Declare September 23 as state holiday: Team Jammu

Reiterating resolve to carry forward messages and teaching of Maharaja Hari Singh, Team Jammu today regretted that the last Dogra ruler is a victim of the “malicious and vicious” campaign launched by Valley based ruling elites to undermine revolutionary steps taken by the visionary Maharaja.
Team Jammu further regretted that instead of recognising contribution of Maharaja Hari Singh’s in uniting the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the successive rulers in J&K always undermine such contributions of late Dogra ruler, who was a real social reformer. A well-knit nefarious strategy was devised by the Kashmiri ruling elites, with the connivance of some black sheep of Jammu, not to give due regard to the last Dogra ruler.
A large number of people from different walks of life including college students, irrespective of their castes, colour, creed and religions joined Team Jammu and paid floral tributes at Maharaja Hari Singh Statue on Tawi Bridge, today morning.
While paying floral tributes to Maharaja Hari Singh, chairman of the Team Jammu, Zorawar Singh Jamwal said that Maharaja Hari Singh will remain a role model for the generations to come. “The contribution of Maharaja Hari Singh is phenomenal as he has immensely contributed in every sphere of life which is remembered today as well”, he said, adding, “He was a visionary far ahead of his times and the contribution rendered by him would be remembered for ever,”.
Taking a dig at so-called incumbent democratic leadership of the State, Zorawar Singh Jamwal said that those claiming themselves as socialist, secular and democratic have failed to ensure justice with every section of the society. “It was Maharaja Hari Singh who had ensure justice to all human being irrespective of their caste, creed and colour or religion”, he said and added that Maharaja’s name is synonymous with the delivery of justice and, the social reforms brought about during his time remain unprecedented.
He said that people are misled and made to forget that he brought about strong laws for environmental & wild life protection, opened doors of places of religious worship for Dalits and other marginalized lot of the society, provided healthcare and made education for girls compulsory. Maharaja Hari Singh framed laws to protect and promote Sericulture, Chinar and Walnut trees, precious herbs and plants, fisheries and many such other fields.
Recalling revolutionary steps taken by Maharaja Hari Singh, he reminded that it was during his regime that legislations were against many a social evil unlike his counterparts in rest of the subcontinent. He abolished unsociability and sacked the priest of Shri Raghunath Temple when he found that the priest had refused entry to the lower castes despite his explicit orders.
He opened all public schools, colleges and wells to “untouchables” in 1931. A social reformer who was both ahead of his times, Maharaja Hari Singh was courageous and was a champion of women’s emancipation. Maharaja Hari Singh stopped the rampant practice of child marriage and actively promoted widow remarriage.
The Maharaja was a great educationist, and his endeavours to promote literacy in the state were inclusive of women’s education. Primary and secondary education was free. Besides making primary education compulsory in 1930, a special department for female education under a deputy director was set up.
Free conveyance was provided and staff would escort girls from home to school. Under the Maharaja, a special drive against illiteracy achieved a lot of success with around 4,000 adult literacy centres functioning in the state.
During his reign the number of primary schools went up from 706 to 20,728 in Jammu and Kashmir. Steps like free education till matriculation, scholarships and grants for backward classes, nominal fees in colleges, and
Urdu being added as a medium of instruction were in keeping with his vision of promoting literacy and higher education across a wide section of the people.

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