JAMMU, Oct 21: Terming the founder of J&K State, Maharaja Gulab Singh a great warrior and visionary who not only was responsible for constitution of this border State but also extended its boundaries to China, Russia and Tibet, former Sadar-e-Riyasat and Sole Trustee of J&K Dharmarth Trust, Dr Karan Singh today said that late Maharaja was really a gem of our State.
Addressing a function here this evening organized in connection with observance of 226th birth anniversary of Maharaja Gulab Singh organized by Maharaja Gulab Singh Memorial Trust, Dr Karan Singh said that credit goes to Dogras and Sikh warriors in protecting the frontiers of the country and it was with the supreme sacrifices of the Dogra and Sikh warriors that the boundaries of J&K touched with Russia, China and Tibet.
This was a great achievement, he said, adding that Maharaja Gulab Singh not only united Jammu which was fragmented in small principalities but also united Kashmir, Ladakh Regions and Gilgit and constituted the State of J&K.
Dr Karan Singh said “our Dogra warriors laid down their lives for unity and integrity of this State and Gen Zorawar Singh a great Dogra warrior fought along with 10,000 Dogra soldiers from Jammu region and HP at high altitudes in Gilgit to extend the boundaries of this State”.
He said though other warriors in India including Maharana Partap have also fought against the nation’s detractors but they faced the challenges within while the Dogra warriors fought on frontiers.
He said it was the valour of the Maharaja that from a small village he rose to the ruler of a great State and attained the title of Maharaja. He, however, regretted that the State of which he had laid the foundation has not remained united and still it is in crisis.
Dr Karan Singh said during the Dogra rule “we tried our best to maintain brotherhood and unity of the State and it was our great legacy.”
While paying tributes to Maharaja Gulab Singh, he said “every year we assemble here to recall his contribution on his birth day”.
On the occasion Ved Rahi a well known novelist, film maker and Director was presented the Maharaja Gulab Singh Memorial Award for his services and contribution to culture of State.
Recalling his services, Dr Karan Singh said the Novel written by Ved Rahi on Lal Ded a great Rishi of Kashmir has been translated in many languages and it is a very good book.
He also paid tributes to Natrang Director, Padam Shri Balwant Thakur who has made a film on Maharaja Gulab Singh. Dr Karan Singh said Balwant Thakur worked hard on the film so that the people may know how the State of J&K was created.
Earlier, in his address, Ved Rahi paid glowing tributes to Maharaja Gulab Singh and said that his role in Indian history was no less than Chanakaya who was also named Kautilya. Chanakaya played a great role in uniting India after Alexander had invaded it and same role was played by first Home Minister of India, Sardar Valab Bhai Patel after independence of the country. But the role of Maharaja Gulab Singh was not less than them, he added.
Ved Rahi said, “if Maharaja would be reborn, he would feel pained to see the condition of the State of which he had laid the foundation. He will be pained to see that the entire minority from Kashmir valley has been forced to flee and the problems being faced by the border denizens on account of firing from across who too had to leave their homes and occasionally.”
He said, however, he will have one satisfaction that the Ladakh region is still the part of India.”
The welcome address was read by Ajatshatru Singh, MLC while the citation of Ved Rahi was read by Brig. (retd) J S Rajput.
On the occasion DVD of film on Maharaja Gulab Singh was also released. The students of DPS presented the Saraswati Vandhana during the start of function.