This has reference to various articles and letters published in this paper. I would like to add here that Maharaja Hari Singh was not only ruler of this State, but he was a great social reformer, who worked day and night for welfare of his people.
Maharaja Hari Singh was a great son of the soil. In 1922 when Maharaja Hari Singh was appointed as a senior member in the State Council to help Maharaja Pratap Singh in the conduct of administration his role in the said capacity had remained praiseworthy. It goes to his credit that he favoured the appointment of State subjects to all posts in the administration. He was in no case dominated by members of any religious faction and placed his trust equally in his Hindu and Muslim officials. He promulgated Agriculturists Relief Regulation which released the cultivator from the clutches of the money lender. The prevention of minor marriage act made it offence for parents to marry boys and girls before attaining the age of 18 and 14 respectively.
He announced that as Maharaja his religion was justice and it is also on record that he would attend the Id prayers of Muslims in Srinagar. 13th July, 1931 when communal out bursts in Srinagar suburbs had taken place where shops belonging to the Hindus were looted and three Hindus lost their lives was a sad event on the part of Kashmiriyat. There are people in the Valley who celebrate it as Martyr Day because of the resentment against some killings of Muslims on this day. The Maharaja appointed Chief Justice of State High Court to conduct an enquiry into 13 July firings but Muslims boycotted it and also questioned its independent nature. It was Maharaja Hari Singh who acceeded to secular India. It is a right decision taken by the Legislative Council of the State although taken very late to declare 23rd September the birthday of Maharaja Hari Singh as a holiday deserves appreciation. Maharaja Hari Singh was a great patriot and a social reformer of the first order. Branding him communal by some politicians does not behove well.
S N Raina