MALERKOTLA: Why in the news
● The Punjab government declares the only Muslim-majority Sikh state of
Malerkotla as the 23rd district on May 14th, the day of Eid. A demand of the
Muslim majority for over two decades.
● As per the 2011 census report, Muslims form the majority numbering around
92,765 forming 68.50% of the city's population Hindus are numerically 28,044
comprising 20.71 % and Sikhs are 12,864 comprising 9.5 % of the city's
● States argue that smaller districts lead to better admin and governance

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New district
● Subdivisions of Malerkotla and Ahmedgarh and the sub-tehsil of Amargarh will
be included in the district
● The process of bringing villages under its jurisdiction will begin after the Census
operations are over
● Looking for a suitable building to start the functioning of the district administration
office. A deputy commissioner will be appointed soon
● A new government medical college (25 acres land and Rs 50 crores allotted), a
new bus stand and a government college for women are on the anvil
● Sum of Rs 6 crore under the Urban Environment Improvement Programme for
holistic development
● The 150-year-old Mubarak Manzil Palace to be conserved and restored
● Was a part of the Sangrur district before being newly carved out on a communal
● UP CM Yogi Adityanath accused Punjab’s Congress-led government of
deepening religious divides by making distinctions based on religion
● A stronghold of the ruling Congress party, Razia Sultana from the INC represents
Malerkotla in the Punjab Legislative Assembly. She is the only Muslim MLA in
Punjab and a cabinet minister. Born in a middle-class Gujjar Muslim family, she
is married to IPS officer Muhammad Mustafa who is also the DGP of Punjab.
Handles water supply, sanitation and transport.
● The CM has written to the Aga Khan Foundation in the UK to undertake the
conservation and restoration of the Mubarak Manzil Palace. It was last occupied
by Begum Sahiba Munawwar ul Nisa, the wife of Nawab Iftikhar Ali Khan, the last
ruler of Malerkotla
● Founded in the 15th century by a Sufi with Afghan lineage, Sheikh Sadrauddin-I-
Jahan also called Haider Sheikh. His tomb still exists at the centre of the town.
Hereditary succession began
● Ruled by Haidar’s descendants including Sher Mohammad Khan who was the
Nawab in the early 18th century. The upcoming 500 crores government medical
college is to be named after him
● The last Nawab Iftikhar Ali Khan remained in India and died in the year 1982.
The rest of the clan migrated to Pakistan and lived mostly in Model Town of
Lahore, Muzzafargarh and Khangarh

Sikhs and Malarkotla
● With the help of Shah Jahan, Bayzid Khan, a descendant of Haider Sheikh
established the State of Malerkotla in 1657. Bayzid Khan supported Aurangzeb
against his brother Dara Shikoh and thus gained favour.
● The 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, was engaged in a series of battles with
the oppressive Mughal rulers of the region. During Sher Mohammad Khan’s rule,
the youngest sons of Guru Gobind Singh — Baba Zorawar Singh (9) and Baba
Fateh Singh (6) were executed (suffocated to death after bricking them into a
tiny, airless space) by the Nawab of Sirhind, Wazir Khan in 1705. Sher
Mohammad opposed the slaughter but it took place anyway. This incident is
repeated now as a favour done to Sikhs
● Another descendent, Jamal Khan of Malerkotla fought against rulers of Patiala
(the current CM belongs to the erstwhile Patiala royals) and also against Ahmad
Shah Abdali from Afghanistan before joining hands with Abdali
● His successor Bhikhan Shah joined hands with the invaders led by Abdali in a
battle against the Sikhs in 1762. That battle is also known as the Great Holocaust
(Wadda Ghallugara) and thousands of Sikhs were killed
● In 1795 Sahib Singh Bedi, a descendant of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev,
attacked Malerkotla over the issue of cow slaughter.
● In 1809, refusing to join Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s kingdom, they joined hands with
the British accepting their domination
● In 1872, a Namdhari (Sikh sect) woman was raped in Malerkotla. When they
retaliated, the Nawab who was a minor approached the British. This led to the
Namadhari massacre where the British administrators’ Cowan and Forsyth
executed 69 including women and children after tying them to the barrels of
cannons, without any trial.
Sikh hospitality
● When the whole of Punjab burned at the time of partition, Muslims in Malerkotla
were safe. Not a single incident of violence was reported
● After Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the riots had happened in Delhi, not in
● When the Babri Masjid was demolished, people of all faiths gathered to keep the
peace and Malarkotla was safe
● The centre of vegetable production in Punjab
● Handicraftsmen produce regimental badges for the defence forces and
mementoes for top universities
● Home to renowned poets and lyricists, including Irshad Kamil

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