Jammu, 01-09-2018: Flaying the erstwhile BJP-PDP alliance for disregarding the sentiment of Jammu people with respect to announcement of September 23 as a State holiday to commemorate Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday, a strong contingent of Panther activists spearheaded by Mr. Harsh Dev Singh Chairman JKNPP and Mr. Yash Paul Kundal State President Young Panthers and other leaders staged a vociferous protest demonstration at Exhibition Ground Jammu. They raised slogans against BJP-PDP, NC-Congress Govts for their delay and deny tactics over the issue and appealed the Governor to honour the aspirations of Dogras over the subject.
While addressing the media, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh described Maharaja Hari Singh as one of the greatest nationalists and Indian patriot who had challenged the British Crown in 1931 at Round Table Conference in London declaring that, “I am an Indian first and then a Maharaja”. He said that the revered Maharaja shall always be remembered for showcasing his nationalistic ethos when he acceded the State of J&K to the Union of India by signing the historic Instrument of Accession of 26th October, 1947. He further maintained that Maharaja Hari Singh was the most progressive rule of princely India and declaration of his birthday as State holiday would be a befitting tribute to the legendary ruler which was long overdue.
Regretting the opposition to the holiday in previous govt despite resolution to the effect having been passed in legislative council, Mr. Singh deplored in particular the cowardly posturing of BJP Ministers who failed to get the same implemented inspite of the said resolution having the backing of legislative authority. He lamented that the BJP Ministers who remained mum in cabinet meetings with regard to holiday issue on Maharaja birthday, were now trying to hoodwink the masses by their untimely Jangle and rattle after loss of power. “Why were these people silent when in power? Why did they not assert while in power? Why did the holiday issue failed to find its mention in the Assembly or in the Cabinet meetings during saffron rule? Why did they not use their power and authority when in govt? And where were they when MLA langate Engineer Rashid used offensive and foul language against the Dogra ruler inside the Assembly in the presence of BJP Ministers and MLAs during the last budget scission”? Questioned Harsh. Accusing these political toddlers of double standards and playing to galleries for their vested political motives, Mr. Singh said that people would give a befitting reply to these opportunist leaders who changed their stance and political narrative with change in political situation.
Recalling the historic role of the late ruler, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh said it was due to the far sightedness and the administrative capabilities of Maharaja that the nefarious game plan of Pakistan of grabbing J&K was foiled and defeated. He said that the prudent ruler earned worldwide accolades for his progressive reforms in the fields of Judiciary, Education, Revenue, Finance etc. He was the pioneer of secularism and modern democracy who introduced several social reforms for women empowerment, alleviation of racial discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and colour, added Singh. Flaying the BJP Ministers of maintaining a criminal silence over the issue, Mr. Singh cautioned the State government that the policy of delay and deny on the subject could have serious ramifications. He said that since all the nationalist people of the State and the country were eagerly waiting for the announcement of the Govt.’s decision on holiday, any move to scuttle the resolution could lead to disastrous consequences beyond redemption. He strongly advocated the implementation of LC resolution in letter and spirit to acknowledge the unforgettable role of Maharaja Hari Singh and to fulfil the long cherished aspiration of the people of Jammu Pradesh.
Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Rajesh Padgotra, Mrs. Manju Singh, Mrs. Kesar Parveen Adv, Krishna Devi, Yogita Sharma, Gagan Partap, Sham Gorkha, Khajoor Singh, Shanker Chib, Capt. Narotam Singh, K.K Sharma, Rajesh Gondhi, Mohinder Singh, Rampaul Sharma, Rashpaul Singh, Vishab Singh, Udhayveer Sambyal, Partap Singh, Rohit Sharma, Sansar Chand, Naresh Kumar besides others.