Ram Richpal was born to Chaudhari Sukhiram Singh Ohlyan and Sarla Devi, in village of Garhi Sampla, Rohtak district, Punjab Province. As he was youngest of his siblings, he was called Chhotu Ram. He graduated from St. Stephen’s College in 1905 with a distinction in Sanskrit. After working in Congress party for some years, he co-founded the Unionist Party, which was a secular party comprising Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs.
Sir Chhotu Ram worked with the Raja of Bilaspur and as the Revenue Minister of Punjab, signed the agreement for the Bhakra Dam in November 1944! The project plan was finalized on 8 January 1945. You see Bhakra Dam was a dream that Sir Chhotu Ram (knighted in 1937) had in 1923.
The preliminary construction on the dam started in 1946 by Sir Louis Dane, who was the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab.
The subsequent events surrounding the partition of Punjab and independence delayed the work. The construction was started again in 1948, which Nehru officially inaugurated as late as 17 November 1955 by pouring a bucket of concrete – a full 10 years after the finalization of the project plan for the dam!
It took another 8 years to complete the first phase in 1963 end after that fateful bucket pouring by Nehru. The subsequent phases went all the way into the 1970s.
Last year, on October 9, 2018, it was the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who unveiled a 64-foot-tall statue of Sir Chhotu Ram – the man who dreamt, planned and created the vision for the first dam in India, the Bhakra Dam – in his native village Sampla in Haryana.
All these years this father of Bhakra Dam, considered to be the Modern Temple of India, was hidden from Indians. And all this while, Nehru was the one posing as the father of Bhakra Dam, when in reality, he not just sidelined the main architect and father of the dam, Sir Chhotu Ram, but created a halo around himself to make people believe as if he had gifted it to the country. When that was hardly the truth! He had simply assigned his name to a project that was already under way and would have completed much earlier had initial planners worked on it.
But then Sir Chhotu Ram died in 1945, a day after the Bhakra Dam project plan was ready. That left the field open to the new leaders of modern India to usurp all the credit that really belonged to Sir Chhotu Ram!
Sadly the people displaced during the construction of Bhakra Dam are still suffering and were never allotted anything.
“Thousands of residents of three assembly segments – including Jhandutta, Sadar Bilaspur and Sri Naina Devi – were displaced and, though many have been rehabilitated, most of them lack basic amenities. No one seems to be bothered about them and the state government has admitted 365 oustees have still to be rehabilitated”. (source)
When that shameless and gutter-mouthed spokesperson from Congress, Divya Spandana, who was better off as an actress than in politics, shared a rant by a kid who was high on emotion and low on substance, she wanted to counter PM Modi for having said that Nehru really did not do much.
Now, that we have dug into the history of Bhakra Dam, we now know that if at all Nehru’s association was not something to really write about – over 20 years in construction and thousands displaced WITHOUT any rehabilitation! We know now that Sir Chhotu Ram was the Father of Bhakra Dam, NOT Nehru.
The thing is that a lot of lies have been spread by Congress from the time of Nehru and no one was even allowed to counter that – such were the fascist ways of Nehru! Therefore, such lies became legends and stayed on forever.
How can you blame this kid who is the product of an education where we were never taught history properly at all!
In a subsequent post, we will straighten out the truth on Bhabha Atomic Research Center, which was another half truth!