28 February, 2021

'Waste Of Money' But Dogra Tradition of Moving Capital Twice A Year Set To Stay In J&K

Called the 'Darbar Move', the practice of shifting the secretariat from Jammu to Srinagar and back every year was started by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1872

Trucking It
Lorries outside the civil secretariat in Jammu
'Waste Of Money' But Dogra Tradition of Moving Capital Twice A Year Set To Stay In J&K

The BJP, which takes pride in having got rid of the special status granted to Jammu & Kashmir through Article 370 of the Constitution, is all for preserving two vestiges of the pre-1947 Dogra monarchy: two capitals and the ‘darbar move’ from winter capital Jammu to summer capital Srinagar in April-May, and from Srinagar to Jammu in October-November. The practice of shifting the seat of government twice a year was started by Dogra king Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1872, alongside the int­roduction of the Ranbir Penal Code, which continued to be used instead of the Indian Penal Code in J&K so long as Article 370 was in force. “This won’t be changed,” says the BJP’s J&K general secretary Ashok Koul, though the party’s state spokesman Arun Gupta says it is the government’s prerogative to take a call. “But our position is that the arrangement of having two capital cities and the durbar move must continue,” says Gupta.

The authorities who were quick to rem­ove the state flag from the civil secretariat in...

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