Witnessing History: The Saviours Of Jammu And Kashmir
Photographer: Siddhant Sharma and Gurman Shaan Singh.

Witnessing History: The Saviours Of Jammu And Kashmir

Lest we forget, lest we forget.
– Rudyard Kipling

Tracing the diverse history of Jammu and Kashmir, this article focuses on those prominent people of the state who went beyond their call of duty to serve the public. One is known as the People’s man, while the other is recognized for the mission statement – Ek Vidhaan, Ek Nishaan, Ek Pradhan. Then there is a Duggar hero who as a common man fought the tyranny of the times and next there is the former ruler of J&K who is known for his assertion – Justice is my religion!

The article is second in the series wherein an attempt has been made to explore the different strokes of Jammu and Kashmir by surveying the monuments raised in the honour and memory of the state’s heroes and saviours. The current piece is a continuation of the first article which furthers the essential objective – to remember the past, lest we forget it at our future’s peril.

Mian Dido

  • He was an iconic warrior, a reformer and martyr of Duggar heritage.
  • Empowered the Jammu region by not only uniting the people of Jammu but also encouraging them to assert their Duggar identity.
  • He waged guerilla warfare against the corrupt political authorities and the moneylenders.
  • Led a rebellion against Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and bravely fought against Dogra Commander Gulab Singh, a member of the Jamwal clan of Rajputs. The latter executed Mian Dido, but faced many hindrances due to the united stand of the Duggar pride.
  • He is remembered as a Duggar hero, and as a tribute, a statue was raised to honour him.

Girdhari Lal Dogra

  • Known as “The People’s man” because of his down-to-earth nature, honesty and advocacy for equality.
  • Visited areas of the state without any security, as he was loved by the citizens.
  • Won elections after elections for keeping promises to the people, and going above and beyond his call of duty
  • Actively participated in the Indian Freedom Struggle.
  • Known for protesting against Begari system.
  • Was a successful Finance Minster, and when offered the post to become Speaker of Lok Sabha by Indira Gandhi, he politely declined in order to address the grassroots in person than through mediation.
  • Known for his significant works in social service, a statue was raised in his honour by G.L. Dogra Memorial Trust on November 27, 2001 and unveiled by then Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah.

Maharaja Hari Singh

  • Maharaja Hari Singh, a former ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, is known for his powerful statement, “Justice is my Religion”.
  • His contribution towards the education and empowerment of women has been exemplary. He put an end to Sati, championed widow remarriage, and attacked trafficking.
  • He was an unflinching advocate of abolishing caste discrimination. Hence is known as a secular leader and a social reformer.
  • The statue stands as a tribute to his meticulous service in ensuring the welfare of the people and the cause of the country as a whole.
  • Unveiled by The Union Minister for Health Ghulam Nabi Azad and Rajya Sabha MP Dr Karan Singh. Located at the Tawi Bridge, Jammu.

Pandit Prem Nath Dogra

  • Famously called as “Sher-e-Duggar”
  • Known for his powerful mission statement – Ek Vidhaan, Ek Nishaan Ek Pradhan
  • Was against special status accorded to J&K under Article 370, and was in favour of integrating the state with the rest of the country.
  • He established Harijan Sewa Mandal to empower the marginalized Harijans, and also initiated Brahman Mykhya Mandal to arrest the social malaise inherent in the ill- practices of Brahmanism.
  • In remembering his significant contributions to the society, a statue was raised by Vaidya Vishnu Dutt, President, Jammu Municipal Corporation on October 24, 1997 near the Tawi Bridge.

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Editor : Quleen Kaur Bijral Bijral

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