LG declares Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday a public holiday; notification soon

Decision after meeting with BJP , YRS leaders

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, Sept 15: In a historic decision after 75 years of independence, the Government today declared holiday on the birth day of Maharaja Hari Singh the last Dogra ruler of J&K, falling on September 23.
The decision to this effect was announced by Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha following the meeting with a four member BJP delegation led by Devender Singh Rana and accompanied by members of Yuva Rajput Sabha led by its president Ranjit Singh Happy and leaders of other organisations.
Later, a handout issued by Raj Bhawan said “The Jammu and Kashmir Government has decided to declare Maharaja Hari Singh’s birth anniversary a public holiday”. A notification in this regard will be issued soon, it added.
It added that the announcement was made by Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha following his meeting with a delegation comprising prominent political leaders, members of the Yuva Rajput Sabha, civil society members, including head of J&K transport union, at the Raj Bhavan today.
“The Government has taken a decision to declare Maharaja Hari Singh Ji’s birthday as a public holiday. Maharaja Hari Singh was a great educationist, progressive thinker, social reformer and a towering man of ideas and ideals. The public holiday will be a fitting tribute to Maharaja Hari Singh Ji’s rich legacy,” the Lieutenant Governor observed.
Pertinently, on the directions of Lt Governor, a four-member committee was constituted by the UT administration earlier this year to examine the public demand regarding holiday on the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh.
Prominent political leaders including senior BJP leader, Devender Singh Rana, Member Parliament, Jugal Kishore Sharma; Former Dy CM, Dr Nirmal Singh;, Sat Sharma; Ajit Singh, president All J&K Transport Union; Rajan Singh, President, Yuva Rajput Sabha and members of Yuva Rajput Sabha were present on the occasion.
Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Mukesh Singh, ADGP Jammu; Ramesh Kumar, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Vivek Gupta, DIG; Avny Lavasa, DC Jammu and Chandan Kohli, SSP Jammu were also present.
During past few years, the demand for declaration of holiday on Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday had become a movement with majority of political parties and orgnisations supporting the demand.
Only yesterday, nearly 100 organisations gathered in the BJP office here and passed a resolution demanding holiday on Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday.
Talking to reporters outside Raj Bhawan, senior BJP leader and incharge Himachal Pradesh, Devender Singh Rana said that the BJP has always taken up this issue and it was his party which passed a resolution in the Assembly and had tabled a private Member’s Bill in Legislative Council in this regard. He said it is the BJP Government led by Narendra Modi in Delhi and Centre’s rule in UT that holiday on Maharaja’s birthday with BJP and people’s struggle became possible.
While showing his utter happiness over the decision he complimented the people of UT as well as all those political parties who supported the cause.
Rana said earlier other parties in Government had become a stumbling block in announcement of holiday on Maharaja’s birthday but credit goes to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Home Minister, Amit Shah and Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha in conceding the demand of people of J&K.
BJP MP, Jugal Kishore Sharma said it is the occasion of celebration for the people of J&K. It is historic decision as Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha has agreed to the demand and soon notification will be issued regarding public holiday on September 23-the birthday of Maharaja.
Former Deputy CM, Dr Nirmal Singh said that Lt Governor Manoj Sinha has in principle agreed to announce holiday on Maharaja’s birthday falling on September 23. He said the notification in this regard will be issued soon. He termed it a victory of Duggar Pradesh and people of Jammu and Kashmir who have lot of respect and regard for late Maharaja.
Dr Nirmal Singh said that it is a great occasion of celebration for the J&K people as Maharaja was a great social reformer who treated all people alike. During his incarnation he had said that onwards his religion will be the religion of humanity and he treated all people alike. There was no discrimination in his Government among the people on the basis of religion, region and caste, he added.
Dr Singh said the announcement of holiday is the result of 75 year long struggle of people of J&K and it is because of the long drawn struggle of the people that Maharaja got respect and due place in the history which some “selfish leaders” having vested political interests had denied him.
Sat Sharma, senior BJP leader while complimenting the Lt Governor and Modi Government said a long drawn demand of the Dogras has been fulfilled today. He said it is a great tribute to Maharaja Bahadur for his contribution in general and his historical decision of making accession with mighty India.
An elated president Yuva Rajput Sabha, Rajan Singh Happy termed it the real freedom for Dogras and an outcome of the unity displayed by Dogras of Jammu. He complimented the media , NGOs and other organizations who supported the cause and Yuwa Rajput Sabha in the movement. He expressed his profound thanks to Lt Governor, Prime Minister, Home Minister and BJP leaders including Devender Singh Rana.
The Jubilant BJP leaders later straightway went to Bawe Wali Mata temple and paid obeisance to Goddess there. They held celebrations there and danced and hugged each other. They were also joined buy senior party leaders Vikram Randhawa and Rajiv Charak.
Meanwhile, BJP activists led by party president, Ravinder Raina held celebrations in front of Maharaja Hari Singh’s statue. The jubilant party men danced along with Raina and shouted slogans in favour of the decision.
Raina said that the decision is a great tribute to Maharaja for signing the instrument of accession against the wishes of Britishers. He said it is the victory of the people of J&K as Maharaja was given his due place in the history which some vested politicians had tried to erase. He said Modi Government deserves credit for reviving Dogra pride.
Meanwhile, some political leaders and prominent social activists have welcomed the decision terming it a great victory for the people of J&K.
BJP co incharge J&K Ashish Sood while talking to Excelsior on phone said it is really a day of celebration for all countrymen as Maharaja deserves all credit for signing accession with India. He said it was a commitment of BJP as the party had taken up this issue right from 1947 that the Maharaja deserves to be given his due place in the history. He complimented the people of J&K saying it is the result of their constant struggle.

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