Zira, India

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Zira
City
Punjab
Zira
Zira
Location in Punjab, India
Coordinates: 30°58′N 74°59′E / 30.97°N 74.99°E / 30.97; 74.99Coordinates: 30°58′N 74°59′E / 30.97°N 74.99°E / 30.97; 74.99
Country  India
State Punjab
District Firozpur
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 36,732
Languages
 • Official Punjabi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 142047
Telephone code 01682

Zira is a city and a municipal council in Firozpur district in the Indian state of Punjab.

History[edit]

The neighbourhood of Zira (the headquarters of the tehsil of the same name), in which there are many deserted sites, had been for many years a wasteland, when in 1508 Ahmad Shah came from Gugera and founded Zira Khas. He was driven out by Sher Shah Suri, during whose rule nearly all the villages of this ilaqa were located. Mohar Singh was, in turn driven out by Diwan Mohkam Chand, Ranjit Singh’s General, and the ilaqa was added to the Lahore Demense. It was afterwards divided into two portions, of which the eastern portion, which preserved the name, Zira, was made over to Sarbuland Khan, a servant of the Lahore Government, and the western portion, to which the name, ilaqa Ambarhar, was given was made an appanage of Kanwar Sher Singh, son of the Punjab sovereign. At a later date, Sher Singh obtained the possession of the whole ilaqa and abolished the subdivision of Ambarhar. [2]

It is unclear when, exactly, the municipality was founded – one source indicates The Municipality Committee, Zira, was constituted in 1876[3] while another says 1867.[4]

Zira was one of the two tehsils of Punjab, (the other one being Firozpur), that was part of a controversy during the partition of India. Sir Cyril Radcliffe created the boundary between India and Pakistan just days before the partition. A draft of the Award was supposedly sent to Evan Jenkins, the provincial governor of Punjab by George Abell, Lord Mountbatten of Burma's private secretary, with a preliminary description of the Punjab boundary. This draft showed the Firozpur and Zira tehsils being allotted to Pakistan. During partition Zira city had a Muslim majority by 51% Sikhs making up 35% and Hindus 14%. When violence erupted in most Firzopur Zira area was very quiet because most of the residents treated each other like brothers. Many Sikh residents were really close to there Muslim friends and did not want them to leave, but due to so much problems in the Firzopur area they had no choice to leave.[5]

The final version of the boundary however awarded the areas to India. This led Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, to proclaim that the Award of the Boundary Commission was unjust, incomprehensible and perverse. He, however, agreed to abide by it.[6] The dispute was settled in 1960 as part of an agreement between the governments of India and Pakistan.[7]

In 1947, at the time of partition, almost all the Muslim community who were living in "Zira" migrated to Pakistan. They settled in "Khanewal" district of Western Punjab. They engaged in farming, business and government services. Most of them named themselves as "Zirvi" (which is a sign of love to their "dharti maa"). These people always praised the good behaviour of Sikhs and Hindus at the time of partition. They remember sweet memories of Zira with tears. It reflects that how a calm and prosperous town was that prior to partition where the people lived with harmony.[8]

Zira Bomb Case, 1930 – The high-handedness of the British invaders in suppressing the rising tide of freedom movement in India with the worst type of governmental barbarity produced its reaction in the growth and spread of revolutionary activity to avenge the wrongs done to the people. One such incident in the Firozpur District was the Zira Bomb Case of October 1930.[9] The Zira Bar Association was formed in the same year.[10]

Population[edit]

As of 2011 India census,[11] Zira had a population of 36,732. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Zira has an average literacy rate of 63%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 66%, and female literacy is 59%. In Zira, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age. Zira's population was 2,702 in 1853.[12]

Education[edit]

Jivan Mal Govt. Model sen sec school is one of the advance govenment school of Punjab. Shri Atam Vallabh Jain Vidya Peeth, founded in 1995, is said to be the best school prevailing in this area.shree sada nand shankara puri adarsh high school(samadhi wala)zira school.

Tourism[edit]

THE most attractive & religious place is Gurudwara Singh Sabha where GURU HARGOGIND SAHIB park his horse.An ancient Jain Swetambara temple with ancient icons and wall paintings is located in Zira. The idols there are claimed to be more than 1200 years old. In 1896, A.D Vijayanand Surishwar ji Maharaj, who was also a scholar poet and social reformer of his time, performed the holy 'partishthan' ceremony at this temple.

It is said that the temple is named after the 23rd Tirthankra Shri Parsavnathji Maharaj. The main idol is believed to be one of most sacred and ancient idols found anywhere.

This temple underwent a total renovation process in 2006 and was reopened by huge anniversary ceremony in 108th year of its existence by the holy Jain saint Shri Nityanand surishwar ji Maharaj and was attended by a large number of people related with Zira from all sects. This place is symbol secularism of this great town Zira. About 5 km from Zira on the NH-15 is the village of Lehra rohi Gillan. It is a birthplace of the Jain Saint Shri Atmanand Surishwar ji Maharaj popularly known as Vijayanand ji Maharaj. He was the first saint for Murtipujak sect in the swetambar Jain.

Interestingly, all the Jain preceptors and Acharyas (teachers) were recluses and did not have a family or maintain a place of their own. To the native villagers here, it feels like any Temple or Gurudwara for worshipping everyday. The visits made by people from all backgrounds and faiths, makes it a place where devotees learn the first lesson of communal harmony every morning. This place is planned to be constructed as a big tirath sthal(holy place) for the jains.

Cuisine[edit]

Some of the famous foodies include sweets like barfi and soodke (a laddoo like sweet). Zira is famous for soodke. Boota Naan wala is also famous for his delicious aloo and paneer naan, the jalebi is a delight in diwali days. In winter, the soup vendors sell delicious chana and tomato soup.Some of the famous hotels cum banquet halls include names like Shagun & Milan. Irrespective of all these , there are more than 100 food corners in Zira.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.censusindia.gov.in/pca/SearchDetails.aspx?Id=38344
  2. ^ Arora Digital Studio, Zira[dead link]
  3. ^ "Local Self-Government". Retrieved July 24, 2006. 
  4. ^ "Imperial Gazetteer2 of India, Volume 24, page 437 – Imperial Gazetteer of India – Digital South Asia Library". Retrieved July 24, 2006. 
  5. ^ "Prof Datta on Viceroy’s role". Retrieved July 24, 2006. 
  6. ^ "Pakistan government website". Archived from the original on January 27, 2006. Retrieved July 24, 2006. 
  7. ^ "Ministry of External Affairs, India website". Archived from the original on August 19, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2006. 
  8. ^ Muhammad Din Chaudhary, Green Town, Khanewal, Pakistan
  9. ^ "Fazilka". Retrieved 19 Aug 2012. 
  10. ^ "Education and Recreational and Medical Facilities". Retrieved 19 Aug 2012. 
  11. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  12. ^ "Women’s Organizations". Retrieved August 19, 2012.