STATE TIMES NEWS MUMBAI: Eulogizing the credibility of the Dogra Samaj Trust, Mumbai in a grand cultural bonanza organized by it on the eve of Lohri, Harsh Dev Singh lauded the efforts of the trust for bringing all the members of the Dogra community staying in Maharashtra and particularly in Mumbai on a single platform to promote the Dogri language and culture among the people. “Its noble mission to extend all possible help to the community members at the time of critical junctures and medical exigencies during their visit here tantamount to benevolence which is praise worthy. At the same time, the matter of serious concern which bothers me is the fading Dogra culture and heritage back home which needs urgent attention before it’s too late. We must all unite and work in synergy to save, restore and preserve the pristine glory of the Dogras in J&K which is evanescing gradually with time”, asserted Harsh. Harsh was addressing a star studded gathering from Bollywood and Entertainment industry besides thousands of people from Dogra community in the mega function yesterday which lasted till midnight as Chief Guest at Chatterpati Shivaji Raje Ground in Bhawindi, Mumbai. Expressing his anguish over the down gradation of J&K from State to UT status, Singh regretted that nearly two centuries old erstwhile State which was founded by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1846 had been reduced to a Union Territory. “It came to us like a bolt from nowhere. It has posed a grave threat to our splendid heritage which we have always boasted and felt proud of. We must raise our voice in unison for the restoration of statehood to our sole Dogra territory in the national map”, said Harsh. Singh also showed his concern over the non inclusion of September 23 as Gazetted holiday on Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday in 2020. He made a fervent appeal to all the community members, Dogra celebrities, social organizations, civil society and intellectuals to intensify the movement so that the most cherished aspiration of the Dogras could be taken to its logical conclusion. “Let’s not forget that it was because of the tallest Dogra ruler, the J&K was acceded to the Union of India in 1947 and we got the opportunity to call ourselves as proud Indians”, Harsh divulged. Harsh also expressed his dismay over the delay in restoration of Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex in the old Jammu city. He asked the Dogra Samaj Trust, the present renowned celebrities from Duggar community, and the members of the audience to take cognizance of the sensitive issues and join the collective fight for the restoration and preservation of the dissipating Dogra heritage, language and culture. Among the Bollywood stars and producers who were present on the occasion included Mukesh Rishi, Actor, Tej Sapru (Actor), Preeti Sapru (Actress), Upasana Singh (Actress), Sunil Palwal (Actor), Hemraj Dogra (Producer) and Nidhi Sharma.
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