Praja Parishad Movement gets Academic Recognition: Brig Anil Gupta

JAMMU, Mar 18 (Agencies): The much awaited demand of the people of Jammu and those whose ancestors were part of the Praja Parishad Movement has seen the light of the day with the Cluster University of Jammu and Jammu University including the study of the Movement in the fifth semester syllabus of BA (political science) course stated Brig Anil Gupta Spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party. As is well known the erstwhile Kashmir centric leadership had ensured that no mention of Dogra history especially post-independence is made in any textbooks/syllabus prescribed in schools and colleges in J&K. Under the rule of NC a deliberate effort was made to play down the Dogra history and identity and promote Sheikh Abdullah and its policies under the banner of Naya Kashmir.

Praja Parishad movement was launched in Jammu Region in 1949 against the authoritarian rule of Sheikh Abdullah who ignored the genuine needs and demands of the people of Jammu and Ladakh and promoted the Kashmiri interest only. While Sheikh was interested in making Jammu and Kashmir an autonomous Muslim majority state under the Indian Union Praja Parishad stood for its total integration with India. It was the Praja Parishad movement that sensitised the rest of the country about the intent of Sheikh Abdullah who enjoyed the patronage of Nehru led government in Delhi.   The movement came to an end in 1953 after the martyrdom of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee; founder President of Jan Sangh whose death in jail under Sheikh Abdullah’s care remains a mystery till date. During the Movement many Karyakartas of Praja Parishad were brutally tortured by the NC regime under Sheikh Abdullah and 15 Karyakartas sacrificed their lives while hoisting the National Flag (Tiranga) which Sheikh was opposed to since he wanted only the state flag to be hoisted in government buildings and official functions. Since Sheikh was opposed to growth of any opposition, he manipulated the 1951 elections to the Constituent Assembly declaring the candidature of all candidates fielded by Praja Parishad as null and void. This forced Praja Parishad to boycott the elections. There is tremendous scope of research on the subject said Brig Gupta.

Welcoming the decision of the two Universities Brig Gupta hoped that the other universities and the school board of education of J&K would also follow suit. Brig Gupta appreciated the effort of Nana Ji Deshmukh Library of Bharatiya Janata Party and its Convener Kul Bhushan Mohtra who had worked tirelessly to compile the history of Praja Parishad struggle and brought it in the public domain for the first time. The endless efforts of Mohtra Ji and his persuasionare responsible for the decision of the two universities. Brig Gupta also complimented the VCs of the 2 universities for taking this bold decision and hoped that this would encourage the research scholars of Jammu region to further study the Praja Parishad Movement so that the coming generations know of the role played by their ancestors in ensuring the total integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country.

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