Struggle for grant of holiday on Maharaja’s birthday gaining momentum

BJP president, Ravinder Raina and leaders of various organization on dais during a meeting at Jammu on Wednesday.

BJP has taken up issue with HM, LG: Raina

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, Sept 14: The struggle for grant of holiday on the birthday of former ruler of J&K Maharaja, Hari Singh has gained further momentum today with all social, religious, trade, transport, industries, student and other organisations passing a unanimous resolution to this effect at an emergency meeting organised by BJP at party headquarters here this evening.

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According to sources, the heads and other representatives of almost all social, religious, trade as well as other organizations of Jammu participated in the meeting which was convened by BJP UT president, Ravinder Raina to discuss the issue threadbare. During the meeting, a unanimous resolution was adopted regarding grant of holiday on Maharaja’s birthday in view of his role and services rendered to the people of the undivided J&K and later signing the document of accession with Indian Union by rejecting theocratic Pakistan and also not succumbing to British pressure to remain independent.
The speakers also termed the role of Maharaja as remarkable in freedom struggle of India who had volunteered to be the first ruler of any Princely State to quit and hand over power to public if British rulers quit India, sources said.
They said that it was for the first time after the Amarnath land agitation of 2008 that the representatives of all social, religious and other organizations had assembled on a single platform, extending their full support to the demand which they opined will be a great reward and tribute to Maharaja Hari Singh for his services.
It may be recalled that the people of Jammu for a long time were demanding a holiday on the birthday of Maharaja Hari Singh and they had launched a movement in this regard too. The BJP too had supported the demand from time to time keeping in view Maharaja’s visionary role and contribution in acceding to Indian Union and some revolutionary steps taken by him during his rule for the welfare and betterment of people of J&K.
BJP MLC Ajatshatru Singh had brought a private member’s Bill in Upper House of J&K Legislature while party president Ravinder Raina had moved a resolution in Assembly in this regard, sources said.
They said the BJP while strongly supporting the demand has also taken up the issue with Union Home Minister, Amit Shah and Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha. The party has even put a proposal that the announcement of holiday be made before the September 23 -the day of Maharaja’s birthday this year.
The party is also confident and hopeful that the Government will concede the demand and fulfill the long drawn dream of the people, sources said.
Ravinder Raina, while addressing the meeting at BJP Headquarters said that no one can ever forget the contribution of Maharaja Hari Singh in the history of Jammu & Kashmir as well as in the freedom struggle of India from the British. He said that BJP has followed the movement for the holiday since long and the party has ensured the holiday on the Vilay Diwas- (The Accession Day) which falls on 26 October.
“Maharaja Hari Singh is the icon of the Jammu & Kashmir, who was a great social reformer and patriot. He was first amongst all those who asserted for the Independent India challenging the authority of British. BJP has always been on the forefront of the movement to demand recognition of the efforts of Late Maharaja. Now the BJP will ensure the holiday on the birthday of Maharaja Hari Singh, Raina added.
Earlier, in an exclusive interview to Excelsior Ravinder Raina said that Maharaja Hari Singh was the founder member of Praja Parishad with Pt. Prem Nath Dogra who was the RSS Sangchalak at that time. He regretted that Congress tried to defame this great ruler of J&K and put him in exile.
He said Maharaja signed the instrument of accession on October 26 after the then RSS chief, Guru Golwalkar came to Srinagar and held a closed door meeting with Maharaja on the instance of then Union Home Minister, Sardar Patel.
Raina said Maharaja had good relations with RSS and from October 23 to 26 Guru Golwalkar stayed at Srinagar.
He said it was then Prime Minister, Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru who forced Maharaja in exile and the Praja Parishad which was founded in Delhi during a meeting attended by then Jana Sangh chief, Dr Shyama Prasad Mookherjee, former PM, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Pt Prem Nath Dogra as well as Maharaja Hari Singh who opposed that two Constitutions and two PMs can’t be in a one country.
Raina said in second Round Table Conference, the Maharaja participated and strongly advocated for India’s independence
He said Maharaja was also a great reformer who opened the doors of temples for downtrodden people (SCs) and also announced punishment for those who violated same. He was against the caste system. He defeated designs of Britishers who tried to pressurize him not to join the Indian Union.
Raina said BJP always celebrated Vilay Divas and said when Kavinder Gupta was Mayor of J&K he installed statues of Maharaja at Tawi bridge where a park was also established behind Jammu University. During BJP Government, Maharaja Hari Singh park was constructed and his statue was also installed there, he added.
He said it was during Governor rule in J&K and BJP Government at Centre that holiday was announced on Accession Day which is no less important than Independence Day and Republic Day for all of us. He said Maharaja’s great contribution was accession and holiday on that day is a great tribute to him. Now BJP openly supports holiday on his birthday, he added.
He said BJP is hopeful that the holiday will be announced by the Government before his birthday falling on September 23 this year.
Ramesh Arora (President Arora Vansh Sabha), Zoravar Singh (Social Activist), Neeraj Kumar (Chamber), Arun Choudhary (Arya Pratinidhi Sabha), Deepak Gupta (Ware House), Yash Paul Gupta (President Retailers Association), Ved Sharma (Dogra Brahman Pratinidhi Sabha), Mahant Rameshwar Dass , Arun Gupta (President CCI), Thakur Narain Singh (Amar Kshatriya Rajput Sabha), Kavinder Gupta (former Dy. CM) and Mayor Chander Mohan Gupta, spoke in favour of the demand for holiday on birthday of Maharaja Hari Singh during the meeting at BJP office.
Rajesh Verma (Chowk Chabutra Bazar association), Rajinder Kumar (Link Road Bazar Association, Vijay Gandotra (Dogra Khatri Sadar Sabha), All J&K Megh Sabha Naresh, Dev Anand Gill (President All Valmiki Samaj), Murari Lal (President Kashyap Rajput Sabha), Ramesh Arora (Arora Vansh Sabha), Kali Das (All J&K Sadar Mahasha Sabha), Hira Lal Bhat (Kashmiri Hindu Samaj), Amar Kshatriya Rajput Sabha, Traders Welfare Association, Fattu Chougan Trader Association, Traders Welfare Association Bus Stand Jammu, Ramesh Kumar Tak, Rajan Gupta, Anil Kohli President Apsara Road Association, Sanjay, Pooja Kapoor (President Residency Road Trader Association), Anoop Mittal (President) Ashish Mahajan (GS) Kanak Mandi Trader Association, Sanjay Gupta (President Raghunath Bazar Association), Deepak Gupta (President Trader Association Ware House), Kashmir Pandit Sabha (Ambphala) Anil Wakhloo, Ram Dhan (President Kashyap Rajput Peer Mitha), Brahm Kumari Ashram (Rehari), Ramesh Chander (President Central Basic School Purani Mandi Association), Karuna Kshatri (All J&K Gorkha Sabha), J&K Gorkha youth (Munish Adhikari), Suraj Narain Pangotra (Ex. GS All J&K MSS), Shammi Naryal, Ashok Tanotra, Ravinder Mittal (GS Aggarwal Sabha), Hardeep Aggarwal (Sr. Vice-President), Prabhat Singh (GS Shree Sanatan Dharma Sabha), Sanjay Gupta (Treasurer Shree Sanatan Dharma Sabha) and others were amongst the prominent social and religious associations and their representatives to support the cause.