A glance at the land-revenue paid by Muslims and non-Muslims in some of the Muslim majority districts will show the relative position of Hindus and Sikhs.
The city of Lahore consisted of the old walled town, Anarkali, Civil Lines and scattered houses here and there along the Lower Mall. Lahore began to expand in 1914 and the house building activity in Lahore received great impetus in the years 1929-37. The new Abadies (settlements) which come into existence since 1913 are Ramgali, Gwalmandi, Nisbet Road area, Rishi Nagar, Sant Nagar, Ram Nagar, Krishan Nagar, Janak Nagar, Qila Lachhman Singh, Qasurpura and Mohammad Nagar. Most of these Abadies are situated to the east and west of Lower Mall, skirting round it from almost Ravi Bridge to Nawankot. The other new settlements of importance are New Mozang, Islamia Park, Chauburji Gardens, Arya Nagar, Muslim Town, Garden Town, Model Town, Canal Park, Wasanpura, Dharampura, Misri Shah, Bharat Nagar, Singhpura and Ramgarh. A prominent feature of the new Abadis around old Lahore is that their growth has been on communal lines and that most of these Abadis are predominantly Hindu and Sikh.
A survey of Lahore carried out by the Punjab Government Board of Economic Inquiry gives the number of dwellings, their average monthly rent, ownership by communities, and distribution by localities. The survey shows that the total value of all dwelling houses owned by non-Muslims within the Corporation limits amounts to 12,27,64,800 rupees, whereas the total value of dwelling houses owned by Muslims amounts to 8.20,99,200. A complete census of the shops and commercial establishments was also taken by the Board of Economic Inquiry. The percentage of shops owned by non-Muslims in the walled city comes to 63. The percentage of outer Lahore comes to 67. The total number of shops in Greater Lahore, is 5,332 of which non-Muslims own 3.501.
Factories in Lahore
The Survey shows that out of a total number of 218 Registered Factories working in Greater Lahore in the year 1943-44 as many as 173 or 80% belong to non-Muslims. The total fixed capital invested in these factories amounted to a sum of Rs. 2 crores 40.27 lakhs. Of this the Muslim investment amounted only to 58.91 lakhs of rupees. Taking the figures of total capital investment, fixed plus circulating, we find that the total capital invested in the Registered factories in Greater Lahore amounted to Rs. 6.29 crores. The non-Muslim share in this total investment was Rs. 5.12 crores.
Lahore is an important banking and commercial centre and the money market in Lahore is fairly well developed. The Head Offices of as many as 26 Banks belonging to non-Muslim are located in Lahore. The total number of Bank Offices working in Lahore at present, however, is 90. Of the banks and branches at Lahore, only three belong to Muslims.
There are 80 offices of Insurance Companies in Lahore, 15 of them are Head Offices of such Companies. Of the Insurance Companies and offices only two belong to Muslims.
Lahore is an important educational centre of the province. The educational development has been very largely due to non-Muslim enterprise. The non-Muslim share in the promotion and development of educational institutions is stupendous. There are at present in Lahore as many as 270 educational institutions, recognised by the Education Department or affiliated to the Punjab University. Of this about 100 institutions are devoted to female education. The number of male students in these institutions is 64,902 and women students 23,447. Of the 12 Arts and Science Colleges at Lahore, giving education to 10,647 students, only one is run by the Muslims and one by the Government. The other 10 are run by non-Muslims. There are 15 professional colleges imparting education to 2,620 students. Of this number excluding three colleges run by the Government, all are run by non-Muslims. Of the 36 High Schools, imparting education to 26,647 students, only four are run by Muslims.
The total number of hospitals run on the modern allopathic lines in Lahore is 12. In addition there are four hospitals run on the indigenous methods of medicine. Not a single hospital run on modern allopathic, or on the indigenous lines is run by the Muslims.
AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE
As stated above 90% of the colonists who came to colonise this tract in the Sheikhupura district and Lyallpur district hailed from Ambala, Ludhiana, Jullundur, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Ferozepur districts. The towns of Gujranwala, Lyallpur, Gojra, Samundri and Toba Tek Singh are situate in this tract. There is an overwhelming non-Muslim population in these towns and the market is controlled by non-Muslims.
The Sikhs played a major part in the development of the rural area of this part and the urban area was built up mainly by the enterprise of Hindus. It would be correct to say that almost the entire trade, commerce and industry of the Lyallpur district and the portion of the Sheikhupura sub-district is in the hands of non-Muslims. In Lyallpur District in the year 1945-46 the non-Muslims paid Urban Immovable property Tax in the amount of Rs. 1,40,300 whereas the Muslims paid Rs. 22,900. The amount of Sales Tax paid by the non-Muslims in 1945-46 was Rs. 3,08,000 as compared to Rs. 17,000 paid by the Muslims. The Income Tax paid by the non-Muslims amounted to Rs. 59,50,000 as compared to Rs. 5,00,000 paid by the Muslims. Of the total number of 72 Registered factories in Lyallpur District, 57 factories are run by non-Muslims and only 15 by Muslims.
The tract mentioned above, comprising parts of Sheikhupura, Gujranwala and Lyallpur district is one contiguous tract and is Popularly known as the Shahidi Bar. In the preceding paragraphs an account has been given of the Sikh share in the development of this tract and there is no gainsaying that but for the Sikh enterprise the rural areas in this tract would not have been developed and but for the Hindu-Sikh enterprise the markets in this tract would not have flourished.
The peasant-proprietors again play a dominant role in the economic life of Shakargarh Sub-District. Out of the total area of this sub-district the non-Muslims own 1,72,111 acres of land as against 96,958 acres owned by the Muslims. Again the non-Muslims pay Rs. 4,45,000 on account of Land revenue in this sub-District as against a sum of Rs. 1,62,379 paid by the Muslims. The total number of villages of Shakargarh Sub-District is 744 and of this number the non-Muslim villages are 408 as against 311 Muslim villages, the remaining 25 villages are mixed.
The non-Muslims of Shakargarh Sub-District own the major portion of the urban property in the Sub-District and pay a greater portion of the taxes. As against Rs. 5,485 paid as Hasiyat Tax by the non-Muslims the Muslims pay only Rs. 2,943. The Income Tax figures for the sub-district show that no part of this amount is paid by the Muslims. Kartarpur, a place sacred to the memory of Baba Nanak is situated within the limits of Shakargarh sub-district.
Adjoining the trans-Ravi tract of Gurdaspur District in the preceding paragraphs is the Narowal Tehsil of Sialkot District. The population of Narowal Sub-District is 2,67,598, and out of this population the Muslims are 1,46,982, the rest being non-Muslims. The cultivable area in this sub-district is 2,61,378 acres and annual land revenue assessed thereon amounts to 3,95,768 rupees. This would show that the economic interests of the non-Muslims in this sub-district of Sialkot District outweigh the economic interests of the Muslims. This argument is reinforced by the voting strength of the Muslims and non-Muslims for the District Board elections. The electoral rolls of the Narowal Sub-District for the District Board elections would show that there are 16,031 non-Muslims voters as against 12,895 Muslim voters. The income-tax figures show a greater disparity, the non-Muslims paying annually Rs. 18,523-4-0 as against Rs. 2,716-1-0 paid by the Muslims.
To the facts enumerated above must be added the fact that in Montgomery, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi and Multan Districts Hindus and Sikhs had a large number of factories, banks, business firms, urban housing property, schools, colleges and charitable institutions which outnumbered the Muslim interest in these respects many times over in spite of the fact that the Muslims in all these districts were in an overwhelming majority in the population.
In the whole of the present West Punjab Districts, there were only two Muslim Colleges-the Islamia College at Lahore and the Zamindara College at Gujrat. As against this, there were about twenty non-Muslim colleges, including a first rate Medical College and an efficient College of Engineering. There were a large number of non-Muslim institutions also not affiliated to the University. In the matter of schools, the same proportion works out.
Sikhs have some of their most sacred Gurdwaras in the West Punjab. The freedom of these Gurdwaras and access to them for purposes of worship forms the sorest point of grievance which the Sikhs have at present against the Pakistan Government, and what is regarded as the easy attitude which the Indian Government is adopting with regard to this matter so deeply vital to Sikh religious sentiment.
The holiest of the holy of the Sikhs, Nanakana Sahib, birthplace of Guru Nanak-analogous to the Mecca of the Muslims and Jerusalem of the Christians. This Gurdwara also had a vast estate, developed along model lines as a farming colony, and it yielded an annual revenue to the Sikh community of about 20 lakhs of rupees.
There is then the famous Gurdwara Dehra Sahib in Lahore, site of martyrdom of Sri Guru Arjan Dev. There is the famous Shahidgunj, sacred in Sikh history as the place where the pioneer upholders of the Sikh Creed suffered torture and death at Muslim hands.
In Rawalpindi district there is the Panja Sahib Gurdwara, sanctified by Guru Nanak, and so is the famous Babe di Ber in Sialkot. In Gujranwala District is Eminabad. In Lahore District is Kartarpur, a place where Guru Nanak resided for a considerable time.
Besides these more famous Gurdwaras, there are hundreds of other shrines, associated with the Sikh Gurus, with holy men and with events in Sikh history.
There are then places associated with Sikh history, such as the Mausoleum of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore and his birthplace in Gujranwala. Sikh history and the dearest association of the Sikhs are enshrined in these places.