Meerut

Meerut

[meer-uht]
Meerut, city (1991 pop. 849,799), Uttar Pradesh state, N central India. An agricultural market, it processes flour, sugar, cotton, and vegetable oil. It is also an industrial center, with manufacturing and smelting concerns. Meerut was conquered by Muslims in 1192, ravaged by Timur in 1399, and became part of the Mughal empire. An important town of the Jat Bharatpur kingdom (mid 18th cent.), it subsequently fell to the British, who made it a major military cantonment. The first outbreak of the Indian Mutiny occurred in Meerut in May, 1857, but the British held the city.

Meerut (Hindi: मेरठ, Urdu: میرٹھ) is a city and a municipal corporation in Meerut district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is an ancient city located 72 km (44 miles) north-east of New Delhi. Meerut also has one of the major army garrisons/cantonments in this part of the country. According to Government of India, the district Meerut is one of the Minority Concentrated District in India on the basis of the 2001 census data on population, socio-economic indicators and basic amenities indicators.

Name Etymology

Ravana's wife Mandodari (in Ramayana) hailed from Meerut. The town may have derived its name from "Maya Rashtra", the capital of the kingdom owned by Mandodari's father Mayasura.

History

After the archaeological excavations at ‘Vidura-ka-tila’, a collection of several mounds, in 1950-52, a site 23 miles north-east of Meerut, it was concluded to be remains of the ancient city of Hastinapur, the capital of Kauravas and Pandavas of Mahabharata , which was washed away by Ganges floods. Though according to another tradition, the city is also given its older name, 'Mayarashtra' after 'Maya', the father of Mandodari, wife Ravana, the King of Lanka, as mentioned in Ramayana .

Meerut had been a centre of Buddhism in the period of Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka (r. 273 BC to 232 BC.), and remains of Buddhist structures, were found near the Jama Masjid, in the present day city . The Ashoka Pillar, at Delhi ridge, next to the ‘Bara Hindu Rao Hospital’, near Delhi University, was brought to Delhi, by Firuz Shah Tughluq (r. 1351 - 1388), it was later damaged in a 1713 explosion, and restored in 1867 .

Later during the rule of Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great (r. 1556-1605), there was mint for copper coins here .

In eleventh century AD, the south-west part of district, was ruled by Har Dat, the Dor Raja of Bulandshahr, built a fort, which was long known for its strength and finds mention in Ain-i-Akbari . He was later defeated by Mahmud Ghazni in 1018. Though the first big invasion on the city came later in 1192 AD, from Mohamed Ghori, when his general Qutb-ud-din Aybak attacked the city, and converted all the Hindu temples to mosques . Much worse fate was lay ahead for the district, and that came with the invasion of Timur in 1398, during which the Rajputs offered a tough resistance, at the fort of Loni, where he fought Sultan of Delhi, Mahmud Tughlaq, but eventually they were all defeated and later all the 1,00,000 prisoners, his army had taken in, since his invasion of India, were massacred, according to Timur’s own accounts in Tuzk-e-Taimuri . Thereafter he went on to attack Delhi, where he again massacred the local population, and returned to attack Meerut town, then ruled by an Afghan chief, Ilias, and took the city in two days, leading to wide-spread devastation, before heading North once again .

Meerut is famously associated with the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British East India Company , when chants of popular Hindi slogan "Dilli Chalo" ("Let's march to Delhi!") were first raised here. Meerut cantonment is the place where the rebellion started when Hindu and Muslim soldiers were given rifle cartridges rumoured to have a coating made of animal fat. The bullet wrapping was to be opened by mouth before use, which affected religious sensibilities of both Muslims and Hindus as the animal coating was alleged to be composed of pig and cow, since cow was the sacred animal for Hindus and pig was untouchable animal for Muslims.

Meerut leapt into international prominence during the revolt of 1857, when on 24 April, 1857; eighty-five troopers out of ninety of the third cavalry refused to touch the cartridges and after court-martial were sentenced to ten years imprisonment. This marked the beginning of a general movement of freedom from the British yoke, with the support of the civilian populace.

Meerut was also the venue of the controversial Meerut Conspiracy Case in March 1929, in which several trade unionists, including three Englishmen were arrested for organizing Indian-rail strike, this immediately caught attention back home in England, inspired the 1932 play titled Meerut Prisoners, by Manchester street theatre group, the 'Red Megaphones', highlighting the the detrimental effects of colonisation and industrialisation

Geography

Meerut is located at . It has an average elevation of 219 meters (718 feet).

Near-by cities are New Delhi, Roorkee, Dehradoon, Aligarh, Noida etc.

The map of Meerut can be found at Meerut Map

Demographics

Meerut City is also the headquarters of Meerut district which consists of 1,025 villages with a population of around (3.44 million) according to the 1991 census. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Meerut has an average literacy rate of 58%, lower than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 64%, and female literacy is 52%. In Meerut, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.

District population
District Male Female Totals
Urban 681,209 595,348 1,276,557
Rural 1,180,533 990,822 2,171,355
Totals 1,861,742 1,586,170 3,447,812

Meerut has one of the largest Muslim populations among the major cities of India(close to 45%). There is also a significant Christian population. Meerut was the site of one of India's worst communal riots during the 1980s. For details on Meerut riots please see

Industry

Meerut Gold Market is No. 1 in Asia ...in term of Business of Gold . Meerut City is famous for many types of industries. Meerut has seen a boom in the construction business as this city now has many buildings, shopping complexes and apartments. Meerut is the largest supplier of sports goods and also the largest manufacturer of musical instruments in India. One of the leading Pharmaceuticals manufacturer, Perk Pharmaceuticals Ltd., is also located here.

According to statistics compiled by the Income Tax department, Meerut contributed a handsome Rs 10,089 crore to the national treasury in 2007-08, performing better than Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhopal, Kochi and Bhubaneshwar.

Media

Meerut is becoming an important media center, as journalists from all over Uttar Pradesh and other Indian states are working in Meerut. Recently a lot of news channels have started to show programs focused on crime. As media centers are situated in Meerut, this city getting a good amount of publicity on national platform. The situation of law and order in recent past has improved a lot and media has an important role in it.

Press Club

In the Election of Press Club concluded on 13th April 2008, the total number of journos in city was counted around 500. This include journalists from all class of newspapers and news channels. After this proper constitution of Press Club Journalists are hoping a better future of Media in Meerut. President: Rajender Singh, Senior Vice President: Ravi Kumar Vishnoi, General Secretory: Lokesh Pandit,

By: Kamran Zuberi

Education

The city is home to the Chaudhary Charan Singh University, earlier known as Meerut University. There is SCRIET that is sir chotu ram instt. of engnn. & technology in the university campus. There is another prestigious Inter college namely Govt Inter college Meerut. On other hand in distance education: Chanakya Institute of Management & Science, 327, jai Devi nagar, Garh Road, meerut is Auth. Study Center : Vinayaka Missions University, Salem(TN).

Mythological significance

  • Lakshagrah(लाक्षागृह) (home of lac) described in the Mahabharata — designed in conspiracy to burn Pandavas alive by Kauravas — was situated here.This place is now called Barnawa. It is situated along the Meerut - Baraut road.
  • In the great Hindu epic, Ramayana, Shravan Kumar carried his feeble parents on his shoulders to all the pilgrimage sites in India, but it is believed that when he passed through Meerut, he was filled with evil feelings and put down his parents for some time to get some rest and water. It was here that Lord Rama's father, the king, mistook Shravan Kumar for a deer and shot him with an arrow by accident. Shravan Kumar's parents declared that the king's own first son would abandon him when he most needed him.
  • Meerut is also called as 'Ravan Ki Sasural' Ravan's Wife's home town.
  • Meerut was know as Maya Rashtra(Maya was the father of Ravan's wife Mandodri).

Trivia

  • On December 21, 2005, Meerut was in the national media when police officers clamped down on couples who were holding hands publicly, something which is unacceptable in this part of the country, as part of Operation Majnu. This "operation" targeted young couples out on a date. This event gained media attention- the actions of Meerut Police attracted scrutiny from state officials. After this event, the local police has become notoriously infamous.
  • Mall Road is a wide road in Meerut near what was originally a British Military cantonment. Raghbir Sarang was known to have raced horses and buggies on this road and was whipped for having beaten up an Englishman.
  • In the 1940s, Meerut movie theatres had a "Don't Move" policy during playing of the British national anthem.
  • In 2006 a fire in Meerut killed over 225 (official counting) people at a consumer electronics fair, held in Victoria park stadium. But, according to some unofficial sources, it was said that the number of affected people is more than 1000. This was followed by fire at Multiplex Cinema named as PVS Mall.
  • Meerut is famous for its sports goods(especially cricket goods),which are used all over the globe
  • Meerut is also known as the sports capital of India.
  • Having close proximity to the national capital of India, it's experiencing rapid growth in all sectors
  • Historic 'nauchandi Mela' is famous as a symbol of Hindu-Muslim Unity. Dargah of 'Hazrat Bale Mian' and the Temple of 'Navchandi Devi' are situated facing each other. During this 'mela' , sound of the temple bells and the Azan from the mosque situated at the shrine of Bale mian creates a 'spiritual echo'.
  • Meerut is also famous for its scissors and is famous as "city of scissors".

Further reading

  • Service and Adventure with the Khakee Ressalah; Or, Meerut Volunteer Horse, During the Mutinies of 1857-58, by Robert Henry Wallace Dunlop, Pub. R. Bentley, 1858.
  • The Chaplain's Narrative of the Siege of Delhi: From the Outbreak at Meerut to the Capture of Delhi, by John Edward Wharton Rotton. Pub. Smith, Elder, 1858.
  • The Mutiny outbreak at Meerut in 1857, by Julian Arthur Beaufort Palmer. Cambridge University Press, 1966. ISBN 0521059011.
  • Mutiny in Meerut, by Vivian Stuart. Aidan Ellis Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0856282103.

See also

References

External links


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