Sep 23 State Holiday demand intensifies

GJ Report
JAMMU, SEP 16: Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Jammu (JKHCBAJ) was very pleased when the J&K Legislative Council adopted a historic resolution seeking declaration of state holiday to recognize Maharaja Hari Singh’s momentous decision to accede his state to the Indian Dominion. It had hoped that the J&K Government would complete all the required formalities and appreciate the sentiments of the people of the state by declaring by now September 23rd a state holiday under the Instrument of Negotiable Act.
This was stated by the president of the JKHCBAJ, BS Slathia while addressing a press conference here today.
Slathia expressed regrets over the state government having done nothing to recognize the splendid contribution of Maharaja Hari Singh towards the development of the state by giving an effect to the Council Resolution. He added that the inaction on the part of the concerned authorities has disappointed and shocked the people of the state.
The Association chief asserted that J&K was one of the few progressive princely states in the country, which was as people-centric as the princely states of Baroda and Travancore. He added that Maharaja Hari Singh was not just a benevolent ruler, social reformer and an ardent believer of the principles of rule and law and equality among all, but also a patriot of patriots. It was Maharaja Hari Singh who demanded liberation of India from the British rule in February, 1931 at the Round Table Conference at London, which the British Government didn’t like.
“The British Government hatched many conspiracies against him by instigating certain communal elements in the state to revolt against him and the Dogra’s pious rule in the wake of Maharaja Hari Singh’s pro-India role in the Round Table Conference,” claimed Slathia.
Appreciating Maharaja Hari Singh’s decision on the state’s accession, Slathia said that there would have been no POJK, had the Government of India accepted his offer of accession he made through his letters and the letters of his Prime Minister Mehr Chand Mahajan to the Government of India written before October 26, 1947. He pooh-poohed those who say that Maharaja Hari Singh was against the state’s accession to India and was for the state’s independence.
Slathia said that all the main stream political parties have voiced their concern and the State Govt should respect the aspirations of the people by declaring 23rd September as State Holiday. He also appealed to the Chief Justice of High Court of J&K to declare 23rd September 2017 as Holiday in the High Court of J&K. He further appreciated that MLA Nagrota who belongs to National Conference party vehemently pleaded on the floor of the house for declaring 23rd September as State Holiday besides social and religious organizations particularly Team Jammu, Traders organizations, Maharaj Hari Singh Vichar Manch, Amar Kshatriya Rajput Sabha, Brahman Sabha, JPPF, etc have vehemently pleaded for declaration of 23rd September as State Holiday but it is unfortunate that the coalition Government has not come forward to issue a formal declaration in this regard.
Slathia said that there is still time to take the necessary steps to declare 23rd September a state holiday in memory of Maharaja Hari Singh. He said no-action on the part of the state government in this regard would not be tolerated and the JKHCBAJ will do all that it could to force the authorities to meet the years old demand of the people of the state.
CCI Jammu today gave a call for a Jammu bandh, alleging the state government failed to meet their demands, including the deportation of Rohingya refugees.
President of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Jammu (CCIJ) Rakesh Gupta said the government did not heed their demands of deporting Rohingya Muslims living in the region and declaring the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh as a holiday.
He said members of the business community will observe a complete, peaceful shutdown on Monday to protest against the government.
Gupta said they would launch an indefinite shutdown if the state government did not meet their demands by Navratri.
He claimed Rohingya Muslims do not come under the definition of refugees and the UNHRC cards issued to them are not valid in J&K.
He said the CCIJ was “dissatisfied” with the slow pace of land acquisition for AIIMS at Vijaypur which was sanctioned two years ago.
Meanwhile Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) and senior leader of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vikramaditya Singh has written an open letter to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti demanding declaring of September 23 as state holiday as mark of respect for Maharaja Hari Singh.
Vikramaditya Singh also sought attention of the Chief Minister towards the historic resolution passed, unanimously, in the J&K Legislative Council in the month of January this year in this regard.
“I feel compelled to write to you on an important issue that is touching the core of the heart of the people of Jammu. As you are aware, Jammu has had a long standing demand that the J&K Government should declare Maharaja Hari Singh’s anniversary on September 23rd as State holiday. This is being supported by all sections of society, communities and the public at large”, Vikramaditya Singh stated in the letter, written to the Chief Minister.
“As a representative of the people and your MLC, it is my duty to bring to your attention that even today there are very strong sentiments attached with Maharaja Hari Singh, especially when it comes to the foresighted and progressive social reforms and developmental works that were undertaken during his rule as Maharaja”, he mentioned, adding, “His reforms cut across social, religious, caste and gender barriers to impart justice to all, be it, healthcare, education, forests, environment, irrigation, canals, flood projection channels, wildlife, fisheries, horticulture, sericulture etc.
He set up important and premier institutions for smoother delivery of justice like the J&K High Court, had introduced modern day banking system in the State by bringing highly qualified people from Mumbai to set up the J&K Bank”.
He further added that for the Dalits, Maharaja had opened doors of Jammu’s holiest city temples and allowed them to worship Gods. Maharaja had encouraged young girls to get education by giving them grants, banned child marriage, abolished the practice of ‘Sati’ and encouraged widow remarriage. And finally, he signed the ‘Instrument of Accession’ on October 26, 1947, making Jammu and Kashmir part of India.
Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party today called for ‘Jammu Bandh’ on September 18.
In a meeting held here this evening under the chairmanship of Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman JKNPP, it was unanimously decided to call for “Jammu Bandh” on September 18 against the BJP’s gross failure to address the issues of Jammu region and fulfil the aspirations of the people.
Singh has appealed to all the sects of the society including traders, businessmen, youth, students, social and political organizations to observe complete shutdown on Monday to express solidarity with the Bandh call.