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Meerut Latitude : 29.0 deg N, Longitude : 77.5 deg E.
Many residents have received letters increasing their house tax by not just a few per cent but by more than 300% . No grounds given only a time period for objections. The increase in tax is entirely arbitrary and certainly never improves facilities. The drains are choked even the main one called 'Abu Nala' which prevents the smaller drains from flowing. Roads broken. Electricity erratic. Municipal services barely tolerable. By the way the tax is based on rental value . Rental value of purchased property? Used by the owner? That is why we are called Incredible India. And what is a the rental value of at least one place? Over 31 lakhs of Rupees!! Increased to over 100 lakhs. Nobody has ever received anything in return for these exorbitant Taxes. Forget the fact that nobody in Meerut can pay that kind of rent. In the late 90s the tax was of the order of a few thousand Rupees now it is in lakhs ( 1 lakh=100,000).
Want to see where Santa is right now ? Click here.
Is called Shahid Divas now. The Gaddar started in 1857 on the 10th of May 1857. The transcript of a telegram sent from Delhi to Ambala is on the right.
Things to note about the 'Sepoy' Mutiny. Indian Soldiers were called Sepoys. Every Sepoy came from a farming background and knew the indignation which was widespread in the rural areas regarding the East India Company 'Taxes'. These were collected with European efficiency and were accompanied with penalties which Indian Rajas and Maharajas never implemented. Land could be and was confiscated for non payment. A small booklet was published in 2007,(it was available on the Mutiny train ) and gave a short list of some of the bigger conflicts between the rural population and the East India Company Army. They happened from the 1760s to late in the 19th century. Yes much after the Mutiny.
Takes place in the first week of May every year, not sure if it is always 7th May. It is a a penance activity. Meaning a certain amount of suffering is to be expected. A good assumption since things are heating up around this time of the year. However today(7th) it will be different the weather is actually pleasant since it rained in the evening. You may know that Sardhana has a Church built by Begum Samroo in the early 19th century. The distance from the Catholic Church here is a little less than 20 km. They start after 10 pm.
You can see a Cellphone tower in the picture. I am not sure what is the state of the Electricity here. Did not see a water tank. So assume there is not tapped water in the area. In many ways things maybe worse than the early 19th century as the population is much more!
The usual route from Meerut is via Kanker Khera, avoid this as 80% of the road does not exist. Has been like this for months. Go via Daurala longer but much better road.
Could be the largest block of carved marble in India. Made in Italy. Reached when there were no trains and trucks.
Somehow forgot to post this. Really of interest only to Cantonment residents. On the 20th of September 2010, a news item appeared in the Danik Jagran stating that the oldest school in the Cantt. - St. John's - was going to be put up for auction on October 4th. Along with this some other schools were mentioned as not having paid up varying amounts running into lakhs. At least one school City vocational deep in the Cantonment was left out. Included in the amount St. John's was expected to pay was something called a Water Tax and the school does not even have a water connection. The other amount was a colossal House tax. The taxes are supposed to help in maintaining the cantonment. Take a look at the Abu ka nala near Bombay Bazar and the bridge over it. The bridge has been an eyesore for decades. Not a sign of maintenence. No St. John's was not auctioned. The point to note is that the Principal never even got a notice. The school is walking distance from the Cantt. Board Office. There are a lot of Govt. officials on the Board whose main responsibility is the Cantonment.
A note about Cantonments - they were all established by the East India Company while it was still in power before 1857. Buying and selling property became impossible only after 1977. This was the work of the short lived 'Competent Authority'. Cantonments always contained Bazars, private property, hotels,Cinema halls . They contained the Military establishments they were not owned by the Military. The decay started from that time only. Administration does not mean ownership. The stone slabs declaring that the Land is Defence land came up after 1977.
The latest is this they are cutting of water supply to the Bungalow area. We don't need a Tsunami for disasters.
Could be of interest to residents of other Cantonments. There are such few pictures of the Raj just before Independence.
The tower in Saini village which was constructed during the Great Trigonometrical Survey. The Survey started in the early 19th century, lasted a 100 years. Mount Everest was discovered during this in 1851.Curious about the Survey ? You could search for a document called Full Text of Account of the Operations of the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India Volume XVII.htm.This mentions that about 3700 were built in the entire country. About 3000 remained when the text was written. The Survey started at Cape Comorin.
It is not generally known that Meerut was included in the 16 major
towns of Ashokan times . An Ashokan pillar was erected here which means
that this was a major buddhist center . Contrary to popular belief this
pillar was shifted to Delhi not by the British but by Firoz Shah
around 1300 AD For the uninitiated the Ashokan Period (
short history lesson ) itself dates at
around 256 BC. About 75 years after Alexander's ( Sikander in Hindi ) invasion
of the Punjab.
Don't know what Ashoka wrote about ? Then checkout the translation of all his Edicts by clicking here .
This set of pages will be expanded considerably soon (hopefully). However presently
it is partial to the immediate colonial past. See
a 1904 map of the district ( click here) .And of the town (click here )
This is the entrance to the Grand building shown below. Belongs to the family of Nawab Ismail. One of the sons was a signatories of the Indian constitution. There is a huge photograph of all the signatories of the constitution in the main room. It is not a public place .
A few figures about Meerut. The latest census puts it in the above 1 million category. It has about the same population as Indore, Faridabad, Thane. It is the 24th largest town in India (populationwise), and the 3rd largest town in UP after Kanpur and Lucknow. Kanpur is larger than Lucknow with a population of 2.5 million.
Perhaps the Grandest old building in Meerut. 'Palace' may not be off the mark . Still occupied by the descendants of the original owners. The Drawing room is retained in its original layout as a tradition . Among many antique items is an old floor standing candle stand , which can hold 7-8 candles . It is still used because of a very unreliable electric supply.
West End Road
From the plaque near the Pillar.
This pillar of Ashoka ( C 263-232 B.C) brought by Firoz Shah Tughluq from the neighborhood of Meerut, was
set up by him in his "Hunting Palace" called Kushak-i-Shikar in AD 1365.
The contemporary historians describe the complicated transport of this pillar from its original site to DELHI by the river. It broke into 5 pieces in an explosion during Farruk Siyar's reign(A.D.1713-1719 ) . And its inscribed portions were later sawed off and sent to the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta. In 1866 they were received back and all the broken pieces were joined together and the restored pillar was again put up here in 1867. The Pillar now measures 10M in Height.
Inscribed in Brahmi Script and written in the Prakrit Language, this inscription of Ashoka contains his messages and instructions for promoting the Dharma and the welfare and happiness of the people.
Did you know that there is a discussion on about whether Asoka actually built the pillars . Here is someone who says that Ashoka made his inscriptions on already existing pillars. These pillars he says are the long lost altars of Alexander the great. That seems unlikely as Alexander is known to have stayed on this side of the Indus for only a few months. The pillars are made of stone from Chunar and are found at great distances from the Indus. Click here to read the page.
|Meerut is often associated with the start
of the 1857 Mutiny - here are some details. Actually an incident in Barrackpore
is supposed to be the real beginning. That seems more likely since Calcutta
had been longer under British control.
The Following is the text of inscriptions
|Can you feel the battles
in your bones ? In the 20th century war had become too mechanized and impersonal . There were no machine guns at this time.
They used muzzle loaders* (also) where each shot needed quite
a bit of time to load.The charge may even explode if you were not careful.
Swords and daggers were still used. You would kill only if you had to.
Do note the dates these are the worst months, in northern India.
(Alexander did not feel so great after he crossed the Indus around this
time . It wasn't warriors who chased him back but the mosquitoes and the
heat.) Travel was not mechanized yet. No not even the bicycle.The Railways were making an appearance in Europe. But the telegraph had appeared , and a telegram was sent to Delhi from the Meerut GPO when the mutineers headed that side. And yes
you could die with a minor wound. There were no antibiotics no chloroform.
perhaps has the largest number of gun shops in India ( P.L. Sharma Road
). Until a few years back you could still purchase gunpowder and gunshot
for use in muzzle loaders. Perhaps even now.
Hi ! Do talk back - with suggestions,...