Old age has not stopped 74-year-old Professor Madan Mohan Juneja from studying and writing about martyr Bhagat Singh.
Juneja, who retired as head of Department of History, Chhaju Ram Memorial Jat PG College of Hisar in Haryana, over the years has authored 30 books, and 10 among them in multiple languages are about Bhagat Singh.
Currently settled in a housing society of Peermuchhalla at Zirakpur, Juneja says that he fell in love with the legend in his early age, when his parents used to narrate him stories of Bhagat Singh’s valour.
Love turned into passion when Juneja was doing his research in Delhi, in 1970s. At that time he met Sardar Kulbir Singh, Bhagat Singh’s brother, and got a chance to take a close-up of Bhagat Singh’s life.
Juneja reminisced, “It became my passion to study about Bhagat Singh when I met his brother at Nehru Memorial Museum Library during my research period in 1975. I became very keen to study Bhagat Singh when his brother began narrating his early life to me. I was driven by this curiosity and started researching about the legend.”
Juneja, after researching about Bhagat Singh, felt that there were not enough books about Bhagat Singh unlike Mahatma Ghandhi and other national heroes. A lecture that he was delivering on Bhagat Singh became the trigger for him to write books on Bhagat Singh’s life.
“I was speaking about Bhagat Singh at Sirsa. While delivering lecture, I said that there are not many books about Bhagat Singh like that of Mahatama Gandhi. S S Virk, who was sitting in the audience, interrupted and said that if that was the case why you don’t write a book on Bhagat Singh. This kept echoing in my mind and I felt that I too should write about the legend,” Juneja told Chandigarh Newsline.
He added, “After years of research about him, it was in 2007 when my first book ‘Selected Collection on Bhagat Singh’ got published. As my curiosity increased after that, I continued writing about him and today I have authored 10 books about Bhagat Singh.”
Juneja believes that one thing interesting about Bhagat Singh is that he connects with both India and Pakistan, and people of both the countries are reverent towards him.
“One of my friends from Pakistan, Imtiyaz Rashid Khan, who is chairman of Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation, Lahore, said that Bhagat Singh is the hero of India but he is also a son of Pakistan. He fought for every community and people of Pakistan also love him,” Juneja said.
Bhagat Singh has achieved what may be impossible for others in a very short span of life. If he had lived till the age of 70 or 80 years, he would have changed the picture of this country. Youth should follow Bhagat Singh, he was a revolutionary man, said Juneja.
Juneja said, “Our country has a higher number of youth and if they follow Bhagat Singh then our society will be free of all the ills like drug addiction, murders. Life of Bhagat Singh is the best example for our youth to follow.”
“The popularity of Bhagat Singh is increasing day by day and more people have started writing about him as compared to the past. But more research should be done on freedom fighters of our country,” Professor Juneja said, adding that “syllabus of schools needs to be revisited and more about Bhagat Singh and other heroes should be inculcated as part of the curriculum. As Bhagat Singh himself had said that “if we remember our martyrs again and again, then making sacrifices becomes a passion”.