Friday, July 31, 2015



MUKERIAN (Punjab) 1952

Mukerian town falls in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. The town has a population of about 130000 persons . This historical town was  visited by Alexander's invading troops  who are  reported to have camped in the town for three days . It falls on the road and rail link path that connects Jalandhar with Jammu.The town has some old  mosques,   temples,  Gurudwaras and a sugar mill apart from many other places of interest in and around the town. Sandwiched between the Beas in the north and the Sutlej in the south , Mukerian was carved out of Dasuya Sub Division , Hoshiarpur   in 1992.

The partition of the country deprived the resident of the J & K state   from a direct railway link with the country   as Sialkot fell to the newly created  Pakistan . This being so , the  Jammu  Railway Station across Tawi bridge ( Near present day Kala Kendra and previously J&K SRTC  Yard  ) turned useless. The  old Jammu -Sialkot  railway track , passing through  MIran Sahib and R S Pura  towns , could be seen for many years till 1970.  After 1947, the nearest train link from Jammu  was  from  Mukerian   station   in Punjab.

 It was only in 1952 ( 07-04-1952 ) that a railway link was extended upto Pathankote . This 45 km  railway link was formally inaugurated by  Shri N Gopalaswami Ayyangar,  the then Minister for Railways and Transport, Government of India. This  shortest  railway line brought the  Kashmir valley nearer to India and Pathankote became the busiest railway station due to passengers traffic   from the  J&K state ..
In this photograph , we can see Shri N Gopalaswami Ayyangar formally declaring the railway line open by switching on an electrical device which operated the ‘line-clear’ signal for the special train (seen in the background). Seated to the Minister’s right is Shri F.C. Bhadwar, Chairman of the Railway Board.  Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the then  Prime Minister of the J&K state  is  at the extreme left.

Not many people know that  article 370 of the constitution  was drafted by N  Gopalaswami Ayyangar, a civil servant from the then Madras Presidency. In  1937, he was.  appointed as the PM of Jammu and Kashmir by Maharaja Hari Singh  and served in the post till 1943. During 1947-48 he served as Minister without portfolio in Jawahar Lal  Nehru's cabinet before taking up the ministry of Railways and Transport from 1948-52. He was later Defence Minister for a year (52-53). 
Ayyangar was part of the 7-member drafting committee of the Indian constitution appointed on August 29, 1947. As a minister without portfolio, Ayyangar was in charge of Kashmir affairs and later led a delegation representing India at the UN .

( Avtar Mota )

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