Tributes were paid to late Maharaja Hari Singh on his 118th birth anniversary on Sunday. A function in this regard was organised by Duggar Vikas Manch (DVM) at his statue at Tawi Bridge, which he had crossed on June 29, 1949, and never returned again to the state, as he passed away in Bombay on April 26, 1961. A new bridge span, which has come up in the place of the Old Tawi Bridge, has been named after him.
The function was presided over by MLA Ashwani Sharma, while legislators Ashok Khajuria and Jugal Kishore were the guests of honour.
Presidents of all prominent 'sabhas' and social organisations of the state paid homage to late Maharaja Hari Singh and emphasised on his contributions. Various speakers highlighted the diverse facts of his personality and good governance.
The programme started with a Hawan Yagya to pay homage to the Maharaja, who had shunned publicity, whether it was for building his own image or for contradicting the false propaganda against him.
Ashwani Sharma said it was only because of the wisdom and political vision of the Dogra rulers of the J&K state that the people of entire state did not suffer the British tyranny as the people of the rest of country suffered during 200 years of the British rule in India.
"Maharaja with his political wisdom had preferred to join the secular state of India instead of theocratic state of Pakistan by signing the instrument of accession on October 26, 1947, and it is very unfortunate that some people who are beneficiary of this agreement are raising questions on the accession of the state with the union of India, which the Maharaja had signed," he said.
Maj Gen Govardhan Singh Jamwal asked writers and historians to keep a check on the wrongly projected facts as propaganda against the Maharaja and bring out the real historical facts about him.
Dineshwar Singh Jamwal, president of DVM, said it was the political farsightedness of the Maharaja who had dared to challenge the might of the British rule.
"Since time immemorial, there have been many kings and crowns and many of them had ruled with grace and dignity, yet not a single ruler in any part of the world had the courage to declare "justice" as his religion as Maharaja Hari Singh on July 9, 1925, immediately after being crowned as Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir had declared, "My religion is justice", which might have annoyed several religious persons, yet Hari Singh stood by his commitment," he added.