Grand celebrations of Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday across Jammu region

People gather in large numbers at Tawi bridge in Jammu to celebrate birthday of Maharaja Hari Singh on Friday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
People gather in large numbers at Tawi bridge in Jammu to celebrate birthday of Maharaja Hari Singh on Friday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

*Massive rally taken out by Yuva Rajput Sabha

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, Sept 23: The people of Jammu region today celebrated the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh, the last Dogra ruler of the Jammu and Kashmir State with great enthusiasm while Yuva Rajput Sabha took out a large rally in the City of Temples to mark the occasion.
Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha had declared the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh, which falls on September 23, as an annual holiday in the Union Territory of J&K recently. Today was the first holiday in this connection. Entire Temple City wore a festive look today.
The grand celebrations today started with the great grandsons of Maharaja Hari Singh Vikramaditya and Ajatshatru Singh, offering prayers at Shri Ranbireshwar Temple, at Shalamar Road in Jammu City this morning. Click here to watch video
“I congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the 127th birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh ji. Grant of holiday on his birth anniversary is a victory of all the people of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly the youth of Jammu,” grandson of Maharaja Hari Singh and former legislator Vikramaditya Singh told reporters.
The celebrations by the Yuva Rajput Sabha (YRS) led by its president, Rajan Singh Happy started in the form of grand rally from Kot Bhalwal to the statue of Maharaja Hari Singh at main Tawi bridge near Dogra Chowk, while scores of Team Jammu members led by Zorawar Singh also joined them. The people from all walks of life assembled at Tawi bridge and Maharaja Hari Singh Park to pay tribute to the popular Dogra ruler.
Wearing colourful turbans and holding flags of their organisation, several members of the Rajput community on two-wheelers, tractors, cars and even horses took out victory processions from Ban Talab area of Jammu North and then moved towards Tawi bridge via Janipur, New Plot, Amphalla, BC Road, Bus Stand and Jewel Chowk area.
They raised slogans glorifying Maharaja Hari Singh and brandished swords as part of the celebrations.
“Our continuous agitation and support by all yielded results and the Government has announced a holiday on the birth anniversary of the Maharaja after 75 years,” YRS president Rajan Singh Happy said.
Rajan said the Kashmir-based political parties, which have largely ruled the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, were opposed to the public holiday on the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh, who signed the instrument of accession with the Republic of India on October 26, 1947.
At the Tawi bridge, the BJP leadership led by its president, Ravinder Raina danced to tunes of drum beats amid slogans of ‘Maharaja Hari Singh Amar Rahe’. Sweets were also distributed among the people while medical camps were organised at several places in the city.
“It is victory of people. It is justice done. We congratulate the people of J&K, particularly Yuva Rajputs for their fight,” Raina told media-persons.
Former DyCM and senior BJP leader, Kavinder Gupta while paying tribute to Maharaja said that Kashmir valley based political parties had demeaned the rulers of the erstwhile Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir by concocting stories and distorting history. He highlighted the role of Maharaja and welfare schemes initiated by him for the general public.
Congress party led by its working president Raman Bhalla also arrived in the form of a rally at Maharaja Hari Singh Park and took part in the celebrations and asserted that it was time for the Central Government to fulfill another demand of restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s Statehood. He congratulated the people of Jammu and especially Yuva Rajput Sabha on this occasion and lauded their struggle which ended in a logical conclusion of holiday on Sept 23.
Former Minister and MP Choudhary Lal Singh also took out victory rally up to Tawi bridge and said it was time to fight for restoring Jammu and Kashmir’s Statehood. Mission Statehood leader Sunil Dimple and many others also joined celebrations at Tawi bridge.
Reports from Kathua, Samba, RS Pura, Udhampur, Reasi, Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch, Ramban and Rajouri said that similar rallies and celebrations were held across the region today. In Kathua, some public transporters offered free travel to passengers as a tribute to the Maharaja. In Samba, two rallies were organized in this connection.
During rallies from various parts of the Jammu district, traffic jams were created at several vital city points despite deployment of additional police and Traffic police officials. The traffic from main Tawi Bridge was diverted to Gujjar Nagar Bridge and 4th Tawi bridge by the concerned authorities.