DU book calls Bhagat Singh a “revolutionary terrorist”, courts controversy

April 27, 2016 05:02 pm | Updated 06:44 pm IST - New Delhi

An archive photograph of Bhagat Singh in jail in Lahore.

An archive photograph of Bhagat Singh in jail in Lahore.

A book, which forms part of the Delhi University’s History curriculum calls Bhagat Singh a “revolutionary terrorist”, prompting the freedom fighter’s family to raise the issue with DU authorities as well as HRD Ministry.

The book titled “India’s Struggle for Independence”, authored by noted historian Bipin Chadra and Mridula Mukherjee, mentions Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Surya Sen and others as “revolutionary terrorists” in Chapter 20.

The book also calls the Chittagong movement a ‘terrorist act’, while Sanders killing has been called an ‘act of terrorism.’

Bhagat Singh’s family has written a letter to HRD Minister Smriti Irani seeking her intervention in this regard and demanded appropriate changes in the textbook.

The family members also met DU Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi on Wednesday, who assured them of looking into the matter.

“This is a very sad precedent that even after 68 years of Independence such words are used for the revolutionaries, who gave their lives for the freedom of the nation.

“The Britishers, who hanged Bhagat Singh, described him as ‘true revolutionary’ in their judgment, even they didn’t use words like terror or terrorism. Using such words for revolutionaries in an attempt to stir controversy is very unfortunate” the freedom fighter’s nephew Abhey Singh Sandhu told reporters.

‘Reference book, not text book’

Maintaining that the book is taught in the history department as a “reference book” and not a “text book”, DU Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi said they have taken note of the request.

“The book is taught as a reference book in our history department but is not a text book or published or authored by DU professor,” he told PTI.

Meanwhile, the issue was taken up in Lok Sabha by BJP member Anurag Thakur. He even demanded a debate on what is being taught in the educational institutions across the country.

In an UPSC examination, Mr. Thakur said, a question was asked about “revolutionary terrorism” of Bhagat Singh.

While taking strong exception to this, he hinted at the authors’ link with the UPA, saying Mr. Chandra was National Book Trust chairperson between 2004 and 2012. Ms. Mukherjee, he alleged, faced vigilance probe.

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