Prem Nath Dogra Epitome of Service and Simplicity

Ravi Rohmetra
“Tu Nahi Teri Ulfat Abhi Tak Dil Mein Hai, Bujh Chuki Hai Shamma, Roshni Abhi Tak Mehfil Main Hai”
Duggar land has its own brilliant and unique history. It has given birth to Academicians, Social workers, Politicians, Singers, Actors and leaders of caliber. One product and prominent amongst them has been Pt. Prem nath Dogra. He was born in village Smailpur on 24th of October, 1884. He after schooling in a village school, graduated from Foreman college Lahore in 1908. Besides his academics, he was a prominent athlete, also won many prizes in sports field. He served the State Govt. in various capacities and was even given the post of Lent Office in-charge Bhadarwah Jagir of Maharaj a and later became the Wazir Wazarat (Deputy Commissioner). He was very principled person and acted judicously in dealing with the problems, but was accused of not having dealt with Muslim agitators in Kashmir valley severely. Though there was violence in other districts of valley, Muzaffarabad under the control of Pt. Prem Nath Dogra remained free from any sort of agitation and people lived cordially. The vested interests then manipulated for his premature retirement. His retirement was a boon to him as he got ample time to interact with the masses to know their problems. On social side, he founded Hari Jan Sewa Mandal to help the upliftment of Hari-Jan. Dauntingly on March he gave birth to Brahman Mukhya Mandal to help eradicate social evils in Brahman society.
Besides he emerged as leading member of Dogra Sadar Sabha, was elected member of Jammu Municipality and remained its Vice- President foe a decade till 1949. All this gave him prominance and in 1945 elections, he was elected to assembly (Praja Sabha). He during 1963-64, was the Sangh-chaalak at RSS for J&K. Under his stewardship as Sangachaalak, he lead to carry out by berkline jobs for organizing relief camps for the refugees from West- Pakistan and uprooted people due to Pak invasion during 1947. His services and help to clearance operation by forces added colour to his feathers and he became a popular personality amongst masses. The then Prime Minister of J&K Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah arrested him in 1949 on concocted blames but Jammuite’s agitation forced his release. All efforts failed of the then government to help Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah to dominate and detain Pt. Dogra. Pt. Dogra was now elected president of J&K Praja Parishad (1950-1964), then he got himself relieved from there. He was staunch believer of democracy in real sense and fought for uniformity all around the country under the slogan “EK NISHAN, EK VIDHAN, EK PRADHAN’ and to give full unquestionable integrity to the country. The agitation to achieve above motives attracted jail for him for nine months. Though detained in Kashmir, he was elected Member Assembly in 1957 then also in 1962 and 1967 from Jammu City North. He proved to be a great parliamentarian and earned praises of his opponents like the then Chief Minister Gulam Mohd. Bakshi and G. M. Sadiq. He even rose to level to hold the President’s post of All India Jan-Sangh for the year 1955-56. He lead the Jan-Sangh group in the Legislative Assembly.
To sum up, Pt. Dogra proved to be a true and faithful solider of soil and everyone is proud of him. In his whole life, Pt. Dogra while serving State Govt. in various capacities, had not taken Government accommodation, Kothi or Quarter, not even a vehicle. This shows his epitome of simplicity and dedication, who stood for secular values throughout his life.
He served the people of the State for a long time in various capacities and always worked for poor and down-trodden sections of society. He was a real friend of people and a man of high stature. Pt. Dogra was an institution in himself whose principles, ideology, concern for Jammu and commitment for full integration of the State with the rest of the Country coupled with his pain for the society, earned him the distinction of being recognized as Sher-E-Duggar.