Monday, March 27, 2017

Research on Dalit Assertion in Punjabi Music

Research on Dalit Assertion in Punjabi Music

Following my blogs on Bootan Mandi, dalit assertion and related subjects, one of the researchers, Prof. Peter Manuel of the Music Department of the City University of New York, contacted me a couple of weeks ago and informed me about his interest and asked
Peter Manuel and Ginni Mahi
for more information with regard to his research project on the subject. Prof. Manuel visited Punjab a couple of years ago for the purpose and gathered some material but still he was working on his project. He has already done a meaningful study and research on Hindustani music including Thumri, Gazal, Braj and Bhojpuri. Peter speaks Hindi and is well versed with the Indian musical traditions and culture. Though I am no authority on the subject and I told Peter of this fact, yet I agreed to do my bit as a novice oral history narrator. I requested Peter Manuel that it will be better, instead of talking on phone, if he could send me a couple of questions which I could answer in writing. He agreed to the suggestion and sent me his queries.

I have divided his questions in two parts. The write-up produced below is to answer one of his interests in Bootan Mandi and the Gurpurab of Ravidass which has turned into a big mela in the region as an annual ritual with particular reference to the ‘Chamar Identity’  which the renowned singers of Punjab have tended to praise and mention in their albums and stage performances. The second part of the query is about the increasing dalit assertion in the Punjabi folk lore in the contemporary times to establish “Chamar Identity” to counter the often bragged and flouted ‘Jatt Superiority”. I will answer the latter part separately.

I thought of sharing this with my blog followers.

Resurgence Of Dalit Identity and Bootan Mandi Jalandhar

Bootan Mandi is a non-descript resident locality situated on Nakodar Road (now named as Ambedkar Marg) in the outskirts of Jalandhar city. Even before India’s independence in 1947, Bootan Mandi was a famous place for leather tanning, trading of raw and tanned leather not only by the Chamars (untouchables in the Hindu caste hierarchy) of the area but also by the Muslims who had to leave for Pakistan in the wake of partition of India. Bootan Mandi as such was a prosperous place mainly inhabitated by Chamars engaged in leather business. Out of them, some of the more enterprising even spread out to other leather business centers like Kanpur, Calcutta etc.

Chamars are the followers of Guru Ravidass, a great Saint of the Bhakti Movement in the 15th century. Forty one hymns (shabads/bani) of Guru Ravidass are enshrined in the religious and holy Guru Granth Sahib, scripture of the Sikhs. Guru Ravidass was an exponent of casteless society and equality. Obviously, his mission and philosophy became the main stay of dalits who were the sufferers and victims of the Manuwadi (ancient Hindu Law maker Manu) caste divide of the society. The Chamars and other dalit communities started asserting themselves under the influence of India’s Independence struggle against the British rule. The after effects of the First World War in which some dalits got the chance to go abroad coupled with the Ghadar movement, advent of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Babu Manguram Muggowalia on the political firmament of the country and society at large added further impetus to the process.  The chamars of Bootan Mandi, with their economic well being, came to the fore and spearheaded the Ad-dharm Movement of Babu Manguram Muggowalia in the late 1920s. They also supported and followed Dr. Ambedkar’s struggle for the emancipation of dalits in 1930s. Bootan Mandi became the nerve centre of dalit politics and social empowerment from mid 1930s. Under the leadership of two leading lights of the time, Seth Sunder Dass and Seth Kishan Dass (all well to do leather businessmen were called Seth as a mark of respect even today this practice is prevalent), Bootan Mandi hosted the offices of Ad-dharm Mandal, Schedule Caste Federation and celebrated and observed the birthday anniversary (Gurpurab) of Guru Ravidass with élan and gaiety every year. The festivities, including illumination of buildings, fireworks, religious discourses, poetic symposium, musical shows, dance and drama slowly became a common and regular feature in successive years. The Bootan Mandi Seths supported and encouraged the symbols of dalit assertion in recognition of the roles of Ad-dharm Mandal at Kishanpura, Dera Sachkhand Balan, and Dera Chak Hakim near Phagwara. Seth Kishan Dass of Bootan Mandi, an ardent follower of Guru Ravidass and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar became a Member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly even before India’s independence. Literary
people like Gurdass Ram Alam, Bhagmal Pagal, Narinder Khedi on invitation and reception by the son of the soil of Bootan Mandi, Pritam Ramdasspuri, set the tone of folklore to recognize and appreciate the festivities at Bootan Mandi. Gurdass Ram Alam recited his composition “ Bada Shor Painda Gariba De Dere; Ajj Kaun Aya Savere Savere”  at a public function at Bootan Mandi in honour of Dr. Ambedkar during his visit in 1951. Pritam Ramdasspuri asserted with pride “Guru Ravidass Di Jins Han Te Bhim Di Aulad Han”

Moving with the time, the community of Bootan Mandi and also of villages in and around achieved further economic success and political awareness. The festivities on Guru Ravidass Gurpurab and also the birthday anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar got more organized and pronounced. These activities were more spiritual and solemn
to begin with. My own uncle, brother of my father, Jai Ram Parwana was an artist of his own reckoning. He performed Prabhat Pheris (singing f devotional songs and bani of Guru Ravidass in the mornings in the streets of the colony), wrote poems and songs which were rendered by famous singers and poets on the stages of Gurpurab celebration. By mid 1960s, taking over from my educated seniors namely Om Parkash Mahey, Dharam Chand Mahey, Durga Dass, Bishambar Dass, Bhagwan Dass and others, myself, as a young student and a humble native of Bootan Mandi, got engaged increasingly with these social and spiritual aspects of community living. We, along with my colleagues like Hardial Banger, Manohar Mahey, Darshan Kaler, Sat Paul Mahey, Swaran Dass Duggal, and Prem Shant among others, changed gears and started giving further
Ramesh Chander beating the Drum on Gurpurab at Bootan Mandi
impetus to the celebrations from literary and intellectual aspects. The musical and spiritual sessions gave way to intellectual poetic symposiums (Kavi Darbars) in which Punjabi poets and singers of repute, namely Vidhata Singh Teer, Hazara Singh Mushtak, Charan Singh Safri, Gurdass Ram Alam, Chanan Manak, Bhagmal Pagal, inter alia, were invited. I was the General Secretary of the then Guru Ravidass Youth Club for a couple of years in the late 1960s. I vividly remember that poets and singers tended to invoke the glory of Bootan Mandi and dalit pride in their renditions in one way or the other. Charan Singh Safri’s formulation “Tera Chamm Na Lahman Ta Ki Lahman” to motivate Chamars against the tyranny of Brahminwad is still alive in my mind. Singers of fame like Narinder Biba, Surinder Shinda, Amar Noorie and Sardool Sikander performed at Bootan Mandi in 1980s. As Punjabi music flourished not only in India but also abroad in the 1980s, Bootan Mandi was no exception. The empowered economic and social status of the community in and around involved the money bags of the Seths of Bootan Mandi.  The venue of functions, to cater to larger audiences, were divided into two – Guru Ravidass Dham led by Seth Sat Paul Mall and Mayor Surinder Mahey with others and Nimm Company and Guru Ravidass Mandir led by Seth Mool Raj, Avinash Chander, Shaddi Lal, Darshan Bodhi and others. They tended to invite costly performers to their functions and celebrations. The celebrations were slowly getting ostentatious and commercial. The likes of Hans Raj Hans, Kaler Kanth, K.S. Makhan, Durga Rangila, Master Saleem, Diljaan, Boota Mohammad, Sabar Koti, Rajni Thakkarwal, Firoz Khan and Ginni Mahi among others were falling on each other to be invited to Bootan Mandi and perform. The high-ups of all parties and the successive governments tended to come and greet the audiences, their potential vote bank. By 1990s, the Gurpurab at Bootan Mandi took the shape of a big Mela for a week every year in the month of February or so. My younger brother, Paramjit Mahey remained the General Secretary of Guru Ravidass Welfare Society and its successor outfit Guru Ravidass Educational and Charitable Trust for almost 10 years and earned considerable appreciation and recognition in running these organizations and their activities.  With this pomp and show, the things have come a full circle. Bootan Mandi earned the status of an undeclared Mecca of dalits which contributed immensely to the insurgence of dalit pride and identity in the region. Rightly so, the message trickled down to the music and poetry too. Bootan Mandi found mention in many of the songs meant to instill a sense of pride and identity in the dalit masses. Though the Seths of Bootan Mandi slowly are losing their status in the leather business yet the Guru Ravidass Gurpurab has acquired the status of a big event in the calendar of the region. It will remain so in the years to come.

I conclude with the hit number of Master Saleem son of legendary Ustad Puran Shah Koti, both sons of soil of Bootan Mandi:

“Bootan Mandi Aajo Jihne Dekhna Nazaara Ae”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Punjab Mandate – Message for AAP

An Open Letter of an AAM AADMI – The Punjab Mandate – Message for AAP

March 21, 2017

Dear Leadership and Volunteers of AAP,

I have been writing weekly Open Letters as an Aam Aadmi to the voters of Punjab since the second week of October, 2016 in the run up to elections on February 4, 2017. I promised to write my last letter of the series after the results of March 11. The people of Punjab have given a clear mandate in favour of the Congress Party
as against the general perception about AAP to hold the reins of power. But the wonders of democracy preferred and voted the Congress Party to power by unseating the Akali-BJP combine. It is time for a sincere introspection for AAP.

I have been a supporter of AAP since February, 2016. Along with others, I was also an aspirant of the AAP nomination for the Jalandhar West seat. Frankly, to put things in their right perspective, the party leadership in Jalandhar, from day one of my joining the party on February 24, 2016, made me feel and understand that I should focus and concentrate my activities on the reserved seat of Jalandhar West though my vote and residence was located somewhere else. I felt that it was an implicit message for me.
I worked diligently with the best of my abilities. I revived my contacts, made new ones and established rapport with the electorate in a planned and organized way on my own and also under the advice and direction of the party observers. Starting from June till October, 2016, I sent weekly reports of my activities and observations to the Central Zonal Observer under intimation to the high-ups in the party which were appreciated occasionally. At the time of nominations in October, 2016, I was side-lined and ignored and someone else who was propped up by the managers and observers themselves was favoured without even showing the basic courtesy of informing or consulting me. It was a painful surprise from the leadership of the party which professed to be a party with a difference. My faith in the party was shattered a bit, to be frank. I, like a disciplined soldier and a diplomat by training and experience, wrote to the Central Observers and the Punjab Convener of the party and conveyed my dismay and dissatisfaction. I wrote that the treatment meted out to me, it appeared, emanated from ‘ignorance or arrogance or both’ but at the same time conveyed that I joined the party not as a short term engagement but as a long term association based on my conviction of the agenda and mission of the party under the leadership of Arvind Kejriwal. Without any further murmur, I continued to do my bit to support and help the party in my own humble way including my contribution to the Punjab Dialogue with regard to the manifesto of the party particularly with regard to the interests and concerns of Scheduled Castes. With a view to provide the right articulation to the AAP view point on various issues and concerns and also to give my suggestions to the leadership as a critique with a positive mindset to help the party, with the knowledge of the Jalandhar Observer and others, I started writing weekly ‘An Open Letter of an Aam Aadmi towards the end of October, 2016 which was circulated through my personal blog and social media organs like Facebook and also by E-mailing to a select segment of my contacts in the educated and intellectual class. The current letter is the last in that series. I understand it was received well. Towards the last leg of the election campaign, I wrote personal e-mails to the Central Observers and others and conveyed my observations and ways and means, to my humble understanding, to convince and attract the young SC voters to support AAP and its candidates. The purpose of my giving these details is to say that I tried my best to help the party in whatever small way I could.

The post election assessments were that AAP would make it and reach the corridors of power in Chandigarh. Even the exit polls were favouring AAP. My own assessment was that AAP would get 60-65 seats, if not more. I even wrote two letters to the AAP leadership a couple of days before the March 11 results and some suo motto suggestions to keep the powder dry in the run up to form the next government in Punjab. But that was not to be and AAP could not make it as expected. These are the wonders of democracy.

Obviously, the rank and file of AAP is disappointed and even frustrated. Everybody is taking shelter under one excuse or the other. It is said “Success has many fathers and failure is an orphan”. AAP is no exception. An in-depth analysis and a sincere introspection are needed. Of course, the party and the leadership would undertake the exercise in due course. Meanwhile, let me share with you, as an Aam Aadmi, my own perception and off-the-cuff assessment, not as an expert but as a commoner, of the disappointing results for AAP.

AAP is a fledgling outfit emanated from a movement against corruption and as such is not a political party of the traditional ilk. Against much opposition and odds, its leadership led by Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, among others, carried the flag in spite of the fact that their colleagues like Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhusan and a few more left the caravan half way through. Some young activists like Durgesh Pathak and others who otherwise felt frustrated and defeated in the current system joined the bandwagon to satisfy their personal egoistic agenda  like their views on reservations, pomp and show in the echelons of power, social and economic justice as professed by the likes of Che Guevara and Shaheed Bhagat Singh, inter alia. Following their leader Arvind Kejriwal, they ostensibly started living a frugal and simple life away from their homes. They inherited the traits, like noisy protests, slogan shouting, poster pasting, demonstrations and public marches, of their mentors and leaders which eventually became brand icons of young AAP volunteers. The early and visible victory in Delhi and Punjab in 2014 made them confident and assertive. Most of them are an educated lot but somehow could not settle well in life, to my mind. In some cases, power went to their head. It is said that power without responsibility and experience and maturity is a recipe for disaster. AAP entered Punjab with this band of people with élan and gusto to make inroads to the corridors of power in Chandigarh. Without establishing any party structure, a brigade of high headed observers and their assistants descended on Punjab by the mid 2015 to prepare for the 2017 elections. They worked with a missionary zeal with the help of people who were impressed by the movement against corruption led by Anna Hazare of which Arvind Kejriwal was the visible and accepted face. The people of Punjab were fed up with the misdeeds, corruption, highhandedness, ill-governance of the ruling Akali-BJP government. They wanted a viable alternative other than traditional parties like the Congress. AAP immediately caught up with the imagination of the Punjabi youth and the poor people at large. By the beginning of 2016, AAP registered itself as a harbinger of change in the psyche of the people. Political credentials of the party were increasingly accepted. Apart from the support of the general masses, more and more well placed and experienced people from various walks of life started joining hands with the AAP. I was one of them. Meanwhile, as usual, some vested interests and self seekers from political, business and wheeler dealers, seeing the flow of the wind, also jumped the AAP bandwagon with their narrow and selfish agenda. This latter category tended to win over and spoil the otherwise good central observers with malafide intensions and means. In most of the cases, they succeeded in their nefarious design. It was the sad aspect of the whole game. The political culture of the traditional parties crept in and AAP, which professed to be a party with a difference, also succumbed to the prevailing ground reality. The central leadership responsible for Punjab increasingly tried to centralize powers in their own hands, ignoring the local leadership. Sucha Singh Chhotepur and some more parted company. The leadership, rather than assuaging their concerns, further discredited them under the tendency of self-righteousness. The party suffered and lost creditability. There was no structural edifice of the party which could absorb the shocks. The central leadership in Punjab undermined the local leadership and talent and preferred to run the show with highhandedness and self righteousness. The decay was totally set in by the time of ticket allocations. The graph of the party was going down by the passing of every week. Arvind Kejriwal and some other well meaning leaders tried to salvage the situation but it was too late. The local leaders were made so helpless that they lost their will to stand up and rectify the situation. We entered the last phase of the election campaign with all these negatives standing by our side. Amidst all this and a social hype created by the campaign machinery working under the thumb and direction of the central observers of the party, February 4 came and the fate of our candidates was sealed in the EVMs. March 11 results stunned us all as against high hopes of forming the AAP government. That was not to be.

All said and done, without digging further details, let us see what went wrong? Some of my, prima facie, observations in this regard are as follows:

v Party remained an offshoot of a movement without structures. It was run by a band of nominated leaders from Delhi rather than by the emerging local leaders.
v The central observers and teams of Delhi volunteers did not have any direct stake in the show. They ignored and sidelined local initiative and tended to run the show with top heavy attitude and conduct. They all became “Sirs” for the grassroots volunteers.
v The Zonal observers, with a view to earn brownie points from the central leadership, propped up ticket seekers and created an artificial sense of competition among the aspiring volunteers. It also resulted in some sort of low level corruption by the junior functionaries deputed from Delhi. They tended to avail of small and fringe benefits from the propped up aspirants. The exercise resulted in avoidable internal conflict and bickering.
v With this, the well meaning professionals, public figures, intelligentsia, who joined the party without any personal agenda, were suffocated and frustrated. On the other hand, the self seekers, money bags, defeated and disgruntled politicians started to have good understanding and rapport with the observers and their teams.
v The party reached Sucha Singh Chhotepur phase. The party image received a direct hit in the public perception. It needs no further explanation. The attitude of central observers got further tightened which further alienated the local initiative and say.
v The ticket allocation procedure and process was a farce. The said nomination by the volunteers was a big hoax. The party became a butt of jokes on the issue. The favoured lot of candidates knew the outcome days before the announcement. The well meaning and serious aspirants were made to make lengthy applications under the wrong assumption that “nobody knows” and ‘who cares”. The local leadership, including the State Convener and Head of the Campaign, to my mind, had no say in the matter. They were mere spectators.
v The often professed ‘Three Cs – Character, Corruption and Criminality’ idea was abandoned halfway through. The integrity of some of the AAP candidates was not beyond doubt.
v The qualified and experienced professionals and highly placed retired bureaucrats who were aspirants of AAP tickets were sidelined and ignored as against candidates apt at political expediency. My personal feeling is that some of the young and inexperienced up-starts sitting at the helm of affairs are allergic to talent and position.
v Though the party professed to be secular and anti-caste yet the ticket allocation was done on the basis of caste. Just to give an example of reserved seats in the Jalandhar Parliamentary constituency – Jalandhar West to a Bhagat (Kabirpanthi), Adampur to a clean-shaven Chamar, Kartarpur to a Balmiki and Phillaur to an Amritdhari Ravidassia Sikh as against availability of highly qualified and experienced candidates.
v The party leadership particularly the central observers did not think fit to take into confidence the well meaning and serious aspirants. A sense of self-righteousness prevailed. The aspirants of ticket who were made to work and spend money by the managers and observers were left in the lurch. With this, obviously, the campaign was derailed.
v The lead time, comparatively much more than the AAP opponents, provided to the AAP candidates did not result in favour but the other way round. A sense of fatigue crept in before the D-day. The party observers and their team did not allow the candidates to manage their own campaigns. It was always a dictation from the top, be it LCDs, Projectors, Vehicles, Public meetings, Road shows etc. The local initiative was missing. The hangers-on and vagabonds have had a field day as a good pastime.
v Social media hype was created by purpose and design. The sycophants, hired ‘Bhaade Ke Tattu’ and self seekers, with knowledge of the Delhi teams, were made to work overtime at the cost of candidates under the pretext of ‘Door to Door’ and public connect. It was unnecessary and non productive.
v By the time the other parties started their last leg of the campaign, the AAP machinery, volunteer force and the candidates were already exhausted. There are rumors that some of the candidates were lured with financial considerations by the ruling alliance.

These were some of the systemic weaknesses of the AAP campaign in the run up to the election. The image of AAP as a party with a difference did not get registered with the masses. Besides this, there are few more observations which may be of interest:

·       The leadership was totally insular. There are people like me who cannot make beelines before offices or living rooms to meet them. I preferred to write and communicate and which I did. But it was futile. There was no response irrespective of the fact that they have had their functional offices with aides to manage. It is true for our MPs, Central Observers, and State Convener and also Heads of some of the Sectoral outfits. Some of the E-mail IDs of high-ups, obtained from Jalandhar Zonal Office, were non functional and communications bounced.
·       The managers of the “Punjab Dialogue” responsible for the AAP Manifesto also did not respond or even acknowledge the suo motto contributions made by volunteers like me. It seemed that they were more concerned about making more noise about their work with regard to the manifesto to secure and ensure their own tickets and positions.
·       It is a common knowledge and ground reality that dalits make 33% share in the Punjab demography. The position in the Doaba region is such that in some of the constituencies it makes from 40% to 60%.  I have been advising to the party bosses to make some focused efforts to bring along the dalit youth and educated lot. But nobody listened and responded. As a result, AAP lost miserably in Doaba. It is matter of gratification that AAP could bag about 10 reserved seats out of the total of 34. In the Malwa region dalits supported AAP. In Doaba, the psyche of dalit communities is different which required special handling. The AAP leadership could not understand this.

I may conclude this long letter with the hope that the AAP leadership spares some time to read these observations of an Aam Aadmi unlike the fate of my earlier attempts to awaken ourselves to the emerging situation and to face the challenges of the future. Let us not give way to the blame game. If I go by the media reports of today, March 21, the swords are already drawn. We need to have a sincere and in-depth introspection to set the matter right. I am happy to note that Arvind Kejriwal has undertaken the exercise of damage control by writing a circular letter to the rank file of the party of which I also got a copy on my E-mail ID. I quote from the letter of Arvind Kejriwal:

“The questions we should ask ourselves is whether the current political system is fine. Have rampant corruption and crony capitalism disappeared? Is there justice for all? Are the common people getting what they deserve? If the answer is ‘No’, we have to continue and strengthen our political revolution.”

हुबैदा आज अपने ज़ख़्में पिन्हां कर के छोड़ूगा;
लहू रो रो के  महफ़िल को गुलिस्तां कर के छोड़ूगा !

With regards,

Yours truly,

(Ramesh Chander)
Ambassador – IFS (Retired)
Telephone: 09988510940


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Talk on India’s Foreign Policy

Talk on India’s Foreign Policy

I was invited to talk to students of the esteemed Banarsi Dass Arya Girls College in Jalandhar on March 7, 2017 about India’s Foreign Policy. Accordingly, I spoke at a well organized function and gave an overview of the foreign policy of India starting from its historical perspective and concluding with the current contours of the policy. My talk was primarily based on the book ‘India’s Foreign Policy’ written by a renowned diplomat and former Foreign Secretary and National Security Adviser, J.N. Dixit. In the concluding phase, I relied on the speeches of Foreign Secretary Dr. S. Jaishankar and PM Narendra Modi delivered at the recently
concluded ‘Raisina Dialogue’ in January, 2017 in New Delhi. The intension was not to provide in-depth analysis with academic or intellectual expression but to make it as simple as possible for the benefit of the young students mostly with rural background and schooling. I think, going by the apt attention in the full-to-capacity auditorium and subsequent interaction and also by the remarks made by the other speakers, the talk was well received. It was a matter of satisfaction for me.

 Informing the young students about the functions of an Indian diplomat, I briefly mentioned about the Indian Foreign Service and mode of entry into the service for the benefit of the would-be aspirants to join the service. It was much appreciated. After providing the historical background and evolution of India’s foreign policy since independence in 1947, I mentioned that the strategic intent is shaped by our civilizational ethos and quoted PM Narendra Modi for the cardinal principles of the policy:

यथार्थवाद(realism),सह-अस्तित्व(co-existence)सहयोग (cooperation),तथा सहभागिता (partnership).

Concluding the talk, I said that experts were of the view that “in the world of diplomacy, some things are better left unsaid”. I would like to go by that advice and quoted Ambassador T.P. Srinivasan “Diplomacy is about words – written, spoken and unspoken”

Professor Jagdish Chander Joshi, an advisor to the college, was instrumental in introducing me to the college and inviting me to speak at the event. He spoke with conviction and while introducing me to the audience said Jalandhar was proud of producing diplomats of high caliber and intellect and named Prof. Manohar Lal Sondhi, Ambassador Bal Anand, Ambassador Sharat Sabharwal among others. Being a professor of history, he touched
upon the concept of buffer states and their desirability and importance in the shaping of foreign policy of India particularly with reference to Afghanistan and Tibet. Lt. Col. Manmohan Singh, Former District Sainik Welfare Officer and Former Director of National Institute of Competitive Examinations also spoke and advised the students to learn and get ready to enter their respective careers including the IFS. Principal Sarita Verma in her welcome address said that it was an honour for the college to invite and listen to the talk on India’s foreign policy and said that the students would certainly benefit from it and get motivated to join the IFS in the days to come. She also thanked Prof. Neeru Sharma Head of the Political Science Department of the College for organizing the function at a short notice. Commander of the BSF (Retired) P.K. Mohla who himself served with the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Eastern Europe in the late 1990s was also present on the dais. Prof. Meenu Nanda conducted the function as an expert Master of Ceremonies and regaled the audience with her poetic interjections.

As stated in the college website - Banarsi Dass Arya Girls College is one of the leading educational institutions of Jalandhar catering to the educational needs of both urban and rural areas. The college was founded by Arya Samaj  in 1964. B.D. Arya Girls Collge as a full-fledged affiliated college came into existence in 1970. The college has emerged as an operational model for value oriented education in and around Jalandhar Cantonment area.. Besides academic excellence, the college encourages maximum participation of students in sports and extra co-curricular activities.