March, 27: On the 79th anniversary of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru’s martyrdom, Singh’s nephew Abhay Sandhu spews venom; says Congress only wants to promote the Nehru-Gandhi family
Abhay Sandhu (Bhagat Singh’s nephew)
Almost 80 years have passed since Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged to death on March 23, 1931, but controversies surrounding them are yet to die down.
Abhay Singh Sandhu, son of Bhagat Singh’s younger brother Kulbir, believes the Congress has tried to play down the contribution of freedom fighters like his uncle to promote the Nehru-Gandhi family.
Sandhu (52) told MiD DAY from his hometown Chandigarh, "Bhagat Singh was always projected as a terrorist who hurled bombs and fired bullets, which is not true. I feel this is a conspiracy of the Congress to give mileage to the Nehru-Gandhi family and marginalise the freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose as they were against the ideology of Congress."
He added that the Congress has only lately recognised Bhagat Singh, in keeping with popular sentiment. "In a recent issue of a national magazine, Bhagat Singh was rated on top in a survey while Mahatma Gandhi was number six. This shows how angry people are with the policies of the Congress," Sandhu added.
Sandhu is planning to bring out a book, which will have a collection of Singh’s letters, so that "people are made aware about the pain and struggle of his friends in the war of independence".
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, national vice president, BJP, said, "I completely agree with the family of Bhagat Singh. The Congress Party with a malafide intention has deliberately done a heinous crime by marginalising leaders like Bhagat Singh and Ashfaqulla Khan. They have misused the government machinery for the publicity of the Nehru-Gandhi family."
March 23, 1931
Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged to death
UPSC’s ’terrorist’ trouble
In 2007, UPSC had triggered a debate on whether Bhagat Singh should be called a "revolutionary terrorist". In the general studies paper of the civil services exam, candidates were asked to evaluate the contribution of "revolutionary terrorism represented by Bhagat Singh". The way the question was framed led to a court case in Kanpur and protests in Chandigarh and Ambala, with some agitators even landing at the commission’s doors.
The Other Side
Anant Gadgil, spokesperson, Congress, "I don’t agree with the views of the family. We have given instructions to all our party workers at our 125th anniversary celebrations to commemorate the death anniversary of all freedom fighters. In the past too, Congress workers have participated in various functions hosted in honour of Bhagat Singh and other freedom fighters."