Coronation Day of Maharaja Gulab Singh celebrated

Excelsior Correspondent

AKHNOOR, June 17: The 197th Coronation Day of Maharaja Gulab Singh, the founder of J&K, was celebrated at Jeo Pota, at the bank of river Chenab at Akhnoor as public function attended by large number of people gathered from almost all parts of Jammu region.
The function commenced with offerings of floral tributes at the Raj Tilak Platform by former MP and sitting MLA Ch Lal Singh, Maj Gen (retd) GS Jamwal, Brig (retd) Anil Gupta  and others,  where the foundation of the State was laid on June 17, 1822 and ended with rewarding prominent achievers such as  Vanshika Sharma, student of Saint Francis Higher Secondary School Akhnoor being topper in 12th.   and many other dignitaries.
Later,  former MLC Vikramaditya Singh also paid floral tributes to the portrait of two great warriors of North India  installed at the very place where Gen Gulab Singh was crowned as Ruler of Jammu on this day in 1822. The function was organized by Raj Tilak Celebration Committee headed by Th. KP Singh in collaboration with Maharaja Gulab Singh Memorial Trust.  Parveen Sharma, president Public Opinion Forum,  B S Slathia,  president Jammu Bar Association, K D Singh Jamwal, Chairman Provincial Kandi Movement,  Narinder Singh Bahu, president All India Bahu Biradari, Dr Haridutt Shisu, BS Jamwal and Dr Ashok Sharma besides many others paid floral tributes to the founder ruler.
Speaking on the occasion, Ch Lal Singh said that contribution of Maharaja for the welfare of his subjects and development of the state would be recognized and remembered by generations to come as we are remembering him as 6th generation. He described him as a visionary, brave and great human being who provided justice to all. Areas under illegal occupation of Pakistan were integrated in J&K by Maharaja Gulab Singh and are very much part of India and must be taken back militarily or diplomatically whichever way it comes back. People living in Gilgit and Baltistan are ill treated by Pakistan. There is no democracy on the other side of the LoC.
He  further said that the State Govt keeps telling India to talk to Pakistan irrespective of Pakistan having unleashed terror in J&K but doesn’t talk about sufferings of our brothers there  and return of occupied areas. He condemned Pakistan for unleashing a reign of terror on the LoC and IB. Sufferings of people on the borders must end.
Speaking on the occasion, Vikramaditya Singh highlighted the importance of Jeo-Pota where historic Raj Tilak Ceremony was performed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to anoint Raja Gulab Singh as Ruler of Jammu.
He said that Dogra identity began at Jeo Pota which continues to bind us in brotherhood. Contribution of Maharaja for the State  would remain incomparable in coming times. He described him a visionary, brave and a great human being who treated his subjects as his own family. He explained circumstances under which he had to resign from the PDP because whenever he raised any issue regarding Jammu, he was questioned. He said he wrote to Education Minister to add Dogra history in the school books, it was not responded. My demand for Holiday on Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday was ignored. Hence I left the party and the Council seat, he said.
Welcoming the invites, K P Singh stated that Maharaja Ranjit Singh chose Jeo Pota and give identity to Akhnoor which unfortunately got lost in the storm of partition. It is pity that as students we didn’t know this historical fact of historical importance. People laughed at our ignorance. Dogra history was purposely demolished and we kept in the dark.  He said a seminar on Coronation of Maharaja will be held in London today when the morning breaks there by the NGO ‘Voice of Dogras’. He appreciated the role of Manu Khajuria in promoting Dogra history world over.
Maj Gen Jamwal covered the geo-political  situation and circumstances under which Maharaja Ranjit Singh had no option but to hand over Jammu to Dogra chief.  Once in command, Raja Gulab Singh, with his foresight, vision and valour and the support of his genius Gen Zorawar Singh created an empire of his own which served as an epitome of diversity, plurality, mutual respect and communal harmony.  He candidly explained how tactfully the British conspired against India, partitioned India, divided J&K and left a festering wound on the Indian soil.
Brig Anil Gupta who further elaborated the Dogra rule and asked Dogras to unite as custodian of our heritage.
Th GS Charak went over the discrimination meted out to Jammu and his fight against injustice to Jammu in details. He stated that there  is need to unite all political parties, all social organizations and one and all to fight against blandishment of  Jammu.
Several others  also spoke on the occasion.