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While taking oath as Maharaja of J&K in 1925, he declared that my religion is humanity

New Delhi: September 23, 2017. (PCP) Shri Hari Singh was born on September 23, 1895 at the palace of Amar Mahal, Jammu, the only surviving son of General Raja Sir Amar Singh Jamwal (14 January 1865, 26 March 1909), the brother of Maharaja Pratap Singh, the then Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.

Education & Early Life

In 1903, Hari Singh served as a page of honour to Lord Curzon at the grand Delhi Durbar. At the age of thirteen, Hari Singh was dispatched to the Mayo College in Ajmer. A year later, in 1909, his father died, and the British took a keen interest in his education and appointed Major H. K. Brar as his guardian. After Mayo College, the ruler-in-waiting went to the British-run Imperial Cadet Corps at Dehradun for military training. Maharaja Pratap Singh appointed him as commander-in-chief of the state forces of J&K in 1915.

Maharaja of J&K

Following the death of his uncle Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1925, Hari Singh ascended the throne of Jammu and Kashmir. He made primary education compulsory in the state, introduced laws prohibiting child marriage and opened places of worship to the low castes.

During the World War-II from 1944–1946 Maharaja Hari Singh remained a member of the Imperial War Cabinet which was presided over by the British Crown.

In 1947, after India gained independence from British rule, Jammu and Kashmir had the option to join either India or Pakistan or to remain independent. Jammu and Kashmir was under tribal attack from Pakistani side and tribesmen from Pakistan invaded Jammu and Kashmir knowing well that the Kashmiries under the leadreship of Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah had publicly disowned Mohd. Ali Jinnah’s two-nation theory. In 1947 the Kashmiri Movement under the leadership of Sheikh Abdullah had not allowed Mohd. Ali Jinnah, the creator of Pakistan to address a public meeting at Lal Chowk, Srinagar in 1946. The 12 Dogra Battlalions of J&K made historic sacrifices, stopped the invasion from Pakistan side. Brig. Rajender Singh made a global history by smashing the Pakistani invasion at Uri. The day Maharaja Hari Singh was signing the Instrument of Accession at Jammu Royal Palace, Brig. Rajender Singh fell as martyr with nearly 125 soldiers of J&K Army, mostly the Dogras. It was Brig. Rajender Singh who failed Pakistani agression and saved the Valley of Kashmir. The glowing tributes were paid to martyr of Baramullah namely Maqbool Sherwani who did not allow Pakistani invaders to enter Kashmir Valley.

Maharaja Hari Singh appealed to India for military assistance to save the people of J&K from the Pakistani military attackers. Although the Indian Prime Minister Nehru was ready to send troops, the Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, advised the Maharaja to accede to India before India could send its troops. Hence, considering the emergency situation, the Maharaja signed an Instrument of Accession to the Dominion of India on 26th October, 1947.

Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession on 26th October 1947, joining the whole of his princely state (including Jammu, Kashmir, Gigilt-Baltistan Region, Ladakh, Trans-Karakoram Tract and Aksai Chin) to the Dominion of India. These events triggered the first Indo-Pakistan War in 1965.

He had a contentious relationship with both the Congress Leaders and, at the time, their most favoured and popular politician in the area, Sheikh Abdullah. Yuvraj Karan Singh was appointed 'Sadr-e-Riyasat' ('President of the State’) in 1952 and Governor of the State in 1964. Abdullah would later was dismissed from his position as Prime Minister of J&K and jailed by Sadr-e-Riyasat on the instructions of the then Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.

Maharaja Hari Singh spent his final days from 1949 to 1961 at his own house in Bombay. He died on 26th April, 1961 at Bombay. As per his will, his ashes were brought to Jammu and spread all over Jammu province and immersed in the Tawi River at Jammu by his son Yuvraj Karan Singh.

Thousands of students of Jammu led by Bhim Singh, Raj Kumar Sehgal, Karan Dev Singh, Brijraj Singh, O.N. Khajuria, Baldev Singh and other Jammu student leaders lowered the State Flag ‘half mast’ at Secretariat, Jammu in honour of Maharaja Hari Singh as the Govt. of India and the State Govt. had insulted the Dogras by refusing to grant the honour which the Maharaja deserves. The State Flag (not tri-colour) was lowered half mast by cutting its roots by the student leaders of Dogra Pradesh in honour of Maharaja Hari Singh. Bhim Singh and Raj Kumar Sehgal remained in different jails in Jammu, Kathua, Reasi and other places for over 15 months. The other students leaders including Mr. O.N. Khajuria (Former General Manager of J&K Bank), Mr. Jagdish Singh Dogra (younger brother of Bhim Singh) remained in jails for about 10 months. Mr. Karan Dev Singh, Mr. Brijraj Singh, Mr. Baldev Singh and other also remained in prisons for nearly 8 months also. They were tried before the judicial courts for more than 20 months for their alleged role to over throw the state and many similar offences. Several students were injured in police firing. The senior leaders remained in jails for over one year.

Prof.Bhim Singh with his colleagues and later with Panthers Party support and cooperation have been organizing Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday since 1963.

Prof.Bhim Singh has called on the Parliament of India to accept the command of the Instrument of Accession vis-Ã -vis J&K signed by the then Maharaja Hari Singh on 26th October, 1947 to bring all the three subjects vis-Ã -vis J&K namely, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Communications and Allied Matters under the direct control of Parliament of India as was offered by Maharaja Hari Singh. The Parliament of India has not till date brought these three subjects under its legislative regime and the Parliament has not exercise its jurisdiction to take care of these three subjects which the Maharaja had offered in 1947. Prof.Bhim Singh hoped that the Parliament of India shall adopt an appropriate legislative measures to bring these three subjects directly under the legislative control of the Parliament so that the spirit of the Instrument of Accession signed by the Maharaja of J&K shall be revived and the people of J&K shall get an opportunity to enjoy all fundamental rights which their brethren in the entire country have been enjoying since 1950. One India from Kanyakumari to Kashmir with one Flag and one Constitution and Fundamental Rights to all.