Bhagat Singh page ‘vandalised' on Wikipedia

The Wikipedia page on Bhagat Singh underwent many editing changes on February 13 and 14, Valentine's Day, and a Wikipedia administrator called it online “vandalism.” At present, the page is in a “semi-protected” mode for one week. It means that someone who is not registered with Wikipedia cannot edit the page.

Over the two days, there was a flurry of activity on the page, with the first change beginning on February 13 at 2313 hours. The reason was a perceived lack of clarity among some people on the date of Bhagat Singh's hanging. According to Wikipedia administrator Philp Tinu Cherian, since February 13, the page was changed more than 30 times.

“People kept on changing and reverting the date between February 14, 1931 and March 23 as the day Bhagat Singh's hanging. They started editing the wrong information on the page and it could be termed “vandalism,” according to Mr. Cherian who, as “administrator,” added the date he got from sources in the Government of India.

He said the identity of those editing the page is unknown as only IP addresses, and not necessarily names, are used in Wikipedia. However, regular Wikipedians, including one whom Mr. Cherian knew, were reverting the correct date. “I had to lock the article and add references to reliable sources to prove the actual death date,” he said.

Other than Wikipedia, the subject dominated Twitter and a fan group of Bhagat Singh was also active on Facebook. One SMS that was being circulated on Tuesday said February 14 ought not to be celebrated as Valentine's Day as it was the day Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged.

“The activity on the page is rare. I wonder if it is a conspiracy to divert attention from Valentine's Day,” said Mr. Cherian, who noted similar heightened activity on Wikipedia when Jyoti Basu was taken ill.

Akshaya, a young HR professional working in Bangalore, said, “I believe the date Bhagat Singh was hanged on February 14, as given in books. Net links can be wrong. Books are always right.”

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 5:06:08 PM |

Next Story