Two senior Punjab ministers — Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa — have demanded that Batala should be created as 24th district of the state to honour the wish of the people and overall development of this area.
In a letter to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, they underscored that Batala was a historic town but did not get the focus it deserved.
The two ministers said along with this the historic towns of Fatehgarh Churian and Hargobindpur or Ghuman should be made new sub-divisions of the new district.
They pointed out that Batala is an important city of Punjab with rich historical, religious, social and literary heritage. Batala was the oldest city of Punjab after Bathinda which was founded in 1465 and also the eighth largest city in the state in terms of population where a Municipal Corporation was formed last year.
Stressing upon the historical heritage of Batala, they said, “Guru Nanak Dev, the first Guru, was married to Mata Sulakhni in this town on July 8, 1487.
Gurdwara Dera Sahib and Gurdwara Kandh Sahib are adorned in his memory. Guru Hargobind, the sixth master, also came to Batala to marry his son Baba Gurditta and in his memory Gurdwara Sat Kartaria is adorned in the middle of the town.
Both the ministers said Batala was an important city of the Sikh Empire after Lahore and Amritsar during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
They said that apart from the historic Kali Dwara Mandir and Sati Lakshmi Devi Samadh near this town, it is the historic site of Achal Sahib where Achaleshwar Dham is adorned in the memory of Lord Shiva’s son Kartik.
Guru Nanak Dev also interacted with Sidhs at this historic place.
The ministers said, “From a cultural and literary point of view, there is no Punjabi across the globe who has not heard the name of the great Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar who added Batalvi to his name thereby adding to its eminence. The late poet is known in the literary field as Birha’s poet and Punjabi’s Keats.”