Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today eulogized the family of great martyr and the son of the soil Dr. Diwan Singh Kalepani for keeping his rich legacy alive by constructing a state-of-the-art museum here in his memory, which would ever act as a light house to inspire the future generations for infusing a spirit of patriotism, secularism and nationalism amongst them.Addressing a public gathering after dedicating the Dr. Diwan Singh Kalepani museum to the nation, the Chief Minister announced to earmark a budgetary provision of Rs.5.75 lakh in the annual budget of Cultural affairs department under a special scheme for the upkeep and maintenance of this memorial-cum-museum. He also conceded the demand of the family to give a grant in-aid of Rs.28 lakh for completion of on-going and carrying out other extension works, as required.
The Chief Minister lauded the outstanding contribution of Punjabis in the country’s freedom struggle despite they just constituted two percent of nation’s total population and made over 80% sacrifices to free their motherland from the yoke of British imperialism. He recalled that most of the patriots and freedom fighters, that were either executed, imprisoned for life or exiled, belonged to Punjab. Mr. Badal mentioned that we the Punjabis have inherited the spirit of self sacrifice from our great gurus Sri Guru Arjan Dev ji, Sri Guru Teg Bahadur ji and Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji, who even sacrificed his entire family to safeguard the human rights and for the welfare of the mankind. Mr. Badal further said that the state government has already planned to set up monuments in the memory of Baba Moti Ram Mehra at Fatehgarh Sahib, Bhai Jaita ji at Sri Anandpur Sahib, Bhagwan Valmiki ji at Sri Ram Tirath (Amritsar), Guru Ravi Dass ji at Khuralgarh (Hoshiarpur) under its flagship program to preserve our glorious cultural heritage. Likewise, we were already setting up Rs.200 crore Jang-e-Azadi memorial at Kartarpur to showcase the immense contribution of Punjabis in the nation’s freedom movement and a War Memorial at Amritsar to eulogize the rare saga of Indian soldiers who made supreme sacrifices to defend our country’s borders from the foreign aggression.
Badal highly appreciated the initiative taken by the entire family of Dr. Diwan Singh Kalepani especially his elder son Dr. Mohinder Singh Kalepani who envisioned to perpetuate the rich legacy of his father so that the coming generations could remember the supreme sacrifice of this great martyr who was tortured to death by Japanese in Cellular jail at Port Blair. On the occasion, the Chief Minister offered to honour the family of Dr. Diwan Singh Kalepani during the state level function on this Republic day. Later talking to the media persons on the sidelines of the function, the Chief Minister categorically said that we were crystal clear on the issue of parole sought by the Sikh detainees lodged in different jails across the country, who have already completed their jail sentence. He applauded the magnanimity shown by the family members of former Punjab Chief Minister late Beant Singh for giving parole to the convicts who were facing life imprisoned for his assassination. He said that he had already taken up the matter with his counterparts in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat to grant parole to such detainees and hopefully the concerned state governments would accede to his request as assured by them. He said that the UP Chief Minister has already forwarded the case of parole of a detainee lodged there to the Governor for necessary action as he was the final authority to take call on this issue.
Asked to comment on the contention made by the arrested drug peddler Jagdish Bhola for naming few of his Cabinet colleagues involved in the drug mafia provided the case was handed over to CBI, the Chief Minister without mincing any words said what stopped Bhola now from revealing these names during the ongoing investigations by the state police in this case.On the occasion, Dr. Kalepani’s younger son Dr. Harbans Singh Dhillon former Director World Health Organization, UNO expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister for making this function a memorable event through his gracious presence. The grandson of Dr. Kalepani, Dr. (Capt.) GS Dhillon Director and Principal Dalhousie Public School Dalhousie proposed a vote of thanks.Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Cabinet Minister Mr. Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Chairperson of Dr. Diwan Singh Kalepani Trust Mrs. Gurdarshan Kaur Dhillon, former Editor Punjabi Tribune Mr. Gulzar Singh Sandhu, noted Punjabi poet Mr. Surjit Pattar, Prof. Gurinder Maan from University of California, Santa Barbara besides eminent personalities from different walks of life. The Chief Minister was accompanied by his Principal Secretary Mr. SK Sandhu and Special Principal Secretary Mr. KJS Cheema.