JAMMU, Aug 11: Dogra Sadar Sabha involving its members and the civil society launched a massive campaign to save the Dogra heritage and took out a peaceful rally in Jammu city today.
DSS president and former minister, Gulchain Singh Charak was leading the protest march besides several senior retired Defence personnel. Members of the civil society and other biradaris rendered a tremendous support.
It has been observed that there is a severe onslaught to obliterate the past glory of the Dogras. The prestigious historical heritage site at Mubarak Mandi is in ruins due to persistent neglect of successive Governments. The efforts of restoration and renovation were obstructed, delayed & funds allotted by Government of India lapsed. The platform of Maharaja Hari Singh’s coronation has been dismantled. The valuable priceless old documents have been partially (42,000 files) shifted to Kala Kendra in unsatisfactory arrangement, in unsafe conditions exposed to humidity, pollution and are near decaying. Rest of the 5/6 Lakh files are also in bad care and unsafe, kept in old perishing buildings. All these need to be shifted to the old Information Office building in the Mubarak Mandi Complex immediately.
The Dogra Art Museum is also in bad shape and billions worth of exhibits have been/ and are perishing due to seepage, humidity and fungus which also need to be shifted in recently restored/renovated buildings of erstwhile Army Headquarter in the complex. Even the statue of Gen Zorawar Singh at Zorawar Chowk has been mischievously defaced in spite of it being in a high security zone and CC TV coverage. 275 priceless miniature paintings have been damaged in 4/5 years but no action has been taken for restoration or against the official responsible for criminal act. Last Governing Body meeting was held under the then CM Mehbooba Mufti on 29 Aug 2016 wherein various important decisions were taken in this regard but nothing has been done up till now. The re-constituted Governing Body of Mubarak Mandi, Jammu Heritage Society vide order No 322-TSM of 2017 dated 28, 09.2018, received Rs 5 Cr was under CAPX Budget for Royal Courts Restoration and work assigned to ASI but there is no effective mechanism to watch the progress.
Dogra Sadar Sabha took out a peaceful rally starting from Dogra Bhawan at 11:00 am and end up at Mubarak Mandi, where they held a peaceful dharna. Later, a memorandum was also submitted to the Governor, NN Vohra.