The lost halcyon days of Panjwar’s Missal House

The lost halcyon days of Panjwar’s Missal House


Having been a hubbub of political activities in the days of electioneering for decades, the Missal House in Panjwar village, now, wears a deserted look. The announcement of Lok Sabha elections has political parties swung into action across the country. The elderly in the village recall that the Missal House used to be abuzz with political activities, especially before elections. Missal House is the birth place of Dr Gurdial Singh Dhillon, who made it to the Lok Sabha four times — three times from Tarn Taran (now Khadur Sahib) and once from Ferozepur constituency — from 1962 to 1984. Dhillon visited his residence mostly at the time of election campaigns. His movable and immovable property is still here in his native village. He had held the position of the Speaker and that of the Union minister for years.

Those days, a spurt in the rush at the double storey Missal House was common during electioneering as national as well as state-level leaders from the Congress party stayed here after canvassing for an entire day.

His wife Ranbir Kaur Dhillon and his adopted son Harbir Singh Dhillon led his election campaigns. In the general elections to the sixth Lok Sabha in 1977 after the then prime minister Indira Gandhi imposed the Emergency, Dhillon faced a defeat by Jathedar Mohan Singh Tur, the then SAD president. That elections also marked a severe blow to the Congress in the area as this seat, since then, has been known as a ‘Panthic’ seat (a hotbed for the Akalis) till now even. After that, Dhillon fought the Assembly elections from the Beas constituency, but met the same fate. He died on March 23, 1992. His adopted son Harbir Singh Dhillon, too, died after some time.

Ranbir Kaur Dhillon and Harbir Singh’s widow still reside here. Villagers seldom visit them.

A village known for immigration

Chaudhariwala village, near Naushehra Pannuan, has earned a distinction for having members of over one-thirds of its families settled abroad. Records show that the migration from the village started even before the infamous Komagata Maru incident of 1914. Chaudhariwala is mere four kilometres away from Sarhali Kalan. The revenue record of the village reveals that Santa Singh, Wadhawa Singh, Uttam Singh and Thakur Singh Maini of the village migrated to Canada and Singapore in 1904. Following in their footsteps, hundreds of villagers have settled abroad. The village has around 600 families out of which over 200 families have members settled in England, USA, Italy, Australia, Singapore , Hongkong, Japan and other countries. Even economically weak families have started sending their wards to nearby countries, such as UAE. The Pati Jaggu Ki locality in the village has at least one member each from the families settled abroad.

Their houses are palatial, but mostly remain locked. In some of the houses, elderly reside to take care of their properties.


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