There is news from Delhi
What a mess they have made
Of Bhagat Singh
In the Parliament Complex!
For sixty years they petitioned
The British rejected him
But YOU! Our own government.
Erect his statue
in the Parliament Complex
At last the government thumped its chest
and said why not!
and erected the statue in the Parliament Complex.
But when the veil was lifted
You discover it is not Bhagat Singh
That 24 year old beautiful lad
Nor his young limbs that they could not properly burn
On the fateful night when they hanged him.
It is some 60 years old guy
Flabby and tired looking
With upturned mustaches
Oh what the hell is this.
This is not our Bhagat Singh
In the Parliament Square
Who the hell is he ?
Ha ha ha ! Dear friends
Wipe your tears look closely
At all the other statues in the Parliament
Is it the same Jawahar Lal as he was ? Is it the same Gandhi?
The same Abulkalam azad?
The in-coming and out-going respected parliamentarians
Have made an omelet of their reality
And gobbled them up long long ago.
In this grand square
Only cissored and edited versions
Can find a lasting place.
Bhagat Singh was the child of his time
And times have changed. He loved Urdu poetry and Ghalib
And Ghalib , getting rid of his robe
Is Galib now, winking and singing some trashy "gajal"
Ishwarya Rai is dancing on it
So kind of her.
And in his city Lahore
Bhagat Singh is a Sikh
Who perhaps migrated to India in '47
Such names make people nervous
Is the god-damn man coming back?
to claim his property??
We shall never let that happen
After all we left fields and barns
shops and houses
Bhagat Singh was a pure Indian
His times are swept away with the wind
He was a purely Indian earth-song
Light in the water
Rustling in the wind
He was a purely Indian passion of his time
And times have changed.
Let his statue remain where it has remained for 60 years
Across both sides of the border
In a heart or two.
There every morning
Longings as innocent and ignorant as little children
Cover his young body with fresh garlands of marigold
Bathe his limbs with tears of love and adoration
He belongs there
He is happy there.
Background letter of the poem given below:
Professor Chaman Lal Dated:--17th August, 2008
Centre of Indian Languages (SLL&CS)
Editor- Complete Documents of Bhagat Singh in Hindi
(Published by Govt. of
Honorable Speaker of
Subject: Regarding Statue of Bhagat Singh in Parliament Complex
Respected Somnath ji,
In the beginning I must appreciate your sincere efforts in getting the statue of country’s most cherished martyr Bhagat Singh in Parliamentary complex. You have also promised in your visit to JNU in response to my query, to get the plaques installed inside Loksabha at the spots in visitor’s gallery, where Bhagat Singh and B K Dutt stood while throwing bombs and getting arrested and also where the harmless bombs fell near some chairs in the hall. However with all the happiness at symbolic level in getting the statue finally installed and inaugurated by the President of the nation on 15th august 2008, 62nd independence anniversary, in recognition of Bhagat Singh and all other revolutionary martyr’s contribution to national freedom, a very disturbing development has also taken place with this inauguration, about which I wish to draw your most urgent attention.
PTC, a Punjabi news channel on 15th August and ‘The Tribune’s
The fact of the matter is that four real pictures of Bhagat Singh are now widely available. One is of about 10-11 years, another of National College Lahore’s drama group photo of 16+ years, third one of Lahore police station photograph of 1927, 21 years and last one cliqued by Delhi photographer in first week of April 1929, 4-5 days prior to bomb throwing, photographs of Bhagat sing and B K Dutt, which got published world over on 9th april 1929, after the bomb throwing incident a day earlier. These four photographs are part of my book, published by Govt. of India and released by Sh. Priyaranjan Das Munshi, information Minister on 19th December 2007 at
i. Bhagat Singh’s body figure looks of a fat person, which he was definitely not.
ii. Bhagat Singh’s beard and moustaches have been shown thick, which were not.
iii. Worse still, he has been shown with standing moustaches, which he had only with hat wearing shape.
There is another irony in this whole issue. Issue of installing Bhagat Singh’s picture in the picture gallery in Central hall of Parliament, where the pictures of much lesser known, even some controversial personalities like Savarkar are displayed , was raised hundreds of times, but Bhagat Singh’s picture was never allowed to be put up in that hall. It has been camouflaged now that he has been given greater honor by installing his statue in Parliamentary complex, where only few more statues like that of Netaji Subhash Bose and Indira Gandhi is displayed. But the Central Hall has also the pictures of those, whose statues are displayed in the complex, but the pictures of Bhagat Singh ,Chandershekhar Azad etc. are still denied entry there. Thus the picture gallery of patriots in Central hall is not free of ideological perspective about Indian freedom struggle, in that sense.
Sir, this is a very serious matter and with a concerned speaker like you must pay urgent attention. To make amends to this serious blunder, first step is to cover the statue, till a proper enquiry is made into whole issue and a properly shaped statue is installed. Secondly, the hat wearing popular, real and last photograph of Bhagat Singh and B K Dutt must be displayed inside the Central Hall, preferably, where they sat watching the proceedings before throwing bombs with plaques. If these amends are not made, I am afraid, the youth of the country will always think that why Bhagat Singh like revolutionary patriots are wronged during their life time and also after their life time by the establishment of that period. Though Bhagat Singh is like a
With hopes of your kind attention.
With best regards
Attachment—Four real photographs of Bhagat Singh.
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