MEMORANDUM BY DIOCESE OF AMRITSAR, CNI
Subject: Regarding the unwanted and illegitimate overstepping into the playground of Baring Union Christian College, Batala (Punjab).
We on behalf of the management of Baring Union Christian College along with the staff serving in this premier institution, the students who are receiving holistic education here and the Christian community, hereby, bring to your notice the following facts :
– that Baring Union Christian College Association (BUCCA) is successfully serving the society since the last 150 years through its educational institutions namely Baring Union Christian College, Batala, Baring Collegiate Sen. Sec. School , Batala, Baring Sen. Sec. School and Christian Institute for Religious studies.
The organization has been playing vital role in spreading the light of knowledge among the people of the state of Punjab and especially to the areas around Batala, Gurdaspur and Amritsar. Our aim is to impart education to all irrespective of any bias based on class, religion, creed and gender. The Christian Institute is especially functional to build bridges among different communities for communal harmony and peace.
– that this historic and premier institute has given to the society a host of highly disciplined Political leaders, bureaucrats including IAS , IPS, IFS,IRS,PCS, Defense Personnel and many other distinguished personalities who have proved themselves be the assets for the nations. Our gems have always worked with utmost integrity and they feel proud that they belong to Baring Alma Mater.
– that there is a first rate playground on campus and the boundaries of this playground exist as they are today since the last fifty years.
– This playground has produced many national and international players and Baring students feel encouraged when they take part in sports in this playground. Such interests help the young generation to take care of their health which is considered to be a national asset now and stay away from bad habits like drug addiction. Besides, the residents of Batala like to spend their evening on this playground and the college is generously helping them to take part in games and sports and take care of their physical and mental health and well being.
– the institution, since its inception, has rendered the above mentioned services and no outer bodies or agency has ever overstepped or violated its boundaries.
– that on Jan 16th 2020, the Tehsildar along with his staff and number of able–bodied private persons entered the college campus without any prior information (telephonic or written)/notice or permissions. As reported by the staff and the students, these people badly disrupted the solemn environment of educational institute. On being asked by the principal and staff, they told that they were going to demarcate the boundary of a road which would head towards Kahnuwan Road. The pupils including girl students got puzzled.
– when the staff protested against this fascist act, then, SDM Cum Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Batala in the presence of DSP, City accepted that their process was wrong and warned that they would turn up again very shortly.
– that the road which these officials were mentioning leads to nowhere as behind the college wall, there is Hansli drain and beyond the drain there are residential apartments of private residents of Batala. In other words, the road cannot lead to anywhere. It is evident that this action is an attempt to disrupt a Post Graduate premier institution run by the Christian minority with the aim of spreading the light of knowledge to all without any discrimination on the basis of class, colors, race and gender.
– that if such actions are not timely stopped, it will lead to alarming state of affairs. The youth of the area will get deprived of healthy activities in which they are involved and which helps them to abstain from the evil of drugs. Such action will lead to unhealthy practices and will prove to be an unforgivable act in the history of Batala and its surroundings.
– That it is worth mentioning herewith this Ground is the only one ground in Batala having 400 meter track which provides excellent space for athletic activities and ground for Basket Ball and Cricket etc. open for use of the city youth.
– that it is from this ground that athletes like Mukhman Singh, Surjit Singh Randhawa, Harcharan Singh, Dr. H.S. Randhawa, Director Sports, GNDU, S.P. Paramjit Singh Teja, International Basket Baller, Jaswant Singh, Food Inspector, Jaspinder Singh, Punjab Police and Smt. Manjit Walia, Arjan Awardee, have been prepared to bring honour to the city and to the country. Any tempering with this historical ground will amount to tempering with the history of this place and the future generations will be deprived from this facility which will never be forgiven.
– sir we very humbly pray that as this 150 years old society is celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Baring Union Christian College, the Govt. may very kindly provide facilities for upgrading the said ground to enable the management to provide unproved services to the society in this area.
Therefore, we, on behalf of the students, staff and Management of BUC College, Batala and the entire Christian community want to appeal to you to give instructions to control to discourage such action of undue intrusion into the premises of an institution of repute. We humbly request you to render all your help, support and contribution to enhance the development of BUC College Playground. The entire Christian community will always be indebted to you for your support to save the existence of BUC College Playground.
Rt. Rev. P.K. Samantaroy, the
Bishop Diocese of Amritsar
Chairman, Diocese of Amritsar, CNI
Reply given by the the Chief Minister to the above Letter :
Capt Amarinder asks PWD not to disturb Baring College building’s heritage status, find another route for new road
Chandigarh, January 30
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday directed the State Public Works Department (PWD) to find an alternate route for the proposed new road in Batala instead of cutting through the heritage Baring Union Christian College building.
Taking note of the protests by students and local residents over the PWD proposal to construct a road through the playground of the institution, set up more than 140 years ago as Baring School, on April 1, 1878, the Chief Minister made it clear that the heritage building would not be allowed to be spoilt in any manner.
The building, which had also served as the summer palace of Maharaja Sher Singh, was an iconic structure, with the minority institution continuing to groom many important personalities over the decades, Captain Amarinder pointed out. It was not in the interest of the people of the region to allow a road to run through the college playground, he said, adding that the purpose of having a new road to serve the region could easily be met by constructing it along an alternate route.
The Chief Minister said his government was totally committed to protecting the interests of all the people, including the minorities, and would not undertake any initiative that would damage those interests. He directed the PWD to take into account the historic importance of buildings etc before initiating any infrastructural development plans in future.
It may be noted that the Batala Boys Boarding School had started classes in the palace of Late Maharaja Sher Singh, called the Anarkali. Recorded history shows that the palace gradually transformed into a school, with dormitories, classrooms and Chapel. This marked the beginning of the establishment of western education in Batala town and tehsil, making the institution’s building an important landmark not just Batala but for Punjab.
The transition in the development of Baring High School to Baring Union Christian College was made during 1934-1948. The college officially came into existence on June 29, 1944, with about 75 students predominantly from Hindu, Muslim and Sikh background. At the time of India’s partition, Baring College, which was then the only Christian college in East Punjab, came to Punjab.
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