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Sunday, April 18, 2021

‘Bhagat Singh wished for secular, egalitarian India, but inequality still exists’

“Bhagat Singh did not merely wish to free India from colonial bondage but dreamed of independent India, which would be egalitarian and secular,” said Prof Jagmohan Singh, Bhagat Singh’s nephew.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
Updated: March 23, 2021 9:02:47 am
‘Bhagat Singh wished for secular, egalitarian India, but inequality still exists’Tribute paid to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru at a youth rally in Sunam on Sunday. (File)

As the nation observes martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh Tuesday, experts on his life and writings said that issues picked up by him decades ago continue to be relevant even today across the country.

“Bhagat Singh did not merely wish to free India from colonial bondage but dreamed of independent India, which would be egalitarian and secular,” said Prof Jagmohan Singh, Bhagat Singh’s nephew and the chairperson of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Centenary Foundation and general secretary of Democratic Rights Association who had worked to highlight the true ideology of the martyr.

He mentioned that in the June 1928 issue of the Kirti, the Journal of the Kirti Kisan Sabha, published from Amritsar, Bhagat Singh wrote two articles titled Achoot Ka Sawaal (Question of Untouchability) and Sampradayik Dange Aur Unka Ilaj (Communal riots and their solutions).

What Bhagat Singh wrote in 1928 appears to be valid even today when we see communal riots across the country, he added.

“Let it be known that Bhagat Singh and his companions carried forward the revolutionary nationalism of Aurbindo Ghosh, Sardar Ajit Singh and Gadar revolutionaries and had very distinct views of organising society on equality and fraternity along with liberty from social evils like communalism and casteism. Whereas today the Centre government led by BJP stands for Hindu nationalism against the secular culture of the country and tends to act for the benefits corporates,” said Prof Jagmohan.

Gurmit Singh, a trustee of Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall, Jalandhar, said: “Bhagat Singh had diagnosed that inequality in the society can never bring real freedom and advocated socialist way of working where everyone has equal rights to work and earn. He wrote about the universal brotherhood and this is what our farmers’ protest is representing where farmers are being treated just as a farmers and not as individuals belonging to any religion.”

“He was aware that when the government and government systems fail to solve the issues of the people they adopt tactics to divide them on the name of religion and caste and the same is happening today,” said another expert. Communal riots was a tool used by the British to divide people in India and the same is happening in free India, he added.

Gurmeet Singh pointed out that despite having the right to equality as our fundamental right, a large number of complaints are received by our National Commission for Scheduled Caste every year about atrocities against Dalits.

They (Bhagat Singh and his fellow revolutionaries) wrote that “by revolution we mean the end of the miseries of capitalist wars,” said Prof Singh, adding that still the common man of the country is fighting with various types of miseries and millions are living below the poverty line having no proper means to earn their living and for them freedom exists nowhere.

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