Enacting the Maharaja riding a horse, there were slogans of 'Maharaja Hari Singh ki jai'.
Maharaja Hari Singh, the last Dogra autocrat, was celebrated at the Republic Day function in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba district, capping a first.
Enacting the Maharaja riding a horse, there were slogans of Maharaja Hari Singh ki jai (Long Live Maharaja Hari Singh). This is the first time the monarch was celebrated during the Republic Day function.
Last year, J&K union territory administration declared Maharaja's birthday as public holiday - it was for the first time, a pre-Independence monarch was celebrated in free India.
Before Independence, there were 562 Princely states who acceded and integrated with India in 1947. J&K is the first place where a former monarch is officially celebrated.
Public holiday on Maharaja's birthday was a major demand of the BJP in Jammu.
When the British formally left on August 15, 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh wanted J&K to remain an independent state and also had a standstill agreement with both India and Pakistan.
But in the face of an invasion by tribal militias backed by Pakistan, Maharaja fled Kashmir and signed an Instrument of Accession with India on October 26 to get support of its army against invaders.
Ironically, while a monarch is now officially celebrated, the public holiday on the birthday of first democratically elected leader of Jammu and Kashmir, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, has been dropped from public holiday list after J&K was stripped of its statehood and special status in 2019.
Sheikh had rejected the two-nation theory and chose a secular India over Islamic Pakistan.
It's under Sheikh Abdullah's leadership that Kashmiri Muslim, both men and women, rose against Pakistani raiders and resisted their attempt to capture Kashmir till the time Indian Army landed in Srinagar on October 27, 1947.
"Hamla Awar Khabardar hum Kashmiri hain tayaar (Be aware Aggressor, we Kashmiris are ready to fight)" became a war cry. The vigilante groups formed across Kashmir dented Pakistan's hopes.
Contributions and sacrifices made by Kashmiri people, like, Maqbool Shirwani, who foiled a Pakistani plan to capture Kashmir, are being commemorated by the Army every year.