Press Trust of india

Karan Singh endorses demand to declare Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday a public holiday

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Jammu: Former Rajya Sabha MP and son of Raja Hari Singh – the last ruler of Jammu and Kashmir — Dr Karan Singh on Friday endorsed the demand of the locals to declare September 23, his father’s birth anniversary, a public holiday.

Locals here, particularly those from the Rajput community, have been protesting for the last fortnight in Jammu city with the demand to declare September 23 a public holiday in honour of the last Maharaja.

“There has been a long-standing demand and agitation among the youths in Jammu for a holiday on the birthday of my respected father Maharaja Hari Singh ji, which I strongly support,”  Singh said.

Talking about his father, he said ‘Bapu ji’ was a highly respected figure not only because he signed the historic ‘instrument of accession’ to India, but also because of the many progressive measures he took during his reign.

Throwing of Dharmarth Temple open to the Dalits, abolishing the obnoxious policy of ‘begar’, forced labour in Kashmir, building fine colleges and hospitals both in Jammu and Srinagar were some of the decisions, he said.

“I understand that the agitation is on hold for a few days. I would urge the UT government to reconsider the whole matter and accept the demand which will be widely appreciated not only by the youths of Jammu but by citizens of the state in general,” Singh said.

He said that continued agitation and disruption of normal life is not desirable in the highly sensitive border region of Jammu.

“I have conveyed my views on this matter to the Hon’ble Prime Minister,” said the veteran Congress leader.

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