NPP protests, seeks holiday on Maharaja’s B’day

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 5:  Exhorting the Governor to honour the resolution adopted by the State’s Legislative Council last year regarding announcement of September 23 as a State holiday to commemorate Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday, a strong contingent of Panthers activists led by Harsh Dev Singh, party chairman and other leaders staged a protest demonstration at Exhibition Ground here against the erstwhile BJP-PDP Government for keeping the announcement of most coveted holiday in abeyance.
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While addressing the media, Harsh Dev questioned the double standards of successive regimes in endorsing the holiday on the birth Anniversary of Sheikh Mohd Abdullah while denying the same on Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday. He said that the revered Maharaja shall always be remembered for showcasing his nationalistic ethos when he acceded the J&K State to the Union of India by signing the historic Instrument of Accession of  October 26, 1947. He wondered that if Sheikh Abdullah’s birthday could be observed as State holiday then why the same on Maharaja’s birthday was denied.
“Maharaja Hari Singh was the icon of secularism and modern democracy who introduced several social reforms in the fields of Judiciary, Education, Revenue, Finance etc. His contribution towards women empowerment, alleviation of racial discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and colour was impeccable and visionary. It was ironical that December 5 was being observed as a State holiday but September 23 was despicably ignored with a sectarian motive to disparage the achievements of the Maharaja and to hurt the sentiments of the Dogras”, Harsh Dev rued.
Lambasting the Congress, NC and PDP as well for maintaining criminal silence to endorse the policy of delay and deny over the subject, Singh deplored in particular the servile posturing of the then BJP Ministers who failed to get the same implemented while in power.

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