Do you know, Toba Tek Singh was developed by the British?
Toba Tek Singh, a city and District in the province of Punjab of Pakistan is named after a Sikh religious figure Tek Singh. According to the historians Tek Singh was a kind hearted man, who served water and provided shelter to the worn out and thirsty travelers passing by a small pond (toba in Punjabi) which eventually was called Toba Tek Singh, and the surrounding settlement acquired the same name.
Toba Tek Singh was developed by the British toward the end of the 19th Century when a canal system was built. People from all over the Punjab (currently Indian and Pakistani Punjab) moved there as farmlands were allotted to them. Most of the people who migrated there belonged to Lahore, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur District. The Imperial Gazetteer of India described the tehsil of Toba Tek Singh as follows:
Toba Tek Singh Tehsil of the new Lyallpur District (Now Faisalabad), comprised of an area of 865 square miles (2,240 km2). The population in 1906 was 148,984. It contains 342 villages, including Toba Tek Singh, the headquarters, and GOJRA, an important grain market on the Wazirabad - Khanewal branch of the North-Western Railway. The land revenue in 1905-6 amounted to 4.7 lakhs. The tehsil consists of a level plain, wholly irrigated by the Chenab Canal. The soil, which is very fertile in the east of the tehsil, becomes sandy towards the west. The boundaries of the tahsil were somewhat modified at the time of the formation of the new District of Lyallpur.
During the 1970s, when many cities in Pakistan were renamed to change names given after British Rulers to their original or native names or more acceptable names to local population, for example, Montgomery returned to its original name Sahiwal but Toba Tek Singh remained one of the very few cities to maintain its original name mainly because of reputation of Tek Singh. In 1982 Toba Tek Singh, formerly a subdivision, was separated from Faisalabad District and became a separate district.
Toba Tek Singh is located in central Punjab and occupies 3,252 square kilometers and is made up of large areas of lowlands that flood frequently during the rainy season. The floods originate from the Ravi River that runs along the southern and southeastern borders. The pre-partition Toba Tek Singh had a sizable Sikh population, much of which migrated to Punjab in India in 1947.
Toba Tek Singh is one of the best producers of oranges, locally known as kenno. It contributes towards export standard quality of oranges produced in all Pakistan. The majority of people living in this district work in agriculture and the region produces several kinds of agricultural and dairy products, including meat, eggs, cotton, maize, several pulses, peaches, guava, tomato, melon, water melon, mangoes, tobacco, onion.
Saadat Hasan Manto, an Urdu Novelist, wrote a short story entitled 'Toba Tek Singh' which is a satire on the partition of India. In the story, an inmate in an asylum frets over the question of whether his home town Toba Tek Singh is now in India or Pakistan. It was adapted into a short movie of the same name directed by Pakistani filmmaker Afia Nathaniel in 2005. It has also been made into an Indian short film by Ketan Mehta. Rapper Riz Ahmed released a track titled the same name in his 2020 album, 'The Long Goodbye'.
Mohammad Sarwar, Governor of Punjab, Pakistan, former Member of Parliament (MP), Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, Ehsan Adil, International cricketer for Pakistan, Punjab, Aasam Mukhtar Chaudhry Tamgah-e-Shujjat (Gallantry), Shafqat Rasool, field hockey player, Riaz Fatyana, MNA and ex Education Minister.