Pratap Singh, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir - Informative & researched article on Pratap Singh, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir
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Pratap Singh, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir
Pratap Singh was the head of the Jamwal Rajput clan and the Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. He was succeeded by his nephew Hari Singh.
 
 Pratap Singh, Maharaja of Jammu and KashmirPratap Singh was the Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. He was also the head of the Jamwal Rajput clan. He was born on 18th July 1848. Before the accession of Pratap Singh, the British administration was represented by an Officer-on-Special Duty in Kashmir, but he had to perform only limited functions. The Government of India had made several efforts during the reign of Maharaja Ranbir Singh to elevate the status of the British Officer to that of an experienced and complete Political Resident. However, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir had effectively resisted these attempts. But later took advantage of the new succession and they were competent to post a Political Resident in the princely state of Jammuand Kashmir.

Rule of Pratap Singh
During the rule of Maharaja Pratap Singh of Jammu and Kashmir, the first essential step of progress was taken in the year 1889 with the completion of the Jhelum Valley Cart Road, from Kohala to Baramulla. In 1897 it was extended to Srinagar. Several feeder roads in the state of Jammu and Kashmir were also constructed including the roads that connected Srinagar with Leh and Gilgit. Before the end of his rule, motor cars had become the major means of transport. Other than construction of roadways, many attempts were made to connect the territory with the railway system but nothing significant materialised due to the prohibitive costs. In the year 1890, Jammu was connected to Sialkot in Punjab. Moreover, the State Government carried out the first land settlement in 1887. Therefore, the rights of the farmers were properly defined and the demand of the princely state was fixed for ten years. The objectionable form of forced labour was also abolished. By the year 1912, every district and tehsil was settled either for the first time or in revision. The share of the state of Jammu and Kashmir was fixed at 30 % of the gross produce and the revenue was to be accumulated in cash. The land settlement provided much required security to the farmers and cultivators, which eventually became accountable for their escalating prosperity. The revenue of the state also increased more than 100 per cent.

At Srinagar, a model agricultural farm was established for the extension of knowledge regarding the scientific methods of farming. Other measures such as the introduction of Cooperative Societies and establishment of the Department of Agriculture were also taken for the further development of the cultivators. Maharaja Pratap Singh also took various efforts to promote education in the state. Following the suggestions in the report of 1916, various alterations were made in the education system. Numerous new schools for both boys and girls were also set up and primary education in schools was made free. Steps were also taken to develop the state of education of Muslims. To meet the needs of higher education, the Prince of Wales College was established at Jammu in 1907; Sri Pratap College was established at Srinagar in 1905; Amar Singh Technical Institute and and Sri Pratap Technical School were also founded. Hospitals and medical facilities were also established at Jammu and Srinagar. Medical dispensaries were opened in other towns and important villages. These were under the charge of qualified doctors.

In the year 1904, a spill channel was constructed to divert the flood waters of the Jhelum. Further more, many irrigation canals and smaller channels were also constructed in the provinces of Jammu and Kashmir. Ranbir Canal in Jammu was the most important and longest with a total length of 251 miles. The hydro-electric projects established in 1907 at Mohara provided power that was utilised for lighting, industrial purposes but and also for dredging operations in the Jhelum.

Further more, sericulture, agriculture, horticulture and viticulture were encouraged and promoted in the state. These made much progress and become successful state industries. A silk factory was established at Srinagar that became one of the largest around the globe.

Personal Life of Pratap Singh
Maharaja Pratap Singh of Jammu and Kashmir had no children. He died on 23rd September 1925. He was succeeded by his nephew Hari Singh, who was the son of Raja Amar Singh.

Titles of Pratap Singh
Pratap Singh, Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir held many titles. These are mentioned below-
* Maharajkumar Yuvaraja Pratap Singh Bahadur (1848- 1877)
* Maharajkumar Yuvaraja Pratap Singh Bahadur, KIH (1877- 1885)
* His Highness Shriman Rajrajeshwar Maharajadhiraj Shri Pratap Singh, Indar Mahindar Bahadur, Sipar-i-Sultanat, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, KIH (1885- 1888)
* Colonel His Highness Shriman Rajrajeshwar Maharajadhiraj Shri Pratap Singh, Indar Mahindar Bahadur, Sipar-i-Sultanat, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, KIH (1888- 1892)
* Colonel His Highness Shriman Rajrajeshwar Maharajadhiraj Shri Sir Pratap Singh, Indar Mahindar Bahadur, Sipar-i-Sultanat, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, GCSI, KIH (1892- 1896)
* Major-General His Highness Shriman Rajrajeshwar Maharajadhiraj Shri Sir Pratap Singh, Indar Mahindar Bahadur, Sipar-i-Sultanat, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, GCSI, KIH 1896- 1911)
* Major-General His Highness Shriman Rajrajeshwar Maharajadhiraj Shri Sir Pratap Singh, Indar Mahindar Bahadur, Sipar-i-Sultanat, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, GCSI, GCIE, KIH (1911- 1916)
* Lieutenant-General His Highness Shriman Rajrajeshwar Maharajadhiraj Shri Sir Pratap Singh, Indar Mahindar Bahadur, Sipar-i-Sultanat, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, GCSI, GCIE, KIH (1916- 1918)
* Lieutenant-General His Highness Shriman Rajrajeshwar Maharajadhiraj Shri Sir Pratap Singh, Indar Mahindar Bahadur, Sipar-i-Sultanat, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, GCSI, GCIE, GBE, KIH (1918- 1925)

Honours of Pratap Singh
Maharaja Pratap Singh was honoured a number of times, these are as follows-
* Prince of Wales Gold Medal (1876)
* Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal (1877)
* Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India- GCSI (1892)
* Delhi Durbar Gold Medal (1903)
* Delhi Durbar Gold Medal (1911)
* Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire- GCIE (1911)
* Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of St John- GCStJ (1916)
* Hon. LL.D- Punjab University (1917)
* Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire- GBE (1918)

(Last Updated on : 27/03/2012)
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