Who was Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia?
well, he is much more than a name of one college!
The problem with our history is that it has many unsung heroes and S. Dyal Singh Majithia is one of them. He did for North India what Raja Ram Mohan Roy did for Bengal. Yes, he made a significant contribution to Education in pre-independence era.
He was a firm believer of the fact that Indians need to adopt English system of education and so he established a College of the most modern kind. It was he who made available latest books to the Indian people. We all can see many libraries all across Punjab and even in Lahore in his name.
He was a great philanthropist who marked a huge contribution in setting up of Panjab University Chandigarh as well. How many of us know about his selfless contributions? He bequeathed his valuable assets including the lavish Mansions on the Mall Road and many similar properties in Lahore, Karachi, Amirtsar and Gurdaspur in 1898 to two trusts that later established the Dyal Singh College and Dyal Singh Library in Lahore.
He was a visionary leader who established many schools and colleges besides launching The Tribune newspaper, Punjab National Bank and host of other institutes and spent all the expenses from his own.
But what is happening today? We have not only forgotten his contribution but also have turned thankless.
People who have done nothing for the cause of education are conspiring to usurp its land and property by treacherously renaming Dyal Singh Evening College as Vande Matram Vidyaleya. These people should be told that the land was owned by Dyal Singh Education Trust Society and the college infrastructure was also built by the Trust from its own resources.
I have full respect for Vande Mataram. These two words enthuse all of us with positive energy. That’s why I feel these words should not be used in situations prone to create controversies. ‘Vande Mataram’ is a highly regarded phrase for every Indian and any controversy built around it will be detrimental to its honour. What is more sad is that people involved in this renaming conspiracy are using the name of national song for their hidden agenda.
Moreover, Sikhs account for just 2% of Indian population. Any changes, subtractions or deletions with respect to Sikh iconic figures will send a wrong message in the community. Sikh population would feel positively inclined with nation’s ideology when they observe respect and honour for the legacy of a great man like Dyal Singh Majithia.
However, if people want to open Vande Matram Vidyala, they can do so in a new college or even University. We all will extend all possible support to such an institution.
The Governing body of Dyal Singh Evening College not only took an illegal decision as it had no power to rename it but also has taken other controversial decisions. Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) strongly opposes renaming of Dyal Singh College of the city as Vande Matram Vidyaleya.
Any move to rename it will be opposed tooth and nail and it will also resort to protests on roads. We have passed a resolution condemning the act of the Governing body of the Dyal Singh College and ask them to withdraw their disputed proposal immediately otherwise DSGMC shall be forced to hold protests and take other necessary action to stop this process.
I humbly request the governing body to revoke this decision.
Dyal Singh Majithia is not a person; he has been a revolution and revolutions cannot e made to disappear like this!