Jammu, Sep 23: Jammu today wore a festive look to mark the celebrations on the occasion of birth anniversary of last Dogra Ruler Maharaja Hari Singh.
Despite facing tremendous pressure from Jammu-based parties, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir government has decided against declaring September 23, the birth anniversary of the last Hindu ruler of state Maharaja Hari Singh, as a public holiday.
Maharaja Hari Singh executed the Instrument of Accession–a legal document on October 26, 1947. By executing this document under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh agreed to accede to the Dominion of India.
Rallies, functions were organised today in the winter capital to celebrate the day with fervour. The roads in Jammu wore deserted look while private schools announced holiday.
The Bar Association of Jammu declared holiday for today in view Maharaja’s birth anniversary.
J&K High Court Bar Association Jammu, in a meeting held here yesterday under the Chairmanship of its President B S Slathia, Senior Advocate, has decided to celebrate the auspicious day of birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh at District Court Complex, Janipur Jammu and on account of the failure of the coalition Government in fulfilling the genuine aspiration of the people, on account of no decision taken by the state government in this regard.
J&K High Court Bar Association, Jammu celebrated Birth Anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh with pomp and show pursuant to the declaration of holiday on the eve of Maharaja Hari Singh Birth Anniversary by J&K High Court Bar Association, Jammu in the Court premises.
The celebration started with prayers and reciting of Ved mantras by a senior member P C Sharma, Advocate.
Floral tributes and homage was paid to Maharaja Hari Singh.
Prominent speakers who spoke on the occasion included B S Slathia, Sr Adv, President, JKHCBAJ, H C Jalmeria, Rajesh Thappa, Choudhary Masood, Sheikh Wajahat, Pawan Kundal, Monish Chopra and Surjeet Singh Andotra.
Each one of them in one voice lauded the contributions of Maharaja towards Social, Educational, Religious, Political, Economic reforms in the State, besides, his progressive attitude for the development of the State.
They also lauded his forth right role played during the round table conference held in London in the year 1931 asking the Britishers to leave India.
The speakers also appreciated the decision of the Association to declare holiday on this auspicious day in consequence whereof the work remained paralyzed in all the Courts.
They also acknowledged and appreciated the role of Maharaja Hari Singh as a ruler of the State to establish that doing Justice to the people of the State is his religion as a ruler irrespective of caste, colour, religion and creed of the individual.
“On the auspicious occasion of Birth Anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh, the modern architect of the state of J&K was discussed threadbare,” Slathia said.
He said, “We the people of state of J&K are with in India holding the National Flag very high only because of Maharaja Hari Singh. We feel highly gratified to the contribution of Maharaja Hari Singh in the socio-political and religious reforms in the state.”
It was Maharaja Hari Singh, who established High Court of Judicature in 1928 in the state to bring it at par with the progress of the country, he added.
In a separate function J&K National Panthers Party held an impressive 123rd Birth Anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh who ruled J&K from 1925 to 1952.
The Birth Anniversary function was presided by Opender Nath Khajuria, former General Manager of J&K Bank.
Khajuria was arrested along with Bhim Singh in 1961 in Jammu when they along with thousands students and youth in Jammu lowered the State Flag from the State Secretariat on the death of Maharaja Hari Singh who died in his exile in Bombay at the age of 66 only.
The birthday celebration is held at Jammu where several prominent Dogra personalities addressed the celebration function. Prominent among those who celebrated the function included General Goverdhan Singh Jamwal, former J&K Minister and senior Congress Leader, Rajendra Singh Chib, former Minister in J&K, a prominent social activist Prof Gulchain Singh Charak, Chairman, POK Migrants Narendra Chuni, JKNPP President, Balwant Singh Mankotia, General Secretary Anita Thakur, Advocate and Advisor-JKNPP Bansi Lal Sharma.
Khajuria in his address reminded the story of blackmail and treachery by the ruling clique in J&K.
Prof Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of National Panthers Party in his address warned the Parliament of India to accept integration of J&K with the rest of the country on the basis of the Instrument of Accession which Maharaja signed on 26th October, 1947 within one year.
He warned the Parliament of India that people of J&K shall no longer digest the insult and humiliation meted out to them for the past 70 years by keeping them out of the map of Indian democracy.
He said that the Fundamental Rights which every Indian enjoys since 1950 have not been made applicable to the residents of J&K and the Parliament of India has been discriminating against the residents of J&K by not legislating in respect of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Communications and Allied Matters till today.
He demanded to implement the order of Accession which Maharaja Hari Singh signed in 1947 within one year or face the consequences.
The Bar Association, traders organizations, transporters, team Jammu, JPPF, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), National Panthers Party, Congress, National Conference sitting MLC of PDP namely Vikarma Dittya Singh and all other religious and social organizations have time and again raised the issue of declaring the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh as Holiday in the State with the State Government, however, to no avail.
Meanwhile Team Jammu-an amalgam of lawyers, doctors, journalists and many Jammu centric NGOs today organized functions at around 70 locations and distributed sweets.
“It is shameful that BJP, who claimed to be voice of Jammu, once again failed to press the government in declaring holiday on account of Maharaja’s birth anniversary,” Zorawar Singh Jamwal, Chairman Team Jammu said. He said that stalls at many locations were established across Jammu region wherein sweets were distributed among the people and special programs were also organized to mark the celebrations.
However, a rally of youths shouting ‘Maharaja Ki Jai’ and anti-government slogans was also taken out in Jammu city.
Tight security arrangements were made around the winter capital to prevent any law and order problem.
Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party headed by its Chairman Harsh Dev Singh held protest demonstration this morning against the J&K government in failing to announce state holiday.