ABVP protests over Bhagat Singh’s portrayal in DU book

New Delhi: The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Wednesday staged a protest at the Delhi University against an academic history book that refers to freedom fighter Bhagat Singh as “revolutionary terrorist”.

The book “India’s struggle for Independence (1757-1858)” authored by historian Bipin Chandra in 1988 has retired Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Mridula Mukherjee, Aditya Mukherjee, K.N. Parrikkar and Sucheta Mahajan as co-authors.

Some of the relatives of Bhagat Singh also met Delhi University Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi on the issue.

Delhi University Students Union president and ABVP member Satendar Awana told IANS that although the book has been there for more than 25 years, the issue was brought to their notice only recently.

“So, we decided to raise the matter. Our demand is that all such books which portray revolutionaries as terrorists should be banned,” Awana told IANS.

The vice chancellor told IANS that a delegation of Singh’s relatives met him to raise their concern over the matter.

“Some (martyr Bhagat Singh’s) relatives met me today (Wednesday). The matter will be looked into,” Tyagi told IANS.

A rejoinder by the book’s co-authors said: “Deliberate misrepresentation of Bipin Chandra’s views on Shaheed Bhagat Singh is being done by saying he used the term revolutionary terrorism to denigrate the martyr.

“In fact, the first time the term arevolutionary terrorism is used in the book is on page 142. Bipan Chandra, who wrote two chapters on the revolutionary movement, clearly said that it is a term we use without any pejorative meaning and for want of a different term.”

The statement said such allegations are an attempt to attack the deceased author who attempted to bring Shaheed Bhagat Singh to the centre stage.

“Another completely baseless allegation made in the Lok Sabha is that while denigrating Bhagat Singh, the authors have praised (Congress leader) Rahul Gandhi as a charismatic leader, an allegation that we strongly deny since none of the authors have written anything on Rahul Gandhi,” the statement further added.

Earlier in the day, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Anurag Thakur raised in the Lok Sabha during zero hour his objections against the book’s alleged portrayal of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.