On Martyrs Day, Governor calls for collective efforts for JK's development

On the eve of Martyrs Day, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik called for collective efforts from all sections of society to secure rapid growth and development of the State on all fronts.

In his message on the occasion, “Governor observed that Jammu and Kashmir has always been known for its glorious pluralistic ethos and harmony and emphasised the crucial importance of maintaining unity and brotherhood for ushering the State towards peace and prosperity,” an official spokesman said.

Barring the Bharatiya Janata Party, the entire spectrum of political ideologies in Jammu and Kashmir observes July 13 as Martyrs Day across the State.

On this day in 1931, 22 Kashmiris were killed in firing by the forces of the then Dogra ruler Hari Singh outside the central jail in Srinagar. The day, observed as a government holiday in J&K, marked a turning point in the long Kashmiri struggle against the Dogra autocratic rule remembered for tyranny and discrimination.

The 22 martyrs were laid to rest in the premises of the revered shrine of Hazrat Khawja Naqshband Sahab shrine (RA) at Khajwabazar in downtown. The graveyard is popularly known as Martyrs Graveyard. Except BJP, rest of the political groups in the state including the National Conference, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Congress observe the day as Martyrs Day and pay floral tributes at the graveyard.

Security check in Martyrs Graveyard a day before the official
function. Pic : Mubashir Khan/GK

National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah paid glowing tributes to 1931 martyrs.

Farooq said in a statement: “1931 stands out as a milestone in the history of Jammu & Kashmir. It was a fight of tyrannized against tyrants, of the oppressed against the oppressors. The day paved the way for a more organized struggle against the autocratic and oligarchic rule. It was then when one of the dying martyrs that had asked Sher-e-Kashmir: I have done my duty, now you proceed. Sher e Kashmir fearlessly carried forward the sacred mission of the martyrs unto his last breath.  It is now for the coming generations to carry forward the mission of those martyrs. The notable contribution of the martyrs of 1931 shall be remembered for all the times to come. On this day I pay my glowing tributes to each one of them. I salute their supreme sacrifice.”

Party vice president while paying tributes said: “It was a day of political awakening in Jammu & Kashmir. A great landmark in our history, the uprising of 1931, was reflective of growing political consciousness in our people.  The martyrs of 1931 will continue to be a beacon of humanity’s struggle for justice and dignity. I pay my earnest tributes to the martyrs.”

Former Chief Minister and president Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday paid glowing tributes to July 13 martyrs and said that with their blood these 22 pious souls wrote a new chapter in the state`s history.

In her message, Mehbooba said that best tribute to the martyrs of July 13 will be to keep striving for strengthening the institutions of democracy, justice and fair play.

She said that on this day we must resolve to rise above self and help in creating a tolerant society where everyone can grow in a free democratic atmosphere. “Let us all come together to develop a virtuous society which is just and guided by principles of secular democratic temperament.  This is what the brave heroes of July 13, 1931 taught us by laying down their lives against suppression and autocracy,” Mehbooba said.

Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone while paying homage to the martyrs of 13th July 1931, has pledged to carry forward their sacred struggle for empowering the traditionally disempowered Kashmiri and make him the master of his own destiny.

“The movement against the monarchy was started and led by the people of Kashmir, who immortalised their courageous fight by rendering the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. Their valiant struggle in 1931 was for change, a struggle against monarchy, oppression and feudal repression. Our struggle today is for change as well – against murderous and treacherous dynasties that left the monarchy well behind in their unquenchable thirst to kill, imprison and humiliate Kashmiris. The dream of Change that Peoples Conference stands committed to is inspired from the spirit of Change that was nurtured and sown by the martyrs in 1931”, he said. 

Sajad said that the souls of the martyrs of 1931, who rendered the heroic sacrifice would be dismayed to know that their fight against injustice was miscarried to abort the movement of change and was instead “manipulated to effect the replacement of a monarchy by brutal, ruthless anti-Kashmir political dynasties that went on to plunder the state.”

President of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM) Shah Faesal has paid glowing tribute to the martyrs of 13th July.

In a message on the occasion of Youm-e-Shuhada, Shah Faesal said they laid down their lives against a regime of oppression and tyranny.

He said sacrifices of the valiant martyrs shall continue to serve as a beacon light for the people of the state especially the youth to fight for their rights, dignity and justice.

He said it was sincerity of their mission that their sacrifices are being still remembered by the people of the state with the same respect and spirit as 8 decades ago.

On this occasion Chairman JKPM Javaid Mustafa Mir also reiterated the resolve to fight for the cause of the people of the state and against injustices meted out to its people. He said restoration of peace in the restive state and safeguarding the honour and dignity of its people was the sacred mission of JKPM which shall be pursued as an act of faith.

The J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President G. A. Mir has paid glowing tributes to Martyrs of 1931 recalling their sacrifices for the prestige and honour of the people

Remembering martyr’s of 1931, JKPCC President G. A. Mir said the sacrifices of Martyrs will continue to inspire the generations leading them at the path of harmony, brotherhood and unity in JK.

“They fought against injustice suppression and oppression, laid down their lives for justice and equality,” Mir added and said the martyrs gave their blood to end autocratic rule which will always be remembered and respected.

Mir paid his respects and glowing tributes to the martyrs.

The BJP, however, stated that it won’t observe July 13 as martyrs day. “In Jammu and Kashmir, there are many role models like Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, who was popular in Kashmir and Maharaja Hari Singh was famous in Jammu region,” said BJP’s state spokesman Altaf Thakur. He said BJP will not observe July 13 as a martyrs day.