|Vol. VI, No. 2 Bhadrapad 10, 2009, August 25th, 1952 Four Annas. Air-/4/6|
Dr Mookerji in Jammu
When History was made
Dr Mookerji’s visit to Jammu was an event for that province. The scenes enacted on the route from Pathankot to Jammu were to be seen in order to be believed. They were of a nature to be carried down from father to son, over generations. It was a whole people bestir with a will to be free to become equal citizens of Bharat. Our roving correspondent who accompanied Dr Mookerji to Jammu here reports the historic developments in that province.
It was with the sword of the Kashmir Constitution hanging by the political thread over its head that the All-Jammu and Kashmir Praja Parishad held its recent conference. Realising that the seemingly constitutional rubber-stamping that Abdullah is seeking through the constitution would put into gave jeopardy both the social life of the people (i.e. Hindus) of Jammu in general as also the political existence of the Parishad leaders made a final and supreme bid to put their stand before the whole of Bharat and to this end requested Dr Mookerji to attend the conference.
On the Organiser
In continuation of its five-year old war on the Organiser, the Government honoured us with the first prosecution under the notorious Press (Objectionable Matter, Act (LVI of 1951).
On May 3, 1952, Deputy commissioner Shri Rameshwar Dayal of Delhi filed a plaint in the court of Delhi District and Sessions Judge Shri S. S.Dulat. The charge against us was that in our issue dated March 3, we had published a new-item regarding our Philippines Ambassador Baig and Mrs. Tarabai Baig which was “grossly indecent, Scurrilous, obscene and was intended for blackmailing Mr and Mrs. Baig and the Central Government.” The DC called upon the court to demand of us a security of Rs 30,000 (Rupees thirty thousand only)!
The case, which was argued by Public Prosecutor Raizada Kanwal Kishore for the Government and Sri Prakash Dutt bhargava for the Organiser, was heard on August 11 by Sessions Judge Sri Dulat and a jury of five. The jury, which was led by Sri Dharampal, editor of Urdu Daily TEJ included the editor of “Shankar’s Weekly”. Two of the jurors were Muslims—one of them being the editor of “Al Jamiat”.
The argements were over on the same day. The jury also gave its verdict UNANIMOUS that very day. It was : The matter complained of was objectionable but no action was called for and no security may be demanded. The Judge reserved the judgment to some future date.
Not that Dr Mookerji had no doubts about the strength of the Parishad. Had the party really much backing ? Or was it, as Abdullah persistently gave out and Pt. Nehru vehemently agreed, but an insignificant band of trouble makers, headed by a good man with bad lieutenants? Anyway, the Jana Sangh leader was prepared to see things for himself. It was more or less as a chance for a fact-finding tour that he accepted the invitation, and he said as much in his speech at Pathankot. With him went three MP’s of three different parties—Prof. V.G. Deshpande of the Hindu Sabha, Babu Ram Narain singh (then) of the KMPP and now an Independent, and Shri Uma Shankar Trivedi of the Jana Sangh.
What Dr Mookerji and his companions saw not only in Jammu proper but even on way side villages, more than fully laid low their doubts as to the strength of the Paraja Parishad. Villagers trekked for miles to line the whole route of sixty miles, and Dr Mookerji had to address more than half a dozen meetings enroute.
The Parishad conference opened with apacked delegates’ meeting attended by 570 delegates out of which more than 400 came from outside Jammu proper and represented each and every constituency of Jammu.
For long three and a half hours the vast gathering of 30,000, literally overflowing the quadrangle perching precariously on its ramparts listened in pin-drop silence to the speakers who included prominent Parishad workers as also MP’s Deshpande, Babu Ram Narainji and Shri Trivedi. The Parishad workers were Shri Vidya Prakash, M.A.L.L.B. President, Kathu District Praja Parishad and Shri Rishi Kumar Kaushal, Member of the Working Committee of the Praja Parishad. It may incidentally be mentioned that it was Shri Rishi Kumar, who hails from Riyasi, who countered Communism practically single handed when the Reds had virtually established a parallel Government in Riyasi some time back.