Accession Day in Jammu and Kashmir in 2020

Accession Day in Jammu and Kashmir in 2020
Sunset at Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir Image via Deposit Photos

  Dates of Accession Day in Jammu and Kashmir
2022 Wed, Oct 26Regional Holiday
2021 Tue, Oct 26Regional Holiday
2020 Mon, Oct 26Regional Holiday
  Summary
Commemorates October 26th 1947, when Maharaja Hari Singh signed off the Instrument of Accession, in which Jammu and Kashmir joined the Dominion of India.

When is Accession Day?

Accession Day is a regional public holiday in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir observed on October 26th.

History of Accession Day

This holiday commemorates October 26th 1947 when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession which was duly accepted and signed a day later by Lord Mountbatten, the then Governor-General of India. This completed the process of accession under the India Independence Act of 1947.

The Indian Independence Act divided British India into India and Pakistan and 580 princely states had their sovereignty restored to them. The princely states were then given the option to remain independent or to join the Dominion of India or Pakistan.

The Maharaja was a Hindu but the majority of his subjects were Muslims. He wanted to remain independent because he did not want to lose his monarchical power. After tribesmen and army men from Pakistan invaded the princely state, the Maharaja sought India’s help. New Delhi was willing to help him on the condition of the accession of the state to the Dominion of India.

In late 2019, the Lieutenant-Governor of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Garish Chander Murmu and his two advisors declared 26th October a gazetted holiday in the union territory.

At the same time as announcing this new holiday, Jammu and Kashmir dropped Martyr’s Day (commemorating the deaths of the 22 people who lost their lives when the Maharaja’s forces opened fire on them) and the birth anniversary of Sheikh Abdullah, former prime minister and chief minister of the union territory.

The festivities of the day are patriotic in nature and include holding rallies, singing India's national anthem, and raising the flag of India. In some parts of the state, the festivities rival those of the Hindu festival of Diwali.

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