Maharaja Hari Singh was progressive thinker, social reformer: Bhalla

Former Minister and senior Congress leader, Raman Bhalla today said that the wise decision taken by Maharaja Hari Singh to accede to India at the time of partition displayed his patriotism and each one of us needs to salute him. He said that his birthday should be celebrated as a festival and each one of us must take pledge to fight all such forces which want to take this state away from India.
He added that Hari Singh, as the ruler of the state, initiated various schemes and measures for the welfare and uplift of the people as he had concern for their well-being. Such a great Maharaja deserves respect and honour and the same can be showered on him by declaring his birth anniversary as holiday. Bhalla said this after garlanding the statue of Maharaja Hari Singh Ji on his birthday at Sainik Colony today. Paying his homage to Maharaja ,Bhalla highlighted the social reforms introduced by Maharaja, such as, prohibition of child marriage, prohibition of smoking among children, polygamy, opening of doors of temples for scheduled castes and exhorted the youth to follow good deeds in their life. “Last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh did the improbable task of holding together the state for a century. The Dogras created the state of Jammu and Kashmir which included Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan, Muzaffarabad-Mirpur, Aksai Chin and Saksham Valley with feudatories like Hunza and Nagar. Not only was the state multicultural, multilinguistic and multireligious, it’s far reaching frontiers were an evidence of its formidable military prowess, unparalleled in history, he added. His reign was marked by complex political events,conspiracies, and sweeping changes which had the power to completely overwhelm a mere mortal. Despite his inner turmoil he stood tall and stoically behind his kingdom, while taking some of the toughest decisions that no other king had to before him. The fact that he maintained a dignified silence in the face of vicious slanderous campaigns against him so that his beloved Jammu and Kashmir could get a fair chance in an independent India stands proof of both his love for his state and his nationalist nature. His birth anniversary allows us the opportunity to celebrate a modern king who was a progressive thinker and social reformer,” Bhalla maintained. A Hindu king who ruled over a Muslim majority state is how he is often limitedly described, but it is only right in the context of current events to see how he rose above the communal stereotyping and stood by his words: “Justice is my religion” – his first statement after assuming the high office in 1925I. His army was a fine blend of Dogras, Sikhs, Gorkhas, Pathans, Hindu and Muslim Rajputs from Mirpur and Poonch, many of whom are now in Pakistan-occupied J&K and still swear loyalty to the Dogra dynasty.
“Faiths should not be so weak that they be threatened by touch. Everyone’s god is the same and the differences have been fabricated by us” was something he often said.

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