AMRITSAR: The local Khalsa College today observed its 98th Foundation Day. Eminent literature Dr. Mulk Raj Anand was the chief guest. The occasion also provided for a reunion of the college alumni.

It was Sir James Layall Lieut Governor who laid the foundation stone of the college on March 5, 1892. The college was a product of the Singh Sabha movement and was conceived of as a central institution of the Sikhs where their sociocultural and religious aspirations could be fulfilled. In fact a “hukamnama,” an edict, was issued from Sri Darbar Sahib, asking every Sikh from prince to peasant to donate a 10th of his earnings for building the college. Over the decades it has been a nucleus for educational and cultural activities in Punjab.

Dr. Anand born of a Sikh mother and a Hindu father graduated from this college in 1925. Thus he is an “Old Khalsa”.

In his keynote address Dr. Anand spoke of days spent in the narrow lanes around the Golden Temple complex and his life as a student. He lived in Bazar Kasenan.

He learnt his first “lessons in love” while at college. He went away from here in “quest of knowledge of the universe” with a feeling of love for his fellow human beings. “It is the magnetism of that very love which has made me return to Amritsar for the college celebrations today,” he added.

Speaking both in Punjabi and English, Dr. Anand talked about his mistakes, misgivings and misconduct” so that the present generation did not repeat these but would imbibe the love taught to humanity by Guru Nanak, Mahatma Gandhi and the Buddha.

Striving for truth and sincerity should be the aim of the students and they should not hesitate to ask questions about the universe, he said.

Several eminent old students of the colleges were honored on the occasion. They included, LieutGen J.S. Aurora (retired) Brig GS. Khera, Mr. Sarabjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Wassan Singh Niijar a progressive farmer, and Dr, Daljit Singh an eye surgeon.

‘The principal of the college Mr. GS. Shergill recalled the contribution of the college to nation building and how certain individuals dedicated themselves to the service of the colleges to make it a pioneering institution.

He announced the formation of a trust, comprising old students which would raise funds for the preservation of the college building. Dr. Dali Singh became the founder trustee.

The college building is of great archaeological value. It symbolizes the “will” and” vision” of its founder and represents an amalgam of Gothic, Rajput, Mughal and Sikh architectural styles. It was planned by Mr. Ram Singh of Mayo College of Arts, Lahore; Mr. Dharam Singh Ghazakhia an executive engineer was specially transferred from Bannu to Amritsar to supervise its construction.

Several old students participated in a cultural programme with “Old Khalsa” Gurcharan Singh Boparai reciting two poems he had written. A large colored photograph of Sardar Sunder Singh Majitha adorned the dais. The President of the Governing Council, Mr. Susjit Singh Majitha, presided.





Article extracted from this publication >>  March 24, 1989