Suket Satyagraha and Kunihar Struggle
- Like Mandi, Suket also came under the influence of Ghadar Movement in 1914. But soon authorities became active and all the supporters of Ghadar were convicted, which silenced the opposition for some time. (Suket Satyagraha)
- However, when maladministration, high taxes and Begar became unbearable, there were spontaneous uprisings in 1924, which forced the Raja to flee to Dehra Dun. The intervention of political department could only restore law and order and the Raja to the throne.
- For nearly two decades, Suket remained silent. Praja Mandal inside the state came to be recognised in 1945. ‘Mian Rattan Singh‘ was its President. Like elsewhere, Praja Mandal Suket also started demanding responsible government and by 1947 was ready to launch Satyagraha. The Raja used repressive measures to suppress it, but was unsuccessful. (Suket Satyagraha)
- Finally, to win over the people, he decided to set up a ‘Rajya Sabha‘. The Suket Rajya Praja Mandal did not take part in its elections. In February 1948, a Provisional Government of the Himalayan Prant was set up by Himalayan Hills States Regional Council (HHSRC) with the approval of AISPC.
- The HHSRC was established (in 1946) with the purpose to coordinate the activities of Praja Mandals in different States. It was an affiliate of the All India States People’s Conference. Its headquarters was at Shimla. (Suket Satyagraha)
- The Regional Council had amongst its stalwarts, Pandit Padam Dev Bushahri, Dr. Y.S. Parmar, Sada Ram Chandel, Daulat Ram Sankhyan and Mansa Ram, who took upon themselves the duty to establish a separate hill state.
- The President of Provisional Government was Pt. Shiva Nand Ramaul (Sirmaur) and other members were Sada Ram Chandel (Bilaspur), Padam Dev (Bushahr) and Mukand Lal (Suket). (Suket Satyagraha)
- In February 1948, Provisional Government met ‘Suni’ in Bhajji State and passed a resolution to secure the setting up of a full-fledged province. Suket was chosen as its first target.
- On 18th February 1948, under the leadership of Pt. Padam Dev, a non-violent attack was launched on Suket by satyagrahies. Within five days, three – fourths of the state had fallen and came under the control of Satyagrahies. Even the police personnel of the State did not put any resistance to prevent the onward march of the Satyagrahies. (Suket Satyagraha)
- On 23rd February, Raja Laxman Sen requested the IndianGovernment to send army to end the revolt. On 25th of March 1948, the States Ministry, Government of India, ordered the taking over of the Suket State and thousands of persons marched gloriously into Sunder Nagar. On 15th April 1948, Suket was also merged with Himachal Pradesh. (Suket Satyagraha)
- It was a small state near Shimla with an area of seven square miles. The first voice against the autocratic behaviour of the Rana was raised in 1920. The Rana of the state at that time was Hardev Singh. The movement leaders were charged with sedition and imprisioned. On their release in 1928, they made ‘Shimla‘ as their headquarters. (Kunihar Struggle)
- In 1939, in Shimla Kunihar Praja Mandal was organized. The chief leaders of Kunihar Praja Mandal were Shri Babu Kanshi Ram, Gauri Shankar etc.
- On 13th June 1939, Kunihar Praja Mandal was declared unlawful body by the Rana. On 8th July 1939, a deputation waited upon the Rana to acquaint him with their demands. These demands were: (Kunihar Struggle)
(a) Release of political workers,
(b) 25% reduction in the land revenue,
(c) To lift the ban imposed upon the Praja Mandal, and
(d) Setting up of a Reforms Committee. (Kunihar Struggle)
- The Rana decided to accept the demands and agreed to preside over a meeting of the Praja Mandal on 9th July 1939. Not only the people of Kunihar but also of Dhami, Bhajji, Nalagarh, Mehlog and Baghal and General Secretary of HRPM were present in the meeting.
- This was the first victory of democratic forces against an autocratic ruler. Kunihar success had only emboldened the Dhami Praja Mandal to try some tactics against the Rana of Dhami. (Kunihar Struggle)
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