Friday 27 September 2019

103 - Home of PM Inder Kumar Gujral in Jhelum City

The areas which later on became part of Pakistan gave three prime ministers to India. Mr Gulzari Lal Nanda (Sialkot), Mr Inder Kumar Gujral (Jhelum) and Mr Manmohan Singh (Chakwal). The subject of this post is Mr Inder Kumar Gujral.

Inder Kumar Gujral was born on 4th of December, 1919, in Jhelum. The family of Inder Kumar originally belonged to a small village Pari Darweza near Sohawa, in the same district, at  33° 1'53.19"N, 73°12'56.44"E. His father Avtar Narain was an advocate and practiced in Jhelum city. He was also very active in politics and was the district president of Congress party in Jhelum. Due to his political activities against the British Raj, he went to jail several times. His wife Pushpa Gujral, was a brave lady and faced all hardships with fortitude and courage that they had to face because of their political activities. She also actively mobilized women of the city for the struggle for freedom.

Their home is located at 32°55'54.70"N, 73°44'12.04"E. At the time when I visited this place on 14 August 2019, I thought I have located the house where Inder Kumar spent his childhood. However, while searching for some material for this article, I found online an autobiography of Inder Kumar Gujral, in the very first chapter he tells us about visiting his birthplace in 1982. This informs us about two houses associated with the immediate family of Gujral. The house which I visited is located at a distance of nearly 100 meters from the original old house of Gujrals. Due to having no idea of that house I could not visit the childhood house of IK Gujral at that time.

The childhood house of IK Gujral was a hub of political activities.  Inder Kumar also started taking interest in political activities at a very young age and was even jailed during the Quit India movement in 1942. Gujral got his early education at Govt. High School Jhelum and later studied at DAV College (now Islamia College Civil Lines), Hailey College of Commerce and Forman Christian College, Lahore. He married Shila Gujral, a resident of Lahore, in 1945.

I was informed that the extended family of Gujrals owned several houses adjacent to each other. Currently, Mr Waqqas Ullah Jarral, with his family is living in one of the houses of Gujrals. His grand father retired headmaster Mr Wali Ullah Khan met Inder Kumar Gujral when he visited Jhelum in 1982. The house in which they are currently living belonged to the sister of Avtar Narain, father of Inder Kumar. They purchased this house in 1970 and had originally migrated from Rajouri in 1948. Inder Kumar Gujral even helped Wali Ullah Khan in getting the visa for India and he then visited Rajouri. I kept in touch with Waqas sahib and he also confirmed me that the original old house of Gujral family was indeed at a little distance from the new house. The old building has been demolished and Malik Zia ud Din has constructed a new house at that place. Gujrals shifted to the new house in the early 1940s.

A the time of Independence Gujral family was living in Karachi. Where IK Gujral had set up his business in foreign trade. In his autobiography, Matters of Discretion, he tells the circumstances in which they had to leave their home in the following words:
In early 1947, when the end of the British rule became imminent, my father was elected to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in Karachi, as a result of which my parents and rest of the family, except my younger brother Satish, moved to that city. Sadly, our hopes of India - Pakistan friendship did not last for more than a few days after 15 August 1947. In the four days after the celebrations of azadi (independence) in both countries, Punjab (on both sides of the border) was reduced to open anarchy. Seventy thousand Muslims from India arrived in Lahore. The media reported that the Pakistan Government had opened camps to shelter nearly 40,000 people, and the rest were forced to fend for themselves. Meanwhile, droves of Hindus and Sikhs fled the city. In April 1947, the Hindu and Sikh population had been estimated at 300,000. By August 1947, it was barely 10,000. It was futile to expect that the fire of revenge would not spread to the other side. 
As soon as horrifying news of massacres in India reached Karachi, the prime minister of Pakistan, Liaqat Ali Khan called a midnight meeting of the non-Muslim MPs to give them his assessment of the situation on both sides of the border. His presentation was partisan but his anxieties were realistic. He was worried that the strong desire for revenge on both sides might end in a series of holocausts. He asked the four Hindus and Sikh members to urgently leave for Delhi to ensure the safety of the Muslims there and to end the cycle of revenge. In a way, it was a relief when my father told us that he had accepted Liaqat Ali Khan's advice to go to Delhi.
As a part of the scheme of partition, the East Bengal Assembly had elected twenty-one non-Muslim members, with Kiran Shankar Ray as its leader, while four Hindus and Sikhs were elected from the West Punjab. Their first meeting was held at our Karachi residence on 13 August 1947 to constitute the 'Congress Party in Pakistan Parliament' with Ray as its leader and Bhim Sen Sachar as its deputy leader. My father was elected as the chief whip-cum-secretary of the party. 
We were deeply worried about Satish, who had stayed back in Lahore to take care of his newly established studio on McLeod Road. He was living in a "Hindu/Sikh" area Nishat Cinema. His physical disability compounded his difficulties and our anxieties. In those days of obsolete means of communication, we were not able to get him on the phone. But, fortunately, he somehow managed to survive despite the horrific killings in his locality.  
We heard Mohammad Ali Jinnah's historic speech in Parliament promising that the new Pakistan would be 'a secular, democratic and modern state'. Unfortunately, that was a short-lived illusion. The atrocious riots on both sides of the border ended all hopes and visions of 'two friendly nations'. My father along with his colleagues first went to Delhi to meet Mahatma Gandhi and then rushed to Lahore to take Satish back to Jhelum. His telephone call to us (in Karachi) from Jhelum was full of pain and agony. In no uncertain terms, he asked me to pack up and send the women in the family out of Pakistan immediately even if I could not leave in a hurry. My mother and the rest of the extended family left for Bombay on a Scindia Steam Navigation ship. I stayed back in the hope that the 'tornado of violence' might be short-lived. It was not to be. My cousin and I quickly wound up our business after the Karachi riots and left for Delhi in 1948 without any idea what the future held for us. 

Below are given the pictures of those houses which the extended Gujral family owned and IK Gujral's family shifted to in the early 1940s. 
One of the houses of the extended Gujral family. (14.08.2019.)

Another view of the house, which must be a century old. (14.08.2019.)

The writer. (14.08.2019.)

Wooden balconies still exist on two sides of the double storey building. Gujrals purchased this house somewhere between 1942 - 1945. (14.08.2019.)

Despite not having proper care, the building still retains some of its past beauty. (14.08.2019.)

A section of a newer building, which I was informed, was built by the father of Inder Kumar Gujral. (14.08.2019.)

The house on the right side, was also part of the house constructed by the Inder Kumar's father. (14.08.2019.)

An inner view of the house of Gujrals. (14.08.2019.)

A side view of the house. (14.08.2019.)

Another view. (14.08.2019.)

Now all the pictures below are of the house of Avtar Narain's sister, aunt of Inder Kumar Gujral. In this house presently Mr Waqas Ullah Jarral lives with his family.  

A beautifully carved door of the house. (14.08.2019.)

A jharoka. (14.08.2019.)

It is also a two storey house. (14.08.2019.)

A view from the back narrow street. (14.08.2019.)

The entrance of the older house. (14.08.2019.)

Mr Mnazoor (left) and Mr Waqas (right), the current residents of these houses. (14.08.2019.)

A room on the first floor(14.08.2019.)

A view from the first floor. (14.08.2019.)

Rooms on the first floor. (14.08.2019.)

Stairs. (14.08.2019.)

The inner section of the first floor. (14.08.2019.)

Windows open into a room on the ground floor. (14.08.2019.)

A kind of partition between a room on the first floor and the ground floor. (14.08.2019.)

Wooden beams in a room. (14.08.2019.)

Back street. (14.08.2019.)

All these houses and also on the other side belonged to Gujrals. (14.08.2019.)

A section of wooden balconies still survive. (14.08.2019.)

The following passage is from the autobiography of Inder Kumar Gujral: The Matters of Discretion. In this passage he describes his visit to Jhelum:
In late 1982, both Sheil (my wife) and I went to Pakistan. Driving on the familiar highway filled us with nostalgia. I observed that neither had the width of the Grand Trunk (GT) Road increased nor had its surface improved even though the traffic had substantially gone up over the decades. The terrain was still arid without any visible land-reclamation activity for agricultural purposes or for developmental activities. The rural houses did not show any improvement. 
As we approached my old school on the GT road, I recalled that, during my childhood, the land was barren and arid. It was the only government high school in the district. In the early 1920s, electricity and the modern sanitation system had not yet touched Jhelum, nor was any public transport available from my house to the school. Consequently, my cousin and I used to ride double on my old bicycle. In the harsh summers, I once fell victim to a heat stroke. We were then provided the services of a tonga (a light horse-drawn vehicle). Electricity reached Jhelum in 1927 when discarded diesel-powered generators of the Lahore Electricity Supply were shifted there. Till then, very few towns of the Punjab had seen an electric bulb or a fan. 
It was almost dusk by the time we reached our own house at 1, River Road. Two new houses had been added, which obstructed the view of the majestic river. The river brought back to me the tragic memory of the drowning of my younger brother Raj. Ours was a large, double storey house whose hallmark was simplicity. 
Sheil and I went upstairs to look at our bedroom and the adjoining open-air terrace where we spent quite a bit of time after our marriage. The first floor of the house had been allotted to two migrant families from Kashmir, whereas the ground floor occupants were from Ludhiana (now in Punjab, India). An old lady told Sheil with a great deal of affection: 'We had an equally good home in Ludhiana but the rioters ravaged it forcing us to leave. We then drove to our previous house in Jhelum, which was ready for demolition. The new owners were planning to build a shopping arcade there. 
It was in this house that my parents had initiated themselves into the Gandhian struggle for the liberation of the country. As a young boy my mind was politically shaped here. I pointed out to Sheil a nearby small police post where an angry policeman had once severely thrashed me for leading a small procession of young boys shouting anti-British slogans. My mother had seen everything from the window of her upstairs bedroom but she neither showed her anguish nor lamented. She took me in her arms without a word of remorse. Later, she narrated the incident to my father when we went for our weekly meeting with him in Gujrat Jail. 
The above paragraphs from his autobiography suggest that the family lived in two houses. At the time of my visit I did not know this fact, so did not enquire about any second home. To clarify this matter I contacted Mr Waqqas again and he confirmed that indeed Gujrals lived about 100 meters away in another house in his childhood.

Now the question is not just about two houses, but we have two visits also to find details about. First, he visited Jhelum in 1982 and second time probably in 1992. An article in rediff provides us details of his visit to Jhelum in 1992.
Jhelum proud of PM
Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral is the pride and talk of the town in Jhelum, his birthplace in Pakistan. His elevation to the premier's post has stimulated hopes in Pakistan for better relations between the two countries. Press reports on Wednesday said that Jhelum expects their native boy to resolve the Kashmir problem which Islamabad says lies at the core of 50 years of hostile relations. Some Jhelum natives hope that Gujral would allow them to travel to India without visa, reported the mass-circulated Urdu newspaper Jang. 
Gujral was born in Jhelum in December 1919. His family migrated to India in the mass exchange of Hindu and Muslim populations that accompanied the Partititon of British India into the independent states of India and Pakistan in 1947.
In 1992 he visited the city while taking part in the so-called 'Track Two' unofficial efforts by the intellectuals of India and Pakistan to normalise relations between their two countries which have so much in common. ''Inder Kumar hugged me for long when people introduced me to him as the same Younus Shah he used to play hockey with, and we relived the memories of childhood,'' the old friend told Jang.  
Shah, 87, said Gujral's father Avtar Narain Gujral was a kind man. He was the president of the city Congress party at Partition and turned his mansion into a transit camp for the Hindus migrating from Pakistan to India. ''Inder Kumar was a dear friend. He became Gujral only later and grew that weird beard,'' another childhood friend Ziauddin Malik told Jang. 
*Mirza Abdul Ghafoor Baig, a family friend and a former president of the district bar association of Jhelum, said, ''Gujral addressed the bar during his visit to the city. I found him a balanced person, a man without airs.'' Baig said Gujral was presented a rare photograph of his father on the occasion by the former governor of Punjab, Chaudhry Altaf Hussain. 
Subh Sadiq Bhutta, another Jhelum lawyer, told the newspaper that he vividly remembered how Gujral pater was arrested during the Quit India movement and how he refused to enter the jail through a small gate because he was holding the party flag and would not lower it to enter. Eventually, the jail authorities had to open the main gate to let him carry the flag aloft.

Mr Waqqas informed me that Mirza Abdul Ghafoor Baig, is still alive but all other persons have died. My confusion about two houses and their location was also cleared by Mr Waqqas. He sent me the picture of the house, where once the old house of Gurjrals was located. 

House of Malik Zid ud Din. Here once located the old house of Gujrals, where he was born and raised. This is located in the same street, about 75 metres from the new house of Gujrals, the new still exists and pictures of which you have seen above.

Jhelum has many more such old houses, waiting to explored and told their history. I found these two houses nearby.
An old house in Jhelum City. (14.08.2019.)

Another old house near the homes of Gujrals. (14.08.2019.)

A beautiful piece of architecture. (14.08.2019.)

What a scene of river flowing nearby would have been from these balconies. (14.08.2019.)

LAHORE, PAKISTAN: Former Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral (R) addresses a gathering of lawyers during his visit to the Lahore High Court in Lahore, 15 October 2004. Gujral, the 12th Prime Minister of India from April 1997-March 1998, who was born in the town of Jhelum which is now in Pakistan, visited the Punjab University old campus and saw the hostel room where he had lived during his student life. AFP PHOTO/Arif ALI (Photo credit should read ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
PM Inder Kumar Gujral sharing a happy moment with PM Nawaz Sharif, sometime in 1997/98.
During his long political career, Inder Kumar Gujral served at different high posts in the government.  He served as a member of parliament, ambassador, minister and ultimately as the prime minister of India. It is no small matter that he was born in Jhelum and for me and all the people of this district, it is a matter of pride that he belonged to our district. I wish we can preserve his house which is an important piece of our historical heritage. I read somewhere that even leaders like Gandhi ji and Nehru visited their home and stayed there. Keeping in view the fact that Jhelum is an important stop on Lahore - Rawalpinid road, it is quite probable. And Mr Avtar Narain was a leader of considerable importance and was an elected member of Punjab Assembly. This is an important historical landmark and should be preserved before it is too late. 

At the the end I would like to thank Mr Waqqas Ullah Jarral, who lives in the house of the sister of  Avtar Narain, the aunt of Inder Kumar Gujral. He was present when his grandfather Wali Ullah Khan met Inder Kumar Gujral. He is working as a regional manager in a private company. He not only showed us his house from inside but later on helped me in clearing many points in my mind.

Tariq Amir
September 27, 2019.
Doha - Qatar.

Friday 20 September 2019

102 - Gurdwara Bhai Karam SIngh Ji Ahluwalia - Jhelum City

Jhelum is an ancient city at the banks of a river of the same name. Its history goes back to the times of Alexander the Great and saw many dynasties come and go with the passage of time. After the collapse of Mughal power in Punjab, Sikhs rose rapidly and in a short time conquered much of Punjab. In 1765 Sukerchakia Misl of Sikhs defeated Muqarrab Khan, the ruler of this area, and overran the Salt Range area, of which present day Jhelum is a part. Sikh rule lasted until 1849, when the British defeated the Sikhs in the Second Anglo-Sikh War and captured the whole area. During the Sikh period, Sikhs settled and converted in these areas in considerable number.

The following table gives you the picture of religious demographics of Jhelum District, Tehsil and the city. 

Jhelum (Census 1941)
89.42 %
88.91 %
58.50 %
6.49 %
8.70 %
26.92 %
3.92 %
3.87 %
11.90 %
0.12 %
0.28 %

We can see that Sikhs formed 11.92% of the population of the city. That was a considerable proportion of the total population. This community of 3,950 persons, must be having several places for worship, at least one of them still survives after seven decades. It is a beautiful gurdwara, but the neglect has taken its toll. This beautiful building has fallen into disrepair and is mostly in a dilapidated state. Even then, its beauty captivates an observer. The gurdwara is located at: 32°55'35.35"N, 73°44'1.50"E

It is a beautiful building painted in yellow and has many wooden doors and windows. The main prayer hall has beautiful wooden cupboards and balconies. The takht, a platform still exists in the main prayer hall. There is a vast courtyard at the back of the Darbar Hall. The river Jhelum flows quite close by, though a high protective embankment blocks the view. But from the roof, it is quite visible. 

Now it is a property of Evacuee Trust Board and they have leased it to the Police Department and they probably use it only occasionally. I found there only one policeman and he graciously allowed us to enter and take as much picture as I like. That's what I did, but my phone could not take the heat of an August noon and malfunctioned. A GPS app was also generating too much heat. The consequences were bad and only later after several weeks, while working on this post I realized that many pictures were lost. Luckily I still have many of them, which I am sharing with you. 

The beautiful facade of the Gurdwara Bhai Karam Singh Ji Ahluwalia, Jhelum. (14.08.2019.)

The main entrance of the gurdwara. (14.08.2019.)

----- روپیہ کے خرچ سے دو کمروں کی سیوا
شریمان باوا ڈِنگا سنگھ جی
رئیس اعظم لاہور
نے کرائی سمت ۱۹۸۵

At the cost of Rs.______, Mr Bawa Dinga Singh ji, Raees-e-Azam, Lahore, 
rendered the service for these two rooms. Samvat 1985 (1928 AD).

 ਭਾਈ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਧਰਮ ਸਿੰਘ 
 بھائی بھگوان سنگھ دھرم سنگھ
(Bhai Bhagwan Das Dharam Singh)

ਇਸ ਚੁਗਾਠ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਨੇ ਅਪਨੇ ਸੇਵਕ ਭਾਈ ਠਾਕਰ ਦਾਸ ਜੀ ਖੋਸਲੇ ਸੋਦਾਗਰ ਚੋਬ ਲਾਹੋਰ  ਨੂਂ ਬਖ਼ਸ਼ੀ 
اس چوگاٹھ دی سیوا گرو جی نے اپنے سیوک بھائی ٹھاکرداس جی کھوسلے سوداگر چوب لاہور نوں بخشی

(Guru ji granted the service of this door/threshold to his servant Bhai Thakur Das ji Khosla, 
timber merchant, Lahore)

Beautifully carved wooden door of the gurdwara. (14.08.2019.)

The following stone plaque is fixed inside the main prayer hall. It informs the name of the gurdwara and also provides us information that it was rebuilt at the site of an old gurdwara. So a gurdwara existed at the places even before 1920s, when the work on this gurdwara started. Ahluwalia family played an important role in the Sikh History. Their ancestor Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia (1718 - 1783) rose to prominence in the middle of the eighteenth century. He established his own Misl and occupied several areas, as part of the Sikh confederacy. However, I could not find anything about Bhai Karam Singh Ahluwalia. 

੧ ਓ
ਗੁਰਦਵਾਰਾ ਭਾਈ ਕਰਮ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਅਹਲੂਵਾਲੀਆ
ਇਸ ਗੁਰਦਵਾਰੇ ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਬਿਲਡਿੰਗ
ਭਾਈ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਨੇ ਬੜੇ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਨਾਲ ਬਨਵਾਈ ਸੀ
ਤੇ ਨਵੀਂ ਬਿਲਡਿੰਗ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਤ ਨੇ ਤਯਾਰ ਕੀਤੀ

۱ اونکار
گوردوارہ بھائی کرم سنگھ جی اہلُووالیا
اس گوردوارے دی پُرانڑیں بلڈنگ
بھائی صاحب نے بڑے پریم نال بنوائی سی
تے نویں بلڈنگ سادھ سنگت نے تیار کرائی

(Gurdwara Bhai Karam Singh Ji Ahluwalia
The old building of this gurdwara was built by Bhai sahib (Karam Singh) with great love, and the new building was built by the community/congregation)

੧ ਓਂ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ
ਇਸ ਕੋਠੜੀ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸ:
ਵਸਾਖਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਖ਼ੁਸ਼ਹਾਲ ਸਿੰਘ
ਜੀ ਛਾਬੜਾ ਨੇ

اک اونکارستِّ گُر پرساد
اِس کوٹھڑی دی سیوا سردار
وَساکھا سنگھ خوشحال سنگھ 
جی چھابڑا نے 

(Service for this room was rendered by Sardar Wasakha Singh Khushhal Singh ji Chhabra)

੧ ਓ 
੫੦੦ ਦਰਸ਼ਨੀ ਡੇਓਡੀ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਾਈ ਦੀਵਾਨ ਗਨੇਸ਼ੀ ਲਾਲ
ਤੇ ਮਾਈ ਸਦਾ ਕੌਰ ਜੇਹਲਮ ਨਵਾਸੀ ਨੇ
੧ ਵਿਸਾਖ ੧੯੮੯

اک اونکار
500 روپے درشنی ڈیوڈی دی سیوا کرائی دیوان گنیشی لال
تے مائی سدا کَور جہلم نواسی نے
۱ وساکھ ۱۹۸۹

(Diwan Ganeshi Lal and mother Sada Kaur, residents of Jhelum, rendered the service for this reception room, worth Rs 500/-, on 1 Wisakh 1989 (1932 AD))

੧ ਓਂ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ
ਜੀ ਆਇਅ ਨੂਂ            ੨੫੧             ਸੱਤ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ 
ਖੇਤ ਪਛਾ----   ਬੀਜੇ ਦਾਨ ਸੋਖਤੀ ਦਰਗਾਹ ਪ੍ਰਵਾਨ 
ਸਤਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਨੇ ਆਪਣ ਸੇਵਕ ਗੁਰਦਿਤ ਮਲ ਜੈ ਦਿਆਲ ਡੰਗ
ਬਜ਼ਾਜ਼ ਜੇਹਲਮ ਪਾਸੇ ਇਹ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਾਈ

  ۱ اونکار  ستًِ گرو پرساد
جی آیانوں              ۲۵۱                 ست سری اکال
کھیت پچھا _____ بیجے دان سوکھتے درگاہ پروان
ست گرو نے آپڑیں سیوک گوردِت مل جے دیال ڈنگ
بزاز جہلم پاسے اس سیوا کرائی

Ek Onkar Satt Guru Parsad
Welcome          Rs 251        Satt Sri Akal

(The true Guru, made his servant, Gurdit Mal Jai Diyal Dang, the cloth merchant, 
rendered this service)   

੧ ਓਂ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ
ਇਸ ਕੋਠੜੀ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ 
ਸ: ਜਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਸੋਨੀ ਈ ਮਾਯਾ
ਸਫਲ ਕਰਨ ਹਿਤ ਓਸ ਦੀ ਯਾਦਗਾਰ
ਵਿਚ ਸ: ਰਾਮ ਸਿੰਘ ਬੂਟਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ
ਨੇ ਕਰਾਈ.

 ۱ اونکار  ستًِ گرو پرساد
اس کوٹھڑی دی سیوا 
سردار جگت سنگھ جی سونی ای مایا
سپھل کرن ہِت اُس دی یادگار
وِچ سردار رام سنگھ بُوٹاسنگھ جی 
نے کرائی

(This service, of a room, was rendered by Sardar Ram Singh Boota Singh in memory of 
Sardar Jagat Singh ji)

The main prayer hall of the gurdwara. (14.08.2019.)

There are beautiful wooden balconies on the three sides of the main hall. (14.08.2019.)

ਵਾਹ ਵਹੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ 
ਆਪੇ ਗੁਰਚੇਲਾ
واہ واہو گورو گوبند سنگھ
آپے گورچیلا

ਵਾਹਿ ਗਰੂ
واہِ گرو

ਪੀਓ ਪਹੁਲ  ਖਾਂਦੈ ਧਾਰ ਹੋਇ
ਜਨਮ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ
پیو پاہُل کھنڈے ہوئے
جنم سوہیلا
(Drink Pahul of Khanda and make your birth successful)

Translation By: Sardar Tarunjit Singh Butalia

੧ ਓ
ਕਲਿ ਤਾਰਨ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਇਆ
ਸਤਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਿਆ ਮਿਟੀ ਧੁੰਧ ਜਗ ਚਾਨਣ ਹੋਇਆ
اک اونکار
کل تارن گُرو نانک آیا
ست گُر نانک پرگاٹیا مٹی دھند جگ چاننڑ ہویا
(Guru Nanak came to save the world)
(Satguru Nanak appeared, the fog lifted and the world was filled with light)

Translation By: Sardar Tarunjit Singh Butalia

A beautifully carved wooden cupboard made in 1940s.

ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਾਈ ਸ਼੍ਰੀਮਤੀ ਭਾਗਸੁਧੀ ਮਾਤਾ ਲਾ...
ਆਗਿਯਾਰਾਮ ਠੇਕੇਦਾਰ ਰਾਵਲਪਿੰਡੀ 194..

سیوا کرائی شریمتی بھاگسودھی ماتا لالہ
آگیارام ٹھیکیدار راولپنڈی __194

(Service was rendered by Ms Bhagsodhi mother of Lala Ageya Ram, contractor, 
Rawalpindi, 194__)

ਸਤਿਨਾਮ      ਵਾਹੇ ਗੁਰੂ
ستً نام واہِ گرو

ਇਸ ਥੜ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਾਈ ਸ੍ਰੀਮਤੀ ਗੁਰਦਈ ਨੇ
ਅਪਨੇ ਸ੍ਰ੍ਗਵਾਸੀ ਪਤੀ ਸ: ਹਰੀ ਸਿੰਘ ਖੰਤਪੁਰ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਯਾਦ ਵਿਚ ਕਰਾਈ.
ਕਤਕ ਪੂਰਨਮਾਸ਼ੀ ੧੯੮੫

1 اونکار
اس تھڑے دی سیوا کرائی شریمتی گوردئی نے
اپنے سورگواسی پتی سردار ہری سنگھ کھنتپور جی دی یاد وچ کرائی
کتک پورونشی 1985 (1928ء)

(Service for this platform was rendered by, ma'am Gurdai in memory of her late husband 
Sardar Hari Singh Khantpur ji, Full moon of Katak, 1985 (1928 AD))

ਸਤਿਨਾਮ                     ਸ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ
ست نام                        سری واہِ گرو

ਇਸ ਬਰਾਂਡੇ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਬਾਵਾ
ਅਮਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਸੌਦਾਗਰ ਚੋਬ
ਵਜ਼ੀਰਾਬਾਦ ਨੇ ਬਾਵਾ ਦੇਵਾ ਸਿੰਘ 
ਜੀ ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰੇਰਨਾ ਨਾਲ ਕਰਾਈ

1 اونکار
اس برانڈے دی سیوا باوا
امر سنگھ جی سوداگر چوب
وزیرآباد نے باوا دیوا سنگھ
جی دی پریرنا نال کرائی

(Service for this veranda was rendered by Bawa Amar Singh, timber merchant Wazirabad, 
by the inspiration of Bawa Deva Singh ji)

੧ ਓ  ਸਤਿਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ
ਇਨਾ ਟਾਇਲਾਂ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ
ਭਾਈ ਬਿਸ਼ਨ ਦਾਸ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਰਾਮ
ਜੀ ਅੜਤੀ ਚੋਬ ਜੇਹਲਮ ਨੇ ਕਰਾਈ

1 اونکار ست گرپرساد
اِنہاں ٹیلاں دی سیوا بھائی بشنداس کرپا رام جی
آڑہتی چوب جہلم نے کرائی

(Service of these tiles was rendered by Bhai Bishan Das Kirpa Ram ji, timber dearer, Jhelum)

ਮਰਦਾਂ ਦੇ ਪਾਠ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਥਾਂ ਓਪਰ ਹੈ
مرداں دے پاٹھ کرن دی تھاں اوپر ہے

(Reading room for men is upstairs)

A structure at the back of the gurdwara. Probably Langar Hall or room for visitors. (14.08.2019.)

A back view of the main prayer hall. (14.08.2019.)

ਸ੍ਰ: ਸਾਵਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਤੇ ਓਨਾ ਦੀ 
ਧਰਮ ਪਤਨੀ ਮੇਲਾ ਦੇਈ ਨੇ ਇਸ
ਇਮਾਰਤ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਾਈ
مبلغ دو ہزار روپیہ سردار ساون سنگھ جی 
اور ان کی دھرم پتںی بی بی میلا دئی نے اِس عمارت کی سیوا کرائی۔

(Sardar Sawan Singh ji and his wife Bibi Meladyi, rendered service for this building, 
worth Rs 2,000)

Qazi Riaz Ahmad. (14.08.2019.)

Tariq Amir. (14.08.2019.)

A room on the first floor. (14.08.2019.)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی گنڈا سنگھ پرتاپ سنگھ اپنی ماتا کی یادگار میں
(Rs 10, Service rendered by Bhai Ganda Singh Partap Singh in memory of his mother)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی لالہ بھگوانداس ڈنگ
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Lala Bhagwan Das Dang)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی لالہ برکت رام ڈنگ
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Lala Barkat Ram Dang)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی لال سنگھ زرگر
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Lal Singh Zargar (goldsmith))

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی لابھ سنگھ جی ہیڈ کنسٹیبل
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Labh Singh ji Headconstable)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی بھگوان سنگھ تارا سنگھ
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Bhagwa Singh Tara Singh)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی سندر سنگھ بھاٹیہ
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Sundar Singh Bhatia)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی رام سنگھ سپُتر بھائی گنڈا سنگھ جی
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Ram Singh son of Bhai Ganda Singh ji)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی دیوا سنگھ سوہن سنگھ مکھنا والی
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Deva Singh Sohan Singh Makhnanwali)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی خان____خان ٹمبر مرچنٹ
(Rs 10. Khan _______Khan, timber merchant)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی سردار مول سنگھ ہیڈ ڈرافٹس مین محمکہ نہر جہلم
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Sardar Mool Singh Head Draftsman, Canal Department Jhelum)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی بوٹا سنگھ سپُتر بھائی رام سنگھ جی
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Boota Singh son of Bhai Ram Singh ji)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بابو بشیرداس جی - جہلم
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Babu Bashir Das ji - Jhelum)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی گنپت مل جی اچھپرائی
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Ganpat Mal ji Achhparai)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی کرم سنگھ جی مشین محلہ
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Karam Singh Ji, Machine Mohalla)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی وسیتی رام نے سُوَرگواسی گنیش داس
چھابڑہ خورد والے کی یادگار میں
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Waseti Ram in memory of, late Ganesh Das Chhabra, from Khurd)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی ہرنام سنگھ اپنی سپُتنی لکھیمی دیوی کی یادگار میں
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Harnam Singh in memory of his ________ Lakhemi Devi)

۱۵ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی امریک سنگھ چٹالہ (چوٹالہ) نواسی نے اپنی پتا کی یاد گار میں
(Rs 15. Service rendered by Bhai Amrik Singh, resident of Chotala, in memory of his father) 

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی سردار جگت سنگھ مہرا سنگھ
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Sardar Jagat Singh Mehra Singh)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی امریک سنگھ دنیا سنگھ بزاز
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Amrik Singh Dunia Singh bazzaz (cloth merchant))

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی کاکا تِلک راج
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Kaka Tilak Raj)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی سیوا سنگھ گرنتھی
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Sewa Singh Granthi)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی لالہ بھاگ مل سیٹھی کڑہ والہ
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Lala Bhag Mal Sethi of Karra Wala)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی گوری لعل منوہر لعل ڈنگ جہلم
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Gauri Lal Manohar Lal Dang, Jhelum)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی سروپ سنگھ کرتار سنگھ ڈنگ خوشاب
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Saroop Singh Kartar Singh Dang, Khushab)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی گھسیٹا مل منگل سین ڈنگ جہلم
(Rs 10. Ghasita Singh Mangal Sen Dang, Jhelum)

__ روپے
ٹہل کرائی کمانی مل پرتھمی ناتھ سیوک
سکنہ دندی تحصیل پنڈی گھیب
(Rs __. Service rendered by Kamani Mal Parthai Nath Sewa, resident of Dandi, tehsil Pindi Gheb)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی سردار سنگھ کباڑیہ اپنی سپُتنی کی یادگار میں
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Sardar Singh Kabaria, in memory of his _________)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی سُندر سنگھ سکن امرہ کلاں
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Sundar Singh, resident of Amrah Kalan)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی مُکت سنگھ عرضی نویس
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Mukat Singh, arzi nawees (application writer))

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی تیجا سنگھ سیٹھی طاہر نواسی
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Teja Singh Sethi, resident of Tahir)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی لالہ ٹھاکر داس کھوسلہ لاہور
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Lala Thakur Das Khosla, Lahore)

ٹہل کرائی بھائی شیرسنگھ بھاٹیہ سوداگر چوب
(Service rendered by Bhai Sher Singh Bhatia, the timber merchant)

ٹہل کرائی سنت نِسچُل سنگھ جی مٹھہ ٹوانہ
(Service rendered by Sant Nischol Singh Ji, Mitha Tiwana)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی لالہ سنداری لعل میانوالی نواسی
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Lala Sundari La'al, resident of Mianwali)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی ماسٹر کرتار سنگھ ولد بھگوان سنگھ
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Master Kartar Singh son of Bhagwan Singh, Howra)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی تارا سنگھ باہروال نواسی
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Tara Singh, resident of Baharwal)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی سَنت سنگھ بدھ سنگھ حکیم
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Sant Singh Budh Singh, hakim (apothecary))

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی کرپال سنگھ لائل پور
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Karpal Singh, Lyallpur (Faisalabad))

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی گودڑ سنگھ ملن
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Godar Singh Mallan)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی کاکا پردمن سنگھ سپُتر سردار کیرسنگھ
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Kaka Parudman Singh son of Sardar Keir Singh)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی سندر سنگھ طاہر نواسی
(Rs 10.  Service rendered by Sundar Singh, resident of Tahir)

۱۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی بدھ سنگھ ملن
(Rs 10. Service rendered by Bhai Budh Singh Mallan)

ٹہل کرائی بھائی سنت سنگھ سندر سنگھ آڑتی چوب
(Service rendered by Bhai Sant Singh Sundar Singh, the timber broker)

ٹہل کرائی بھائی ٹھاکر سنگھ جے سنگھ __________
(Service rendered by Bhai Thakur Singh Jai Singh _______)

ٹہل کرائی ____بالک سنگھ مہر سنگھ چھابڑہ
(Service rendered by ______ Balak Singh Mehr Singh Chhabra)

۲۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی لالہ ہری رام گوپال سنگھ مرچنٹ
(Rs 20.  Service rendered by Lala Hari Ram Gopal Singh, the merchant)

۲۰ روپے
ٹہال کرائی بھائی گیانچند ___ داس ٹھیکیدار
(Rs 20. Service rendered by Bhai Gyan Chand _____ Das, the contractor)

۲۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی سردار __ہن سنگھ میلا رام مالک ٹمبرسپلائی کمپنی
(Rs 20. Service rendered by Sardar ___han Singh Mela Ram, proprietor Timber Supply Co.)

۲۰ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بھائی وساوا سنگھ جو__سنگھ بھاٹیہ
اپنے پِتا بھائی پریم سنگھ کی یادگار میں
(Rs 20. Service rendered by Bhai Wasawa Singh Jo___ Singh Bhatia, in memory of his father
Bhai Prem Singh)

۲۰ روپے
ٹہل رائی بھائی رام سنگھ بھگوان سنگھ
اپنے پتا سردار کشن سنگھ ___ ____ ____ کی یاد میں

(Rs 20. Service rendered by Bhai Ram Singh Bhagwan Singh, in memory of their father
 Sardar Kishan Singh ___________)

۲۲ روپے
ٹہل کرائی بہن منگل کور جی اپنے پتی
سردار بسنت سنگھ کی یاد میں
(Rs 22. Service rendered by sister Mangal Kaur ji, in memory of her husband
Sardar Basant Singh)

41 روپے
ٹہل کرائی ماسٹر کرتار سنگھ دلیپ سنگھ 
جی ___ بی بی _____ دئی
(Rs 41. Service rendered by Master Kartar Singh Dilip Singh ___ Bibi ____ Dayi)

۱۱ روپے
ٹہل کرائی سپُتنی سردار سردار سنگھ جی
انسپکٹر اورینٹل کمپنی
(Rs 11. Service rendered by _______ Sardar Singh ji, Inspector Oriental Co.)

16 روپے
ٹہل کرائی ماتا ویراں والی سپُتنی دیوان چند جی پٹواری
(Rs 16. Service rendered by Mata VeeraN Wali, ______ Diwan Chand ji, patwari)

۱۲ روپے
ٹہل کرائی سردار ورنام سنگھ جی
(Rs 12. Service rendered by Sardar Warnam Singh ji)

15 روپے
ٹہل کرائی سردار اِندر سنگھ جی
(Rs 15. Service rendered by Sardar Inder Singh ji, the contractor)

20 روپے
ٹہل کرائی ____ ویر پرکاش جی نے اپنے
پتا گوردِتہ مل جی کی یاد میں
(Rs 20. Service rendered by ______ Veer Parkash ji, in memory of his father
Gur Ditta Mal ji)

22 روپے
ٹہل کرائی سردار جیون سنگھ جی
ایس ڈی او
(Rs 22. Service rendered by Sardar Jiwan Singh ji, S.D.O.)

25 روپے
ٹہل کرائی سردار بدھ سنگھ جی
(Rs 25. Service rendered by Sardar Budh Singh ji _________)

25 روپے
ٹہل کرائی سردار__ب سنگھ سنت سنگھ 
(Rs 20. Service rendered by Sardar ______b Singh Sant Singh, the confectioner)

25 روپے
ٹہل کرائی بہن پرمیشری سپُتنی
(Rs 25. Service rendered by sister Parmeshri, wife of ___________)

22 روپے
ٹہل کرائی ویراں والی سپُتنی ___ صاحب جی
(Rs 22. Service rendered by Veeran Wali, wife of _____Sahib ji)

15 روپے
ٹہل کرائی سردار سردار سُندر سنگھ جی _____
(Rs 15. Service rendered by Sardar Sundar Singh ji _____)

11 روپے
ٹہل کرائی سردار ساون سنگھ _____ سنگھ جی
(Rs 11. Service rendered by Sardar Sawan Singh ______ Singh ji)

ٹہل کرائی سردار سرن سنگھ جی
(Service rendered by Sardar Saran Singh ji)

ٹہل کرائی شریمتی جونتی جی
(Rs 11. Service rendered by Ms Jawanti ji)

11 روپے
ٹہل کرائی سردار چرن سنگھ جی
(Rs 11. Service rendered by Sardar Charan Singh ji)

ٹہل کرائی سردار تیرتھ سنگھ دلیپ سنگھ
_________ سنگھ کی یاد میں
(Service rendered by Sardar Tirath Singh Dilip Singh, 
in memory of __________ Singh)

11 روپے
ٹہل کرائی چوہدری ابنایش سنگھ جی
(Rs 11. Service rendered by Chaudhry Abnayash Singh ji)

Bawa Dinga Singh ji was a rich man of Lahore. I could not find much about him, but a very famous building on the Mall Road of Lahore belonged to him. That building was constructed in 1927, and still stands with its full glory. 

 (Bawa Dinga Sing Building, Lahore. 

Bawa Dinga Singh was a rich timber merchant. I found the following passage about him in "A Forest History of India" by Richard P. Tucker:
Further north-west the great deodar forests of Kashmir continued to be harvested. There a unique phenomenon occurred: the rise of the only British timber firm of northern India, the Spedding Company. In the 1920s Spedding marketed Kashmiri hardwoods throughout the Indus River basin, and possibly as far as Karachi, Bombay and even East Africa. British foresters found him highly professional and reliable. They naturally preferred working with Spedding to manoeuvering with his local competitors. But by the late 1920s the British Businessmen throughout India could see that the country was headed towards independence, and began preparing to divest their interests or transfer local management to Indian partners. In Lahore Spedding gradually turned over the firm to a Punjabi protege, Dinga Singh, who had begun his career as a junior clerk in the head office. At independence in 1947 Lahore became part of Pakistan and was cut off by a militarized national border from its timber sources up-river. Dinga Singh, and other merchants like him, fled to New Delhi and other cities to the east, re-establishing their fortunes as best as they could. Dinga Singh was exceptionally successful: by then known as the "Timber King of the Punjab", he and his sons diverted their capital to several other branches of commerce and industry. Like other timber merchants in recent years, they gradually moved out of that high-risk field into other more stable, less controversial work. 
The building of this gurdwara is so beautiful that it would be a tragedy to let it deteriorate any further. It can still be saved and preserved. The best solution is to hand it over to Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee, for the proper use and maintenance. If that is not possible then it can be used as a small museum. Jhelum is a historic city and this museum can showcase the history, art and culture of this region. 

Tariq Amir

September 20, 2019.
Doha - Qatar.