From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Mubarak Manzil Palace
Mains level : NA
- Hidden amidst the ruins of Punjab’s Malerkotla town lies the 19th-century Mubarak Manzil Palace, a poignant symbol of the state’s indifference towards its rich heritage.
- Beyond its architectural significance, this palace holds a deep cultural and emotional connection for both Sikhs and Muslims alike.
- However, despite its historical value, the restoration of this magnificent structure has languished in bureaucratic inertia.
About Mubarak Manzil Palace
- Historical Significance: The Mubarak Manzil Palace dates back to the 19th century and stands as a testament to the region’s historical heritage.
- Cultural Significance: Beyond architecture, the palace holds immense cultural and emotional importance for Sikhs and Muslims, serving as a shared legacy.
- Unfulfilled Hope: Begum Munawwar-ul-Nisa, the last surviving member of Malerkotla’s royal family, passed away recently, with her desire to witness the palace’s restoration remaining unfulfilled.
Delayed Restoration Efforts
- Congress Government’s Approval: In 2021, the previous Congress government granted approval for the acquisition and preservation of the palace, kindling hopes for its revival.
- Family Disputes and Financial Constraints: The palace had fallen into disrepair due to family disputes and financial limitations. Begum Nisa, after resolving the disputes, appealed to the State government to take over and restore the palace.
- Unfulfilled Promises: Although Begum Nisa and her family entrusted 29 rooms of the palace to the government’s care, the restoration work has yet to commence. Despite expert assessments in 2022, progress has been stalled, leaving the heritage in disrepair.
- Guru Gobind Singh’s Blessing: Malerkotla holds a significant place in Sikh history as it was Nawab Sher Mohammed Khan who protested against the execution of Guru Gobind Singh’s younger sons, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh, in 1705. Guru Gobind Singh blessed the town to live in peace.
- Sikh Reverence: Sikhs deeply respect Malerkotla’s royal family for their historical role. The restoration of the palace is considered a fitting tribute to their legacy.