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The Ultimate Bhagat Singh Quiz: How well do you know your Indian history?

The Ultimate Bhagat Singh Quiz: How well do you know your Indian history?


On the occasion of Bhagat Singh’s 109th birth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to pay tribute:

The wording of the tweet is interesting, particularly the ‘indelible mark on India’s history’ part. Certainly, there can be no debate about the mark he left on Indian history. But history is only as indelible as the mind allows it to be. In other words, how well do you know Bhagat Singh?

Here’s a quiz that’ll let you know if it’s time to return to those dusty school textbooks:

BJP inducts 9 Congress rebels despite state unit’s unease

A week after Harish Rawat won the trust vote in Uttarakhand assembly, nine rebel Congress MLAs joined the BJP despite reservations of its state unit on Wednesday.The BJP leadership inducted the MLAs, including Vijay Bahuguna, after a long meeting with state leaders, including BC Khanduri, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and state unit chief Ajay Bhatt. The state unit had expressed it’s concerns about the fallout of the Congress rebels coming into the party fold in the elections next year. according to sources.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state leaders also conveyed that the political developments, the imposition of president’s rule and the trust vote had sent a negative message hurt the party’s image, sources said.There was speculation that a tenth Congress MLA may join the BJP later.The state leaders along with incharge Shyama Jaju held a meeting with party president Amit Shah.The final decision, however, was left to Shah.The state leaders felt Congress rebels joining the party could affect equations in constituencies, which the nine Congress rebels had represented and lead to more factionalism. The BJP leaders would also want tickets from the same seats.

Uttarakhand crisis: BJP, Congress trade charges after new purported sting targets Harish Rawat

Allegations of horse-trading and blackmailing flew thick and fast on Sunday ahead of May 10 trust vote, as Harish Rawat came under attack over a new sting video with BJP accusing him of trying to “buy” legislators while the ousted Uttarakhand Chief Minister claimed that MLAs were being threatened and their phones tapped by central agencies.A purported sting video targeting Harish Rawat which allegedly showed a conversation between rebel Congress MLA Harak Singh Rawat and Congress legislator Madan Singh Bisht was released today by a TV channel, further stirring the political cauldron with the deposed CM accusing the central government and BJP of indulging in “politics of blackmail”. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bisht allegedly said in the video that Harish Rawat was giving the money he had earned from mining to his MLAs to keep his flock together. BJP leader Bhagat Singh Koshiyari alleged that the video showed that Harish Rawat was “himself involved in horse-trading”.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: 12 Congress MLAs were paid Rs 25 lakh each by Rawat, claims fresh ‘sting video'”Earlier also there was a sting and now also a new sting video has come out in which the MLA is himself saying that the Chief Minister is Rs 25-30 Lakh to his own MLAs to placate them,” he claimed at a press conference in New Delhi.The Congress hit back alleging that BJP was hatching a conspiracy against Harish Rawat ahead of the trust vote. The party also wrote to Governor KK Paul, demanding that BJP leader and Uttarkhand incharge Kailash Vijayvargiya be kept away from the state till the trust vote takes place as he was “trying to vitiate the political atmosphere” in the state.”I charge the central government and the BJP that they are trying to create this politics of siege in this state. I have decided that after May 10th result, all these blackmailers who are blatantly trying to trap people by offering financial and other allurements, who are trying to blackmail the people, we will launch a fight against them under the leadership of Kishor Upadhyaya,” Rawat said. The Congress leader alleged that his phones and those of his relatives and aides were being tapped. “Central agencies are harassing Congress people through various ways,” he alleged.”Central agencies are openly being misused and not only my MLAs but political leaders are being threatened,” he said. “Our MLAs and leaders are getting threatening messages from conduits who are posing as relatives, well-wishers and acquaintances,” Rawat told reporters here. “I am also being kept under surveillance as if I am an anti-national,” he alleged. Rawat had faced allegations of horse-trading earlier after a purported sting video allegedly showed him negotiating to bring back rebel legislators.

Act against writers terming Bhagat Singh as terrorist: SP MP

A Rajya Sabha MP on Wednesday sought action against authors who had referred to freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh as terrorists in a history textbook, but some others said they had only sought deletion of such references and not the banning the book.”I will examine,” said Deputy Chairman P J Kurien in response to the demand by SP member Naresh Agrawal, who got support from treasury benches. Kurien had earlier instructed government to remove all references as terrorist against Bhagat Singh. “What action has been taken against the writers…Action should be taken against the writers also,” Agrawal said and got support from BJP members sitting in the treasury benches. When the House took up Zero Hour, KC Tyagi raised a ‘point of order’ saying the government has banned the history text book when it was asked only to remove the mention of terrorist in reference to Bhagat Singh in the book.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Delhi University has banned the book. I had not asked for withdrawal of the book,” he said. To this, Kurien said he had given a direction for removal of all references of terrorist to Bhagat Singh. “On that pretext, the book cannot be banned,” he said. He further said in today’s parlance, the word terrorist has a different connotation and should be deleted in reference to Bhagat Singh.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Muktar Abbas Naqvi wondered whether the pages referring to Bhagat Singh as terrorist should be torn or the book itself is withdrawn. “Writers will term Bhagat Singh as terrorist and we support them, this is not possible,” the Minister added.Shukendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) said the word terrorist has also been used in reference to freedom fighter Surya Sen, also known as ‘Masterda’. “What is the ruling (on this),” he asked the Chair. Kurien said the same ruling as in case of Bhagat Singh would be applicable to all freedom fighters who have sacrificed their lives for the country. Referring to a particular historian, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy alleged that he was paid Rs one crore as “honorarium” by the government. But his remarks were immediately expunged by the Chair.

Integrationist historians caught between Hindutva activists and non-nationalist academia

Bhagat Singh became one of my heroes when I was a teenager. Bipan Chandra introduced me to him – as a nationalist, an intellectual, a courageous hero of India’s freedom struggle.

In fact, Professor Bipan Chandra’s modern history textbook, which I studied in Class VIII, gave me a fascinating sense of how the Republic of India and its ideals came about. He introduced me to Ram Mohan Roy and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, as well as to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Henry Derozio.

Bipan Chandra wrote a history of inclusiveness, of integration, of social reform, of the formation of modern India. Subtly, in the corners of the minds and hearts of young people, that history shaped patriotism, a commitment to an India that nourished, cherished and embraced.

It is perhaps only natural that historians of an integrating, inclusive India are getting short shrift in a time when the divisive politics of Hindutva is on the ascendant. But this is extremely sad, for the recent attacks on Bipan Chandra and other integrationist historians could grievously injure the Indian republic.

Bhagat Singh. PTIBhagat Singh. PTI

Bhagat Singh. PTI

Chandra has been accused of describing Bhagat Singh as a terrorist. This is plainly mala fide. In fact, Chandra contributed hugely to valorising Bhagat Singh. In his later work (2006), Chandra wrote that `Bhagat Singh was not only one of India’s greatest freedom fighters and revolutionary socialists, but also one of its early Marxist thinkers and ideologues.’

Even when he and his co-authors used the term `revolutionary terrorist’ in an earlier work, they made it clear that they used it without any pejorative intent, and only because there was no obvious alternative to adequately describe Bhagat Singh’s methods.

In October 2007, Chandra gave a clarion call for the word `terrorist’ to be changed. `It was a word of praise then and was used to distinguish Bhagat Singh from the other streams of freedom struggle. But the word terrorism has assumed a very different meaning now. I would not like it to be used now,’ he told The Times of India.

The fact that, despite all this being on the public record, his provisional use of the word in 1988 has nevertheless been used to attack Chandra and his co-authors suggests that the intent is malicious. The most dangerous aspect of this in the long term is that, in attacking integrationist nationalist historians, Hindutva communalists could undermine the integration that has been achieved since the 19th century across the axes of language, caste, sect and religion.

Perhaps the saddest part of the intellectual war that is going on is that the attack against integrative nationalism by the Hindutva-based alternative is drawing its power and ammunition from intellectual streams that question nationalism entirely. The attack against Professor Chandra surely stems from the crisis that enveloped JNU after anti-India slogans were raised there on 9 February.

Chandra is closely identified with JNU, for he was one of the University’s founding professors. He retired as professor emeritus – and was also designated a national professor.

It is tragic that integrationist historians such as Chandra’s successors are caught in a cleft stick. On the one hand, Hindutva ideologues are determined to wrest the narrative of Indian nationalism from them. On the other, non-nationalist streams of scholarship often disparage them even more. The latter have greater salience, if only because streams of scholarship associated with post-modernism have been enthusiastically cheered in the academically dominant West. By contrast, academia generally considers Hindutva communal and xenophobic – and disparages nationalism as statist and passé.

Driven most often by altruism, schools of historiography such as subaltern studies have done valuable work to research the histories of tribal, caste and other groups that may otherwise have been ignored or subsumed in larger narratives. In so doing, some of them have at times supported, either openly or tangentially, movements that critique India’s unity as oppressive for subaltern groups.

They must respect the thin line between highlighting oppressive policies and undermining the constitutionally established system. Recent events in several countries have demonstrated the terrible consequences of weakening a system, even a flawed one.

On the other hand, those who are uneasy about such academic work should see that it adds vital layers and dimensions to our understanding of our country. It presents perspectives from which the project of nation-building can usefully be questioned, analyzed and corrected. It can help us to focus on and validate dimensions of society within the constitutionally established republic in order to minimize threats to the vision of the constitution.

Even though such schools of scholarship have often disparaged what I have called integrationist historiography the most, integrationist historians who worked closely with Chandra took the forefront in defence of those who gave space to Kashmiri agitators at JNU on 9 February – on the ground that, even if the slogans raised were objectionable, it was a University matter that ought to have been dealt with within the University rather than by police, politics and a high-pitched media trial.

It is for that courage to defend principles that they are paying a price – and Professor Chandra is being posthumously attacked. The ruling establishment has seized the opportunity to set upon them with vigour since they have in the past criticized the RSS sharply – not only for communal thrusts that undermine the integrationist project, but over RSS leaders’ timidity during the freedom struggle.

This is a sad and sorry spectacle. For it weakens the country. Nation-building is a constant, relentless process. It is a journey – a difficult one. In the Indian context, it is a journey of a vast and variegated caravan. To carry along all those who participate in this caravan is a tough task. Fellow-feeling and sensitivity are vital.

Attacking and pulling down sections of the caravan slows down and unsettles the entire caravan, and leaves it vulnerable to attack and to dissipation. National leaders must ensure that this does not happen, not try to make it happen.

DU textbook calls Bhagat Singh ‘revolutionary terrorist’, Anurag Thakur seeks debate in Parliament

New Delhi: A book which forms part of Delhi University curriculum calls Bhagat Singh a “revolutionary terrorist”, BJP member Anurag Thakur said in Lok Sabha on Wednesday and demanded a debate on what is being taught in the educational institutions across the country.

A woman holds the painting of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. AFP

A woman holds the painting of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. AFP

India’s Struggle for Independence, a book authored by noted historian Bipin Chandra and Mridula Mukherjee, have made such references, he said.

Thakur said the book also describes a Congress leader as a “charismatic leader”, which was a “joke” as the party had been reduced to 44 Lok Sabha seats.

This triggered protests from Congress members who objected to the mention of their leader, who was not present in the House. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan later expunged the Congress leader’s name.

In an UPSC examination, Thakur said, a question was asked about “revolutionary terrorism” of Bhagat Singh, a noted freedom fighter who was hanged by the British.

While taking strong exception to this, he hinted at the authors’ link with the UPA, saying Chandra was National Book Trust chairperson between 2004-12.

Mukherjee, he alleged, faced vigilance probe.

“There should be a debate on what is taught in this country,” he said, while noting that education plays a key role in building character.

Janta Dal (United) to raise Delhi University textbook controversy in Rajya Sabha today

Taking a strong note of a Delhi University textbook labelling freedom fighter Bhagat Singh as a ‘revolutionary terrorist’, the Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday said it will raise the issue in the Rajya Sabha.”We will be raising the issue of Delhi University textbook referring to Shaheed Bhagat Singh as a ‘terrorist’ issue in the Rajya Sabha today,” JD-U general secretary KC Tyagi said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to media reports, history textbook prescribed by the Delhi University has labelled freedom fighter Bhagat Singh as a ‘revolutionary terrorist’. The book also calls the Chittagong movement a ‘terrorist act’, while Sanders killing has been called an ‘act of terrorism’.
ALSO READ DU textbook refers to Shaheed Bhagat Singh as a ‘terrorist’, Smriti Irani calls it ‘academic murder’ The freedom fighter’s family has reportedly demanded the HRD Ministry to look into the matter and make appropriate changes in the textbook.

Situation under control in NIT, says Jammu and Kashmir DGP

Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir Koondaveeti Rajendra Kumar said the situation is under control in National Institute of Technology (NIT) and security (forces) would stay on the campus till required.”Situation is normal and very much under control in NIT. As long as the security is required on the campus it (forces) will remain there,” Rajendra told dna.Asked about the demands of the non local students for action against the cops for cane charge, the DGP said the enquiry has been ordered and they would wait for the report. “We will see when the report will come,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday ordered a time bound probe by the additional deputy commissioner (ADC) of Srinagar into the NIT incident. The commission has been asked to submit its report within 15 days.Around eight non local students were injured when police used lathi charge to disperse a group of 500 students who tried to lead a march and exit the campus gate on Tuesday evening.Non-local students have been demanding hoisting of tricolour on the campus and permanent security against outsiders who pelt stones and deployment of central forces. Other demands include shifting of NIT outside Kashmir, equality and transparency during all the examination, no harassment by the faculty and action against some faculty and administration members.Rajendra noted that the NIT would not be shifted outside Kashmir and there is no security threat in the valley. “They (students) are safe. If they are not safe how could so many of them reach Jammu (for their onward journey to their homes),” he said.To a question how Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena (BSKS) leader Tajender Singh Bagga reached NIT campus here when he along with his supporters were repatriated on Sunday, the DGP said he had quietly taken a flight from Amritsar to reach Srinagar. “We had pushed him back from Lakhanpur. He took the flight in Amritsar and landed quietly here,” he said.

Chandigarh airport to be renamed after Shaheed Bhagat Singh

The Haryana Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution to name Chandigarh airport after freedom struggle icon Shaheed Bhagat Singh. As soon as the Question Hour ended, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ram Bilas Sharma moved the resolution in this regard.Later, it was unanimously passed with ruling BJP and main opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) MLAs supporting it.Opposition Congress MLAs were not present as they have not been attending the assembly session to protest the six-month suspension of their three MLAs for tearing copies of the Governor’s address.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the resolution passed on Thursday, Sharma told the House that the state government would soon write to the Union Civil Aviation ministry in this regard. Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had recently said that his government had no objection to the airport being named after Bhagat Singh.With the airport’s terminal building falling in Punjab’s Mohali town, Punjab government has put up signages of ‘Mohali airport’, upsetting Haryana government. The Rs 485-crore airport project is a joint venture of Airports Authority of India (AAI), governments of Punjab and Haryana.

‘Bharat mata ki jai’ slogan row: What is wrong in worshipping mother, asks Venkaiah Naidu

Hyderabad: In a dig at AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi for his refusal to raise the ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ slogan, Union minister and senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday asked what is wrong in worshipping mother.

Venkaiah Naidu. IBNLive

Venkaiah Naidu. IBNLive

“It has become a fashion now to make an extreme meaning of everything and mocking at it. I won’t say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ even if my life is taken out. Before he reached gallows, (freedom fighter) Bhagat Singh said ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’,” Naidu said at an event in Hyderabad.

Naidu, who did not name Owaisi, said, “During the freedom movement, ‘Vande Mataram’ united all Indians. It means ‘Mata’ (mother), salutation to you. What ‘Mata’? not Christian ‘Mata’, Hindu ‘Mata’, ‘Muslim ‘Mata’, forward ‘Mata’, backward ‘Mata’. ‘Mata’ is ‘Mata’. What is the objection in that. Why, (it is said that) there is worship in that. Which religion said not to worship mother. Let me know. I am trying to know. I am ready for a debate”.

Alleging that such comments are made for vote-bank politics, Naidu asked if “he” (Owaisi) is the only leader of Muslims”.

“Did Muslims say ‘Bharat Mata’ is not needed,” he said, adding that religion is personal.

‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ does not mean worshipping the image of ‘Bharat Mata’ but having such a feeling inside, the Union Urban Development Minister added.

According to him, ‘Bharat Mata’ encompassed all Indians.

In a veiled attack on Congress, Naidu added “those who looted the country” express solidarity with those seeking “azadi” from corruption.

On the assertions of freedom of speech made in various quarters, the Minister said one’s freedom of speech should not inconvenience others.

The freedom of speech should not lead to social disharmony or law and order problems and that it should be within parameters of the Constitution, he said.

Earlier this month, amid the charged debate over patriotism, Owaisi had ruffled some political feathers saying he won’t chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ “even if you put knife to my throat”.


Why no political party is worthy of Bhagat Singh’s legacy

We’ve done some terrible things over the years to Bhagat Singh’s legacy. I am not just talking about parochial organisations trying to appropriate him as one of their own or Shashi Tharoor comparing him to a kid who gave one good speech, but the fact that we’ve let the likes of Sonu Sood and Bobby Deol portray him in movies.I mean somewhere up there in heaven Bhagat Singh is going: “Did I really die to have such inequities heaped upon me?” to which Netaji would probably reply: “Dude, at least Siddharth’s portrayal was good. And you don’t have to see your relatives cosplay you and pretend they can beat Mamata Banerjee in elections.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>But jokes aside, the truth is that despite this, no modern Indian political party is remotely worthy of Bhagat Singh’s legacy. Had he been around today, most of them (including the Communists) would be imminently uncomfortable with the various ideas that the remarkable young man held. Here are some facts about Bhagat Singh that we ought to revisit on the day when the British hung him for the assassination of British police officer John Saunders, which was in retaliation to the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.He was a staunch atheist and was against anything communalBhagat Singh was an avowed atheist, which led to a fellow prisoner calling him ‘vain’. At a time when religion seems to be the reason behind burning bridges in the nation and across the world, it is fitting that we revisit one of the most powerful essays ever written by an Indian. In his essay, the young revolutionary detailed the various reasons he had chosen a god-less path.In his seminal piece ‘Why I am an atheist’, he wrote: “As regard the origin of God, my thought is that man created God in his imagination when he realised his weaknesses, limitations and shortcomings. In this way he got the courage to face all the trying circumstances and to meet all dangers that might occur in his life and also to restrain his outbursts in prosperity and affluence. God, with his whimsical laws and parental generosity was painted with variegated colours of imagination. He was used as a deterrent factor when his fury and his laws were repeatedly propagated so that man might not become a danger to society.”(Read: Why I am an atheist, by Bhagat Singh)He was also shocked by untouchability as he wondered how we could practice such a heinous ritual in the 20th century. S Irfan Habib, wrote: “In the first piece, Bhagat Singh starts by saying that “our country is unique where six crore citizens are called untouchables and their mere touch defiles the upper castes. Gods get enraged if they enter the temples. It is shameful that such things are being practised in the twentieth century. We claim to be a spiritual country but hesitate to accept equality of all human beings while materialist Europe is talking of revolution since centuries. They had proclaimed equality during the American and French revolutions. However, we are still debating whether the untouchable is entitled for the sacred thread or can he read the Vedas or not. We are chagrined about discrimination against Indians in foreign lands, and whine that the English do not give us equal rights in India. Given our conduct, Bhagat Singh wondered, do we really have any right to complain about such matters?” “He was an anarcho-communistInspired by the writings of Mikhail Bakunin, Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, Bhagat Singh gravitated towards the idea of anarchy which must overthrow the government. He had written: “The ultimate goal of Anarchism is complete independence, according to which no one will be obsessed with God or religion, now will anybody be crazy for moeny or otherworldly desires. There will no chains on his body or control by the state.”In fact, he believed that anarchy was similar to the idea of universal brotherhood without hierarchies. His communist slant must also be put in context and not treated with the same retrospective lens that we treat communism now since we have seen states like China and Russia garble the fundamentals of that particular ideology to create oppressive states (not unlike the way modern-day terrorists use religion to justify their heinous crimes).As far as the young revolutionary’s thoughts are concerned, given his hatred for oppression, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would found the atrocities carried out in the name of communism abhorrent.He understood the power of ideas and literatureWhat truly set Bhagat Singh apart from his contemporaries is the depth of his intellect for the young man understood the power literature and language had on people. When he was just 16 years old he had written an essay for a competition organised by the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan in 1923, where he won him the grand prize of Rs 50.In a piece titled ‘The Problem of Punjab’s Language and Script’, he lamented the fact that Punjabi hadn’t been adopted by the denizens and that they refused to do so because of religious convictions (Hindus would prefer Hindi, Muslims would prefer Urdu, etc.).Giving examples of how other revolutions were built by language he explained: “Perhaps Garibaldi could not have succeeded in mobilising the army with such ease if Mazzini had not invested his thirty years in his mission of cultural and literary renaissance. The revival of Irish language was attempted with the same enthusiasm along with the renaissance in Ireland. The rulers so much wanted to suppress their language for the ultimate suppression of the Irish people that even kids were punished for the crime of keeping a few verses in Gaelic. The French revolution would have been impossible without the literature of Rousseau and Voltaire. Had Tolstoy, Karl Marx and Maxim Gorky not invested years of their lives in the creation of a new literature, the Russian Revolution would not have taken place, leave alone the propagation and practice of communism.”He went on to lament that this lack of a common literature was hurting the state . He lamented how Swami Ramtirtha had been forgotten in Punjab while his contemporary Swami Vivekananda had become a permanent institution in Bengal.He added: “We find only one reason on bottom, and that is the total lack of literacy interest and awakening, the truth is that no country or community can progress without its literature. But language is the primary need of literature and this is absent in Punjab. In spite of releasing this handicap for long, the question of language has still remained unresolved. The main reason behind this is the unfortunate communalisation of language in our province.”How extraordinary is it that a 16-year-old boy could understand the power of language in creating ideas and history? Read moreHe knew an idea was more powerful than guns and bombsInterestingly, despite his own act to avenge Lala Lajpat Rai, he abhorred individual acts of violence and believed they wouldn’t lead very far. He had written: “I am not a terrorist and I never was, except perhaps in the beginning of my revolutionary career. And I am convinced that we cannot gain anything through these methods. One can easily judge it from the history of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. All our activities were directed towards an aim, i.e., identifying ourselves with the great movement as its military wing. If anybody has misunderstood me, let him amend his ideas. I do not mean that bombs and pistols are useless, rather the contrary. But I mean to say that mere bomb throwing is not only useless but sometimes harmful.”He even urged the Punjab Students’ held in 1929 (under the guidance of Subhas Chandra Bose) to eschew pistols and bombs with ideas. The message that was read at the gathering read: “Today, we cannot ask the youth to take to pistols and bombs. Today, students are confronted with a far more important assignment. In the coming Lahore Session the Congress is to give call for a fierce fight for the independence of the country. The youth will have to bear a great burden in this difficult times in the history of the nation.” Read moreHe was the ultimate rebelPerhaps nothing sums up Bhagat Singh’s sheer audacity than this letter which he wrote to his father when the latter had approached the tribunal saying his son was innocent. Lashing out in a critical letter, Bhagat Singh said he wasn’t entitled to take a move on his behalf. Refusing to defend himself, since he felt he did no wrong, he wrote in the letter: “Father, I am quite perplexed. I fear I might overlook the ordinary principle of etiquette and my language may become a little but harsh while criticizing or rather censoring this move on your part. Let me be candid. I feel as though I have been stabbed at the back. Had any other person done it, I would have considered it to be nothing short o treachery. But in your case, let me say that it has been a weakness – a weakness of the worst type.This was the time where everybody’s mettle was being tested. Let me say, father, you have failed. I know you are as sincere a patriot as one can be. I know you are as sincere a patriot as one can be. I know you have devoted your life to the cause of Indian independence, but why, at this moment, have you displayed such a weakness? I cannot understand.”Bhagat’s response to his own father shows just how strong his ideals were and how deeply entrenched rebellion was in his veins. That’s why it’s sad to see political organisations of various hues trying to appropriate Bhagat Singh because, frankly, none of them are remotely worthy of his legacy.

Queen Elizabeth must apologise for executing Bhagat Singh: Pakistan activists

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth must apologise for executing legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in 1931 and pay blood money to his heirs, human rights activists in Pakistan said on Thursday as they marked his 85th death anniversary.Events to mark Bhagat Singh’s death anniversary was held on Wednesday in two different places in Pakistan’s Punjab province. The first ceremony was held at the birth place of Bhagat Singh — Chak 105-GB, Banga Chak, Jaranwala, Faisalabad district — some 100 kilometres from here. People from different walks of life attended the ceremony and paid rich tributes to him for his struggle for freedom.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The second function was held at Shadman Chowk where Bhagat was hanged along with his companions Raj Guru and Sukhdev on March 23, 1931 after being tried under charges of hatching a conspiracy against the regime.A resolution has also been adopted unanimously demanding the British Queen (Queen Elizabeth II) tender an apology for executing the freedom movement hero as well as paying blood money to his heirs.Bhagat Singh was initially jailed for life but later awarded death sentence in another “fabricated case”, they said.A written message of Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale was also read out during the occasion. Bambawale lauded efforts of the Bhagat Singh Foundation for organising the event to keep his memories alive.”We will submit this resolution to the British High Commission in Islamabad to be forwarded to the Queen,” rights activist Abdullah Malik told PTI today. “We will agitate with the British government to tender apology for executing Bhagat Singh,” he said.Shadman’s event was held under strict security in the face of threats from extremists. Since the Bhagat Singh Foundation has been demanding renaming the Shadman Chowk as ‘Bhagat Singh Chowk’ the Hurmat-e-Rasool, a sister organisation of Jamaat-u-Dawah, opposing it and suggesting to rename it as ‘Hurmat Chowk’.Iqbal Virk, owner of the Bhagat Singh Haveli, said Singh’s struggle is getting popular among the youth here as they often ask him about the background of Singh and his companions. “The government must organise events in the honour of Bhagat Singh on the eve of Pakistan Day (March 23) as he and his fellows had paved the way for freedom,” he demanded. The government had recently preserved two rooms of the Bhagat Singh’s haveli. The pictures of Bhagat and his fellows have been displayed in the rooms.

Congress has lost confidence in its leadership, looking for fresh icons : Venkaiah Naidu

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday took a dig at Congress, saying the party has “lost confidence” in its leadership, is “confused and demoralised” and its leaders are “sympathising” with Afzal Guru and AIMIM MLA in Maharashtra who refused to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.”Congress is so confused, demoralised and distressed, as it has lost confidence in its own leadership and is in search for fresh icons,” he told reporters here, a day after JNU Students’ Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar, who is facing sedition charges, met Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. Citing Congress MP Shahshi Tharoor’s comparison of Kumar with Bhagat Singh, whose martyrdom day is being observed today, he said there is a pattern in party leaders making such comments. He raked up senior leader P Chidambaram’s expression of “solidarity” with the AIMIM MLA and criticism of the Afzal Guru hanging judgment.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Chidambaram opined that terrorist Afzal Guru should not have been hanged…He even expressed solidarity with AIMIM MLA who refused to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. Congress MLAs supported his suspension from Maharashtra Assembly whereas their senior leader opposed it. Congress leaders’ comments are a great insult to freedom fighters,” he said. Rahul Gandhi went to JNU “even without knowing what was happening on the campus” and expressed solidarity with elements who were indulging in anti-national activities.”Now one of its senior leaders says Kanhaiya is Bhagat Singh of his time. They have no qualms in praising persons who sided with Afzal Guru’s supporters. In Assam, their campaign features JNU leaders as their icons, what a great fall! “In the name of supporting dissent, they are ready to go to the extent of supporting forces of disintegration. I feel depressed that some Congress leaders are equating the great sons of this great country to some people who support the separatist forces eulogizing Afzal Guru, Maqbool Bhat and Yakoob Memon. What a shame,” Naidu said, attacking Congress.Bhagat Singh went to gallows saying ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and so called secular leaders are questioning the slogan and ridiculing nationalists, he said, accusing Tharoor of insulting the freedom fighter. “One can understand the leftists doing so but how can a party supposed to be a national and nationalist party expresses solidarity with such forces. This is not in the interest of Congress but also of the country,” Naidu said.Congress should come clean on these issues and make clear its stand on Afzal Guru, Yakub Memon, Ishrat Jahan, Bharat Mata Ki Jai, and comparison of Shaheed Bhagat Singh with people who sided with the separatists, he demanded.

PM Modi pays tributes to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday paid tributes to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru and said they made the supreme sacrifice so that generations after them could breathe the air of freedom.”I bow to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on their martyrdom day and salute their indomitable valour and patriotism that inspires generations.”In the prime of their youth, these 3 brave men sacrificed their lives so that generations after them can breathe the air of freedom,” he tweeted.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was on this day that Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were executed, a few hours ahead of schedule, after the trio were sentenced to death in the Lahore conspiracy case.He also remembered socialist leader Dr Ram Manohar Lohia on his birth anniversary and described him as “a scholar and original thinker. He inspires people across party lines.” Modi also put out a copy of Lohia’s letter written to Mahatma Gandhi from Bareilly Central Jail on April 30, 1941 whereby he introduced one Hari Dutt Kandpal from Almora to Gandhi, saying Kandpal, who was a firm believer in non- violence, wanted to meet him after being released from jail.The Prime Minister also greeted Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati of Kanchi Mutt on the special occasion of his Sahasra Chandra Darshan and gave him his best wishes.”My warmest greetings to Pujya Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati ji of Kanchi Mutt on the special occasion of his Sahasra Chandra Darshan.”Pujya Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati ji has devoted his life to service and spirituality. I pray for his good health and long life,” he tweeted.

Tharoor’s Bhagat Singh-Kanhaiya Kumar remark an insult to martyrs, Congress should apologise: BJP

New Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday sought an apology from the Congress after former union minister Shashi Tharoor compared JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar with freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.

The BJP also announced it will observe Aakrosh Diwas on 25 March against the remark.

Shashi Tharoor. AFPShashi Tharoor. AFP

Shashi Tharoor. AFP

“The remarks are an insult to martyrs. How can anyone make comparisons between them as Bhagat Singh had fought against British rule while Kanhaiya Kumar is an accused in a sedition case for raising anti-national slogans?” union minister Prakash Javadekar said at a press conference.

He also said that it was not the first time that Congress had shown disrespect to martyrs. During the then UPA government, Bhagat Singh was described as a terrorist in an open learning book.

Taking a dig at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, the BJP leader said that under his leadership, the opposition party’s identity has been of insulting martyrs.

“They opposed (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji in Gujarat for 12 years. Since the last two years, they are opposing development… they supported anti-national slogans by going there (JNU)… and now they are insulting the martyrs… this has been the identity of the Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi,” Javadekar said.

“We will observe Shahidi Diwas on 23 March. We will sing the favourite song of Bhagat Singh — Rang de basanti chola — on 24 March on the occasion of Holi and will observe Aakrosh Diwas on March 25 to protest against the mentality to insult the martyrs,” he said.


Bharat Mata slogan row: Were Netaji, Bhagat Singh anti-national, Congress asks BJP

Congress on Sunday took a dig at BJP over its insistence on the chanting of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai” as proof of how patriotic one was, wondering how it would label the likes of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh. “Netaji said Jai Hind, Bhagat Singh said Inqlab Zindabad & Hindustan Zindabad. BJP says except Bharat Mata ki Jai everything else ANTI-NATIONAL?” senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said in a tweet. Other Congress leaders have earlier said that chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ in public is a matter of choice. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A debate on the issue is raging in the country. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi had courted controversy when he refused to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, saying it is matter of personal choice and nobody can be forced into uttering it. In his inaugural address at the party’s National Executive meeting yesterday, BJP chief Amit Shah asserted that the party will not tolerate criticism against the country and freedom of expression cannot be an excuse for shouting anti-national slogans.

Uttarakhand crisis: Harish Rawat claims full majority, warns Congress rebels of disciplinary action

Beleaguered Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, whose Congress government plunged into a crisis on Friday with nine party MLAs revolting against his leadership, tonight claimed he has “full majority” and warned of disciplinary action against the rebels.”We have full majority. All our members are in tact. The figures being touted (about our government’s strength being reduced) are totally wrong,” he told reporters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said if some Congress MLAs, “being lured” by BJP, are on Friday making any claim, the party would take cognizance of it and “whatever action is taken within the party in such cases will be taken.”Rawat said the party will find out who the rebel Congress MLAs are and “so far, only one face has come to the fore.”A three-member BJP delegation, comprising former chief minister and MP Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, BJP in-charge of Uttarakhand Shyam Jaju and general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya met Governor K K Paul tonight and said the Harish Rawat government was in a minority and sought its dismissal.According to Raj Bhavan sources, BJP staked claim to form the government with the support of the rebel Congress MLAs.

Madam won’t be happy: Congress leader praises Arvind Kejriwal’s Punjab rally

A senior Congress leader from Punjab created a flutter by praising Arvind Kejriwal’s show at Muktsar, insisting that there was never such a huge rally in the poll-bound state. “AAP, Maghi conference at Muktsar(Pb), a record breaker. Never before In Muktsar, so many people heard any leader from Punjab or India,” Jagmeet Brar tweeted about Kejriwal’s rally at Maghi Mela in Muktsar. In a message to an AAP leader, he also tweeted, “This was Historic. Never before in History of Muktsar such a big responsive gathering.” Replying to another tweet, the former Faridkot MP admitted that it was a fact that AAP’s show was good and said what has come out is from the heart and it will have its effect. “Dil se Jo baat nikelti hai asar Rakhti hai, par Nahin takkte parvaz magar Rakhti hai,” he said quoting Iqbal.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a series of tweets, Brar said, “Please ponder over this natural truth; And as the smart ship grew in status, grace, and hue, In shady silent distance grew the iceberg too.” Brar also wrote, “Gandhi, Nehru, Maulana Azad, Lagpat Rai, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, JP, wore Topi and turban, I love them. Why to criticise topi bhai.” “Right from 1975 feudal’s of Punjab, Akali and Congress were against me, God’s grace, I “beat on,” like a boat” against the current.” He, however, also clarified saying, “I would never alter my conduct even I have to die hundred deaths. Truth prevails. I am not after any office or position.” He claimed that he has been a political prisoner on 17 occasions and went to jail at the age of 18 during Emergency. Brar later clarified that what he was speaking was the “truth” and was only “ringing the bell”. He said his remarks should be viewed as an “awakening” for the party “to wake up and step up its activities in the state and start connecting with the people”.Asked if this was indicative of his leaning towards AAP and his joining the outfit, he categorically denied doing so.These remarks came on a day his known detractor Amarinder Singh was declared the face of the Congress in the Punjab assembly elections, thereby virtually projecting him as the CM candidate.Brar was recently inducted back into the Congress fold after Congress chief revoked his suspension. Congress suspended him in January last year following his differences with the party leadership at the Centre and in the state.

No more netagiri? Govt proposes to name airports after cities instead of politicians

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