoings, and deserved destruction .... number of armed men were leaving it as I arrived'
The villages covered in this trip included Nimbali, Budhera, Bali and Nirojpur. It was decided that martyr’s memorials will be raised in all these villages and they should be designated `freedom struggle’ villages from now on, as in colonial times they were called `bagi’or rebel villages which at that time was used as a negative connotation. We also met families of two leaders of the Great Uprising, Gulab Singh and Achal Singh Gurjar.
At village Nimbali we met descendents of Sri. Gulab Singh Gurjar who was one of the leaders of the Uprising of 1857 in the region. Recorded memories of the patriarch of the family who is sitting in the foreground, including how Gulab Singh was found and martyred by the colonial forces.
At freedom struggle village of Budhera we were told about the suffering of the residents of the village as all their land & properties were confiscated and auctioned off because of their having participated in the Uprising of 1857.
The site of a martyr's memorial was finalised at the Gurjar freedom struggle village of Bali. A European gentleman of French descent developed an estate in the village out of the lands of the village which were confiscated by the colonialists as a punishment for their participation in the Uprising of 1857.
A tour of sites and villages around Baraut was organised to show various aspects of the culture of Western Uttar Pradesh for 25 students and teachers from various college
On the 5th of March, 2016, a tour of sites and villages around Buraut was organised to show various aspects of the culture of Western Uttar Pradesh for 25 students and teachers from various colleges of Delhi University. Mr Amit Rai Jain, our partner, organised an excellent groundwork for the visitors.
A talk on various aspects of the culture of West UP was given to the group at Degree College, Buraut, by me and Mr. Amit Rai..
On 29th Jul7, 2017, attended a program at village Panchli. It was the first village to be attacked by the colonial forces in the Uprising of 1857. 160 soldiers of 60th Royal Rifles, 60 cavalry and 2 artillery guns attacked the village before dawn on 4th of July, 1857, '... doomed by the general to destruction.' All men were shot and survivors hanged, only women and children surviving. Cattle etc carried off and village burnt. The Mutiny Narratives of the United Provinces (dated 1858) note - 'The Goojurs of Panclee Ghat and Nugla punished by the Khakee Ressalah and a Military detachment.' The stories of that episode still surviving were recorded for the first time. .
Attended a wonderful program at United Service Institution, New Delhi, by the Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research to inaugurate the 'India Remembers' project. The project has been launched in memory of lakhs of Indian soldiers who have died in various wars. The Marigold flower is its symbol (an Indian symbol as the poppy was for European soldiers). The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Flags of Honour Foundation and Big Ideas Company are its other partners. People can participate through painting, poetry, debate competitions, plant a tree program etc.
In the new world order countries from all over the world are now recognising the contribution of Indian soldiers in the creation of their history. This can become a focus around which our foreign policy can evolve to create a new international brotherhood with India as its focal point. .
Students of G D Goenka School, Ghaziabad came to Meerut on 20th February, 2016. They visited sites linked to the great Uprising of 1857 as well as other historical places of Meerut. The best time of life is when one interacts with students to discuss the freedom struggle as well as the historical legacy of India.
On 23rd November, 2016, at the Embassy of France, New Delhi. Book Booked named 'Les Hindous' written by my guide (for history fellowship) Sq. Leader Rana Chhina (retd) was released by the Ambassador of France Alexandre Ziegler and Ambassador of Belgium Jan Luykx. It delineates the Indian contribution in creation of world history during the 1st World War. A great evening .... and yes! Nothing to beat the experience of having French wine at the French Embassy.
A first ever book on Indian participation in the Battle of Gallipoli during the First World War written by Prof. Peter Stanley was released today at the Australian High Commission.
Both Australia and New Zealand begin their process of national awakening from this battle which is the bases of the evolution of their national consciousness separate from the United Kingdom. The Australians are now wanting to evolve a lasting relationship with India through the memory of sacrifice and camaraderie which soldiers from India and Australia - New Zealand share.
On 24th November, 2016, had the opportunity to show the history of our place with a family which came from Australia to trace its roots in Meerut. The lady Mrs. Angela Shergold said that she would like all the children of her family, wherever they are settled, to develop a strong bond with India as their ancestors had lived here, worked here and many of them are even buried in this land. Our shared past can be a bridge for brotherhood in the future.
International seminar on - 'Regional History : Issues and Challenges'. Organised by our friend and history partner Dr. K. K. Sharma at M M Degree College, Modinagar, Ghaziabad, on 25th February, 2016.
On 30th Sep' 2015, a meeting of farmer's representatives from 22 states of India, including from the North East and Laddakh, was organised by Navdanya at their farm near Dehradun under the stewardship of Dr. Vandana Shiva. It was the second day of a two day program covering issues with a focus on developing solutions for pressing problems like farmer's suicides, use of pesticides and resultant illness, loss of farmer rights over their seeds, lack of introduction of organic farming etc. The first program of this series was held at Meerut and the `Meerut Model of this series of programs, as madam called it again and again, was to be implemented all over the country.
Solutions to these problems will be reached at by direct discussions within famers groups themselves and these will be pushed into the policy structure of various government agencies in India. Other associated groups like doctors, consumer organisations, environmentalists, civil society etc will be part of the overall consultation process and will also be involved in pressurising the agencies into adapting better policies.
Tourism needs to be actively promoted in our part of the country. Today a group of tourists from UK and Australia visited Meerut. Our group helped them in their visit as volunteers as always. Over and above taking them around some historical sites, we gave them a special presentation before lunch on the historical importance of Meerut and Western Uttar Pradesh.
Representatives from 16 Freedom Struggle villages were present at the program held on 18th July, 2015, at Buraut.
A tour of sites and villages around Buraut was organised on 4th of March, 2016, to show various aspects of the culture of Western Uttar Pradesh for 25 students and teachers from various colleges of Delhi University. Mr Amit Rai Jain, our partner, organised an excellent groundwork for the visitors.
On Saturday morning students of the Faculty of Arts, Shiv Nadar University visited the city with Prof. Vasudha to experience history and culture of the region. An understanding of materials, colours, textures of life, an experience of spaces as well as conceptualisation of time & history are essential to make a good artist.
On February 14th, 2014, a program was organized by Medical Humanities Meerut, under the guidance of Dr. Rahul Bansal, HOD Dept. of SPM, Subharti Medical College, at the Govt. Freedom Struggle Museum, Meerut.
The subject of discussion was the introduction of humanities in the life of medical practitioners. We feel that various subjects which come under the category of 'arts' should be incorporated in the day to day experience as well as training of science students. If students of science get disconnected from arts, as happens may a times because of the prevalent 'caste structure' of the present education system in India (science commerce arts), they simply become logical robots. A proper balance between the heart and mind is essential to make a complete happy human being.
Pure sciences, with their primary concern with logic and mental analysis only, make incomplete human beings who suffer a lot mentally in the later parts of their lives. Mrs. Devdutt was our special guest. Medical and paramedical students of the college, doctors attended the program.