Accession Day: Valley lights up on this day when J&K became part of India
Srinagar, Oct 26: 26 October is observed as Accession Day in Jammu and Kashmir. The day marks the signing of the Instrument of Accession by the last Dogra ruler of J&K, Maharaja Hari Singh, with the then Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten.
The Jammu and Kashmir Accession Day was officially declared a public holiday in 2020 to be celebrated every year in the valley.
Signing of the Instrument of Accession
Under the Indian Independence Act, the country was divided into two nations- India and Pakistan. Sovereignty was restored to 580 princely states and they were given the option of joining either Pakistan or India or remaining independent.
Maharaja Hari Singh, the last monarch to govern the union-territory of Jammu and Kashmir had to choose between remaining independent, joining India, or joining Pakistan.
Hari Singh was a Hindu ruler. The fact that majority of his subjects were Muslim created unrest in the union territory. He sought India's help. The Government offered its help on condition of accession of the state to the Dominion of India.
Thus, the Maharaja inked the agreement on October 26, 1947.
The Jammu and Kashmir Accession Day is observed with great pomp. People celebrate this day by holding rallies, bursting firecrackers, singing India's national anthem, and raising the flag of India. In some areas, the festivities are as big as those of the Hindu festival of Diwali.
Kashmiri separatist leaders and outfits like Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and followers of All Parties Hurriyat Conference observe the "Accession Day" as "Black Day" calling it an alleged human rights violations by the India's "occupation" of Jammu and Kashmir.