12 notable personalities from JAMMU you ought to know- PART 1

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By Pawas

1. Maharaja Gulab singh

Maharaja Gulab Singh Ji He was the founder of royal Dogra dynasty and first Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, during the British Raj . Gulab Singh was born in a Hindu Jamwal Dogra Rajput family. Gulab Singh managed to preserve and expand his kingdom which was maintained by his successors until the Pakistani invasion of 1947-48. With the virtue of his ability and good fortune he pioneered the Royal Dogra dynasty and ruled the throne for 11 years.

2. Maharaja Hari Singh

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Maharaja-Hasri-Singh_Dogra-Ruler Maharaja Hari Singh was the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. A Hindu Dogra Rajput, Hari Singh was born at the palace of Amar Mahal on September 23, 1895. Hari Singh served as a page of honour to Lord Curzon in 1903, at the grand Delhi Durbar. Following the death of his uncle Pratap Singh in 1925, he ascended he throne of the state. He made primary education compulsory in the State, introduced laws prohibiting child marriage and opened places of worship to the low castes.

3. Qureshi Allah Rakha Khan

ustad_alla_rakha Born in Phagwal, he was widely known to the country as Allah Rakha. Fascinated with the sound and rhythm of the tabla at mere 12, the determined young boy then ran away from home to learn Tabla. His regimen of practice and dedication was legendary. He joined All India Radio Lahore in 1936 and enetered the film industry in 1943, composing music under AR Qureshi. His sons Fazal Qureshi, Taufiq Quereshi and most notably Zakir hussain are well- esteemed Tabla players. Ustad Alla Rakha Khan was awarded the Padma Shri in 1977 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1982.He became known as Pandit Ravi Shankar’s chief accompanist. He was well famed for his flawless timing, improvisation and composing. When asked to say a few words at his 80th birthday celebrations last year, he played the Tabla instead. “This is the language I know,” he told the audience.

4. Malika Pukhraj

pic05-b Born in a small village, Hamirpur Sidhar, Malika Pukhraj was a highly popular Ghazal and folk singer of Pakistan. From the very start Malika was exposed to a disciplined and strict regimen and she began training as a three year old. She was apppointed as a court Singer in Hari Singh’s Durbar and she stayed there for another nine years. She migrated to Lahore in 1947 and more fame knocked her door. She was later invited to India and was awarded with the ‘legend of voice’ award. She is extremely popular for her rendition of Hafeez Jalandhri’s song, Abhi to main Jawan hu, enjoyed by millions in India as well as Pakistan.

5. Deen Bandhu Sharma

Deenbandhusharma He was an Indian writer from the State of Jammu and Kashmir. He is best known for writing the award winning book, Meel Patthar which is a collection of short stories. The book also won him the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award. Bandhu Sharma was also the winner of Jammu and Kashmir for writing in 1975. For many years he was associated with Jammu and Kashmir radio station for singing shows and plays. Later, he quit that and started writing short stories in Dogri.

6. Dr. Rafique Anjum

anis-book020910-6 Dr, Rafique Anjum is a Gojri poet, scholar and researcher of Jammu and Kashmir. He received state level award for Excellence in Literature in 2007, and is a member of General Council of Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. A number of his poetic collections both in Urdu and Gojri languages have earned him accolades across the subcontinent. He represents the higher echelon of the modern Gojri scholarship.

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