Thursday, 30 April 2015

Monthly Review Journal-May Day Tribute

Monthly Review is one of world's most respected monthly. Started in May 1949 by Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman, later joined by Harry Magdoff, continues till today, though all three founder editors are no more. The first to pass away was Leo Huberman in 1968, rather early, whose place was taken by Harry Magdoff in 1969 and he stayed last till his last day of life in January 2006. Paul Sweezy died in February 2004, completing almost 55 years as Editor of most influential journal of the left, perhaps a world record! Monthly Review has played a major role in getting 1949 Chinese Socialist revolution led by Mao-Ze-Dong, 1959 Cuban socialist revolution led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, Vietnamese struggle against US imperialism and its victory, new Latin American revolutions led by Chavez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Jose Mujica in Uruguay etc recognized and given due respect in world political scenario. Even today its role in highlighting the need for socialist revolution based on Marxist thought is most effective. When I visited New York in year 2011, my desire to visit Monthly Review office was fulfilled, though its editors don't sit in office, yet I was able to meet one of its Assistant Editor and also another cheerful activist there. One of my activist acquaintance from JNU days, who lives in New York,accompanied me to the office. Some photographs of that occasion are posted here.
   Monthly Review's regional editions also began published in some parts of the world, including Greece, Bangladesh and India.All the world's leading progressive thinkers and scholars remained affiliated with MR, such as Howard Zinn, Chomsky, Istvan Meszaros, Samir Amin and more from every part of the world. Many Indian scholars books have been published by MR press, including of Ved Vatuk, Iqbal... in very early times. In the later period Prof. Randhir Singh, Prabhat Patnaik, Utsa Patnaik, Radha D'Souza, Vijay Prashad, Bernard D'Mellow and many more Indians are publishing in Monthly Review. Monthly Review has focused on Bhagat Singh on its website in March 2006 and on its Indian edition in April 2006 print edition. Mrzine website also published my interview on Bhagat Singh in March 2014.
For me Monthly Review is most important journal, followed by EPW, Frontier, Mainstream Frontline(English) and Filhal(Hindi) from India.I visited Monthly Review's Indian edition office in Kharagpur in year 2014 and 2015 and met its editor Subhas Aikat, also bright scholar of Ambedkar and Marxism Anand Teltumbade, who teaches at IIT Kharagpur, where I had gone for an international seminar on Komagatamaru ship tragedy centenary on both visits . Photographs from humble residence cum office of Subhas Aikat, editor,Indian edition of MR are also posted here. I wish that Indian leftists from all Marxism oriented parties and groups, as well as of of Socialist and Ambedkarite parties should support Monthly Review as it is still playing the best role in making people see the relevance of equal distribution of natural resources among all working people of the world and exposing the neo liberal neo colonial-imperialist policies of the USA and other European powers. It is standing in support of all Latin American neo-socialist-revolutionary movements! Indian edition of Monthly Review is much less priced than original American edition, though its printing is delayed for a month or so behind US edition. Address of Indian edition of MR, which publishes MR books Indian editions also at much cheaper prices is-Cornerstone Publications,  Ramesh Dutta Sarani, P.O. Hijli Cooperative, KHARAGPUR-721306 email is-
Annual subscription for Indian edition is just 350/ rupees annual for individuals and 550/ for libraries/institutions.
 I am sharing Monthly Review introduction from its and also  Albert Einstein article-Why Socialism from its first May 1949 issue, which it reproduces every May issue of the year!:
               About MRZine
In May 1949, Monthly Review began publication in New York City, as cold war hysteria gathered force in the United States. The first issue featured the lead article "Why Socialism?" by Albert Einstein. From the first, Monthly Review spoke for socialism and against U.S. imperialism and is still doing so today.

Monthly Review has always been independent of any political organization. The McCarthy era inquisition targeted Monthly Review's original editors Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman, who fought back successfully. In the subsequent global upsurge against capitalism, imperialism, and the commodification of life in the sixties, Monthly Review played a global role. A generation of activists received no small part of their education from the magazine and readers of Monthly Review Press books. In the intervening years of counter-revolution, Monthly Review has kept a steady viewpoint. That point of view is the heartfelt attempt to frame the issues of the day with one set of interests foremost in mind: those of the great majority of humankind, the propertyless.

Monthly Review has had but six editors. The original editors were Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman. Leo Huberman died in 1968, and Harry Magdoff became an editor in 1969 and served in that capacity till his death on 1 January 2006. Ellen Meiksins Wood served ably as editor in the period 1997-2000. In May 2000 John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney, themselves of the "1968" generation and educated by Monthly Review, took over the primary editorial responsibilities. Founding editor Paul Sweezy died on February 27, 2004, and a special issue devoted to his work was published in October, 2004. On June 1, 2004 Robert McChesney ceased to be formally designated as an editor, while continuing as a contributor and a Director of the Monthly Review Foundation, the not-for-profit entity that operates both Monthly Review magazine and Monthly Review Press. The current editor, John Bellamy Foster, continues the tradition of combining accounts of what is new with the equally vital task of seeing the longer process.

Why Socialism?
by Albert Einstein
topics: Marxism
Why Socialism?
Albert Einstein is the world-famous physicist. This article was originally published in the first issue of Monthly Review (May 1949). It was subsequently published in May 1998 to commemorate the first issue of MR‘s fiftieth year.
—The Editors

Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is.

Let us first consider the question from the point of view of scientific knowledge. It might appear that there are no essential methodological differences between astronomy and economics: scientists in both fields attempt to discover laws of general acceptability for a circumscribed group of phenomena in order to make the interconnection of these phenomena as clearly understandable as possible. But in reality such methodological differences do exist. The discovery of general laws in the field of economics is made difficult by the circumstance that observed economic phenomena are often affected by many factors which are very hard to evaluate separately. In addition, the experience which has accumulated since the beginning of the so-called civilized period of human history has—as is well known—been largely influenced and limited by causes which are by no means exclusively economic in nature. For example, most of the major states of history owed their existence to conquest. The conquering peoples established themselves, legally and economically, as the privileged class of the conquered country. They seized for themselves a monopoly of the land ownership and appointed a priesthood from among their own ranks. The priests, in control of education, made the class division of society into a permanent institution and created a system of values by which the people were thenceforth, to a large extent unconsciously, guided in their social behavior.

But historic tradition is, so to speak, of yesterday; nowhere have we really overcome what Thorstein Veblen called “the predatory phase” of human development. The observable economic facts belong to that phase and even such laws as we can derive from them are not applicable to other phases. Since the real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development, economic science in its present state can throw little light on the socialist society of the future.

Second, socialism is directed towards a social-ethical end. Science, however, cannot create ends and, even less, instill them in human beings; science, at most, can supply the means by which to attain certain ends. But the ends themselves are conceived by personalities with lofty ethical ideals and—if these ends are not stillborn, but vital and vigorous—are adopted and carried forward by those many human beings who, half unconsciously, determine the slow evolution of society.

For these reasons, we should be on our guard not to overestimate science and scientific methods when it is a question of human problems; and we should not assume that experts are the only ones who have a right to express themselves on questions affecting the organization of society.

Innumerable voices have been asserting for some time now that human society is passing through a crisis, that its stability has been gravely shattered. It is characteristic of such a situation that individuals feel indifferent or even hostile toward the group, small or large, to which they belong. In order to illustrate my meaning, let me record here a personal experience. I recently discussed with an intelligent and well-disposed man the threat of another war, which in my opinion would seriously endanger the existence of mankind, and I remarked that only a supra-national organization would offer protection from that danger. Thereupon my visitor, very calmly and coolly, said to me: “Why are you so deeply opposed to the disappearance of the human race?”

I am sure that as little as a century ago no one would have so lightly made a statement of this kind. It is the statement of a man who has striven in vain to attain an equilibrium within himself and has more or less lost hope of succeeding. It is the expression of a painful solitude and isolation from which so many people are suffering in these days. What is the cause? Is there a way out?

It is easy to raise such questions, but difficult to answer them with any degree of assurance. I must try, however, as best I can, although I am very conscious of the fact that our feelings and strivings are often contradictory and obscure and that they cannot be expressed in easy and simple formulas.

Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities. As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life. Only the existence of these varied, frequently conflicting, strivings accounts for the special character of a man, and their specific combination determines the extent to which an individual can achieve an inner equilibrium and can contribute to the well-being of society. It is quite possible that the relative strength of these two drives is, in the main, fixed by inheritance. But the personality that finally emerges is largely formed by the environment in which a man happens to find himself during his development, by the structure of the society in which he grows up, by the tradition of that society, and by its appraisal of particular types of behavior. The abstract concept “society” means to the individual human being the sum total of his direct and indirect relations to his contemporaries and to all the people of earlier generations. The individual is able to think, feel, strive, and work by himself; but he depends so much upon society—in his physical, intellectual, and emotional existence—that it is impossible to think of him, or to understand him, outside the framework of society. It is “society” which provides man with food, clothing, a home, the tools of work, language, the forms of thought, and most of the content of thought; his life is made possible through the labor and the accomplishments of the many millions past and present who are all hidden behind the small word “society.”

It is evident, therefore, that the dependence of the individual upon society is a fact of nature which cannot be abolished—just as in the case of ants and bees. However, while the whole life process of ants and bees is fixed down to the smallest detail by rigid, hereditary instincts, the social pattern and interrelationships of human beings are very variable and susceptible to change. Memory, the capacity to make new combinations, the gift of oral communication have made possible developments among human being which are not dictated by biological necessities. Such developments manifest themselves in traditions, institutions, and organizations; in literature; in scientific and engineering accomplishments; in works of art. This explains how it happens that, in a certain sense, man can influence his life through his own conduct, and that in this process conscious thinking and wanting can play a part.

Man acquires at birth, through heredity, a biological constitution which we must consider fixed and unalterable, including the natural urges which are characteristic of the human species. In addition, during his lifetime, he acquires a cultural constitution which he adopts from society through communication and through many other types of influences. It is this cultural constitution which, with the passage of time, is subject to change and which determines to a very large extent the relationship between the individual and society. Modern anthropology has taught us, through comparative investigation of so-called primitive cultures, that the social behavior of human beings may differ greatly, depending upon prevailing cultural patterns and the types of organization which predominate in society. It is on this that those who are striving to improve the lot of man may ground their hopes: human beings are not condemned, because of their biological constitution, to annihilate each other or to be at the mercy of a cruel, self-inflicted fate.

If we ask ourselves how the structure of society and the cultural attitude of man should be changed in order to make human life as satisfying as possible, we should constantly be conscious of the fact that there are certain conditions which we are unable to modify. As mentioned before, the biological nature of man is, for all practical purposes, not subject to change. Furthermore, technological and demographic developments of the last few centuries have created conditions which are here to stay. In relatively densely settled populations with the goods which are indispensable to their continued existence, an extreme division of labor and a highly-centralized productive apparatus are absolutely necessary. The time—which, looking back, seems so idyllic—is gone forever when individuals or relatively small groups could be completely self-sufficient. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that mankind constitutes even now a planetary community of production and consumption.

I have now reached the point where I may indicate briefly what to me constitutes the essence of the crisis of our time. It concerns the relationship of the individual to society. The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Moreover, his position in society is such that the egotistical drives of his make-up are constantly being accentuated, while his social drives, which are by nature weaker, progressively deteriorate. All human beings, whatever their position in society, are suffering from this process of deterioration. Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely, and deprived of the naive, simple, and unsophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.

The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. In this respect, it is important to realize that the means of production—that is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods—may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals.

For the sake of simplicity, in the discussion that follows I shall call “workers” all those who do not share in the ownership of the means of production—although this does not quite correspond to the customary use of the term. The owner of the means of production is in a position to purchase the labor power of the worker. By using the means of production, the worker produces new goods which become the property of the capitalist. The essential point about this process is the relation between what the worker produces and what he is paid, both measured in terms of real value. Insofar as the labor contract is “free,” what the worker receives is determined not by the real value of the goods he produces, but by his minimum needs and by the capitalists’ requirements for labor power in relation to the number of workers competing for jobs. It is important to understand that even in theory the payment of the worker is not determined by the value of his product.

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

The situation prevailing in an economy based on the private ownership of capital is thus characterized by two main principles: first, means of production (capital) are privately owned and the owners dispose of them as they see fit; second, the labor contract is free. Of course, there is no such thing as a pure capitalist society in this sense. In particular, it should be noted that the workers, through long and bitter political struggles, have succeeded in securing a somewhat improved form of the “free labor contract” for certain categories of workers. But taken as a whole, the present day economy does not differ much from “pure” capitalism.

Production is carried on for profit, not for use. There is no provision that all those able and willing to work will always be in a position to find employment; an “army of unemployed” almost always exists. The worker is constantly in fear of losing his job. Since unemployed and poorly paid workers do not provide a profitable market, the production of consumers’ goods is restricted, and great hardship is the consequence. Technological progress frequently results in more unemployment rather than in an easing of the burden of work for all. The profit motive, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, is responsible for an instability in the accumulation and utilization of capital which leads to increasingly severe depressions. Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before.

This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralization of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured?

Clarity about the aims and problems of socialism is of greatest significance in our age of transition. Since, under present circumstances, free and unhindered discussion of these problems has come under a powerful taboo, I consider the foundation of this magazine to be an important public service.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sad Story of Bhagat Singh Chair in JNU, New Delhi-Who is Responsible?

Sad Story of Bhagat Singh Chair in JNU, New Delhi-Who is Responsible?

1.  Times of India Story

Times of India on 23rd March this year carried this story:
2.  Background of Story
Since it is newspaper story, which cannot go very far in giving details of it, neither it has many sources available to it tell the real story of this first ever historic chair established in JNU with my single handed campaign in year 2006-7 during Bhagat Singh birth centenary. Though I did not expect to succeed in my campaign and efforts, somehow the circumstances and support from late Sh. Shashi Bhushan, a former Congress MP made possible its creation in JNU at my insistence, though he was not too keen about getting it in JNU, rather he wished it for Jamia Milia or a University in Punjab, since I insisted that first ever chair on the name of Bhagat Singh should be created in JNU only, where eminent historians like  Bipan Chandra, who got Bhagat Singh recognised as budding indigenous Marxist thinker of India were still holding influence and under his guidance a better studies on Bhagat Singh could begin in Academic world.

     I had avoided making public all the documents regarding this chair, but the above news and CHS of JNU, where Bhagat Singh Chair is placed, announcing-the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Memorial Lecture- Javed Akhtar will speak on revolutionary ideas in Urdu poetry-made me so unhappy that I thought let the documents regarding this chair be made public, so that Academia and other concerned people should know that how even in such enlightened and progressive concerned University deals with the personality and ideas of Bhagat Singh. We generally blame rightist parties for distorting Bhagat Singh’s personality and ideas to suit their political motives and to win over Indian people’s emotional bonding with the supreme iconic hero of Indian freedom struggle, but what our own progressive people, including the academia has done to suppress his historic role and overplayed Gandhi-Nehru narrative, that also needs to be critically examined! 

3.  Why Javed Akhtar Lecture?

First Shaheed Bhagat Singh memorial lecture was delivered by Prof. Bipan Chandra in JNU on 23rd March 2010, that was an apt choice, but the second lecture after five years by Javed Akhtar, with due respect to him, is an insult to Bhagat Singh and the chair created in his name, as if Bhagat Singh Chair is meant for discussing literary works only! JNU already has Faiz memorial annual lecture in Centre of Indian Languages, a proper Centre for this kind of discussion, rather than arranging this lecture from that Centre, Centre for Historical Studies under pressure from AAP MP Dr. Dharamveer Gandhi’s letter to JNU officials for keeping Chair non functional, they arranged this lecture as ‘filling in the blanks’! Centre for Historical Studies of JNU has such luminaries like Prof. Romila Thapar as its Professor Emeritus, it would have been most appropriate to invite her for second lecture after Prof. Bipan Chandra’s first lecture. It was Bhagat Singh memorial lecture, if it could be oraganised on Urdu poetry, it could very well had been organised on the theme of-‘Atheism in Ancient India’! Prof. Thapar is considered an international authority on Ancient India, and this theme would have been most appropriate tribute to Bhagat Singh’s ideas expressed in his seminal essay-‘Why I am an Atheist’ brought into Academia domain by none else than Prof. Bipan Chandra with his lucid introduction. Perhaps Prof. Romila Thapar would have been happy to deliver lecture on such or related theme! If Prof. Thapar was not available, there was Prof. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, another eminent historian of modern period from CHS itself, who has delivered inaugural lectures on Bhagat Singh in many other Universities. There was also Prof. Harbans Mukhiya from same Centre, who had once reviewed Bhagat Singh’s writings in ICHR Journal and was competent enough to deliver such lecture. If CHS has really such love for Urdu language, there was Prof. Irfan Habib from AMU, who has been reading about Bhagat Singh and to whom I had gifted copy of Complete Documents of Bhagat Singh during Indian History Congress held at JNU in December 2014, published by Govt. of India publication in December 2014 itself. Incidentally this Urdu publication is the most updated collection of Bhagat Singh’s writings in any language in a book form, containing 110 documents, which are available so far. Prof. Habib could have spoken even on Urdu writings of Bhagat Singh as many of his writings are in Urdu language.


 Near home, another historian on Bhagat Singh Prof. S Irfan Habib in NUEPA, Delhi, close to JNU, could have been invited. I am not professional historian, but I can still name few more historians like Prof. J S Grewal, who organised a seminar on Bhagat Singh and published the book, so had Prof. Indu Banga and few more. Political Scientists like Prof. Jose George of Mumbai University, Prof. Ashok Chousalkar of Kolhapur University who have books on Bhagat Singh. No but CHS high ups had no interest in focusing on Bhagat Singh, as any chair on Dr. Ambedkar would never think of anything else than Dr. Ambedkar thought for holding such lecture or seminar. As political parties reduce Bhagat Singh to a ‘yellow turbaned brave son of India’( a Fake image), so have JNU Centre for Historical Studies with such illustrious background of Prof. Romila Thapar, Prof. S Gopal, Prof Bipan Chandra, Prof. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya Prof. Harbans Mukhiya, have reduced Bhagat Singh lecture to be focused on Urdu poetry and not even Bhagat Singh image in Urdu poetry or even Bhagat Singh’s fondness for Urdu Poetry, there are twenties of Urdu couplets from Iqbal.Ghalib like poets noted down by Bhagat Singh in his own handwriting, even that was also not the theme of lecture. Since neither I got the invitation for lecture nor know what was delivered, I don;t know whether Javed Akhtar even referred to Bhagat Singh’s love or quotations from Urdu poetry!

4.Proposal on Bhagat Singh Chair in JNU initiated

   Coming back to the story of getting Bhagat Singh chair created. When Bhagat Singh birth centenary functions began in September 2006, I thought of some suggestions to make Martyrs centenaries worthwhile even at Government level and I thought that during the centenary year Bhagat Sin gh Chair should be created by Govt. of India and that too in JNU, New Delhi, so I made a proposal in this regard and circulated to people and got support from almost all quarters in Academia and political formations. The proposal prepared on October 2006, which was published later by The Tribune in Chandigarh on 7th January 2007 in full reads as-
 Proposal For creating  Bhagat Singh Chair in J.N.U. to study ‘Anti- Colonial Anti-Feudal Revolutionary Movements in India during 1757-1947’.

       On  28th September, 2006, the birth centenary of supreme martyr of the country-Bhagat Singh has begun. Government of India, in its Gazette notification, issued on 2nd May,2006, has included Bhagat Singh birth centenary in its programme of celebrating five national anniversaries of important events of our national history. As an editor of Bhagat Singh’s documents and also considering him to be a significant thinker of our society, who had close relations with Jawaharlal Nehru, on whose name, our University had been established, I propose that J.N.U. should plan to establish Bhagat Singh Chair for the study of-‘Anti-Colonial Anti-Feudal Revolutionary Movements in India during 1757-1947’.This would probably be the  best tribute to the memory of our great martyr and the icon of our youth. Looking at the development of Bhagat Singh’s personality on the path of scientific temper, J.N.U. is perhaps the best place in the country to establish a Chair in his memory,  who himself has proved to be an eminent thinker of country, apart from giving up his life at the young age of just 23 years and few months.
                      I understand that to fulfill such lofty ideals, fund crunch is major deterrent. I have a concrete proposal to generate funds for the establishment of this prestigious chair. To generate funds for establishment of Bhagat Singh Chair , JNU  can attract funds from different sources, some of which could be as followed by:
(i)  Govt. sources- the Central Govt. has formed a national committee for organizing different events for celebrating these nationally significant anniversaries, which means specific amount must have been sanctioned for expenditure . JNU can approach Central Govt. in this regard and can hope to get a  substantial grant for this purpose through Ministry of Human Resources. Ministry of Youth& Culture can also be approached, with assured certain amount being sanctioned for this purpose.
(iii) U.G.C. would also be sympathetic to sanction grant for such lofty ideal
(iv) A minimum of five state Govts. can be expected to sanction funds for this purpose. These state govts. include Punjab, DelhiWest Bengal, Tripura and Kerala.
        After getting necessary funds from Central Govt., Chair can be made functional                 in School of Social Sciences, with multi-disciplinary approach. It should have academic and administrative autonomy like PC Joshi archives, but this chair should concentrate on research and it should have more number of fellowships, as and when it generates more funds. For details, University can start with forming an expert committee , which can explore many more ideas, apart from those expressed in this proposal.
        Once the Chair starts functioning, an endowment fund can also be planned to expand the infra-structure, like library, more number of fellowships for researchers etc. In this regard, following steps can be taken:

(v) An appeal can be issued to Indians , particularly Punjabis settled abroad, to contribute liberally in this endowment fund for expanding the scope of this Chair. This appeal could be put on websites world over and I am sure it would attract quite good response.
(vi) An appeal could also be issued to JNU faculty to offer the royalty of at least one of their major book for this cause. I am sure many of our own faculty members will respond positively to this suggestion. To begin with, I offer the royalty of my books on Bhagat Singh for this cause. At present I have two books on Bhagat Singh, one in joint editorship, another in my single editing. I offer the royalties of both and also, if there is any new publication in my name on Bhagat Singh- in Hindi, Punjabi or English.
                            I believe that my proposal would be considered quite seriously and all necessary steps required in this direction would be taken. On my part, I assure my fullest cooperation, if this venture is taken up by the University. I am sure it would receive support from all sections of the University-Faculty, Students and Staff.

22/10/06                                                                                 Chaman Lal
                                                                                             Centre of Indian Languages
                                                                                                    J.N.U., New Delhi-110067
This proposal has been strongly endorsed by  Prof. Bipan Chandra,eminent historian and Chairman, National Book Trust of India, Prof. Prabhat Patnaik, eminent JNU Economist and Deputy Chairman Planning Board,Kerala, and Prof. G.S.Bhalla,eminent Economist and former member, Planning Commission of India.
  This proposal is supported by following eminent personalities:
1.Prof. G.K. Chadha-former Vice-Chancellor, JNU, member Prime Minister economic advisory council.
2.P. Sainath—Eminent journalist and writer.
3.Prof. Mridula Mukhrejee—Director, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and eminent historian
4.Prof. Aditya Mukherjee, Prof.&Chairman,Centre for Historical Studies,JNU,New Delhi
5.Prof. Sumit Sarkar—Eminent Historian
6.Prof.Abhiji Sen—Eminent Economist,member-Planning Commission,Professor,JNU
7.Prof.Jayati Ghosh-Eminent Economist ,member Knowledge commission. Prof., JNU
8Prof.Avijit Pathak-Eminent sociologist,Chairman,Centre for Social systems,JNU
9.Prof.Surinder S. Jodhka,Eminent Sociologist,JNU
10Prof. Satya P. Gautam, Chairman Centre for Philosophy,JNU,New Delhi
11.Prof. Tulsi Ram—Eminent Dalit Thinker and Prof. JNU
12.Prof. CP Bhambri-Eminent Political Thinker,JNU
13.Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy-Eminent Social Activist,Prof.-JNU
14.Prof.Kedar Nath Singh-Eminent Hindi Poet and Professor Emirtus-JNU
15.Prof.Varyam Singh-Eminent writer and Dean-School of Languages-JNU
16.Prof.Bhagwan Josh-Eminent Historian,Prof.-JNU
17.Prof. Praveen Jha-Professor, Centre for Economic Study&Planning,JNU
18.Sh. Dhanjay Tripathi-President,JNU Students Union(JNUSU)
19 Prof. Mushirul Hasan-Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Milia Islamia, Eminent Historian
20.Sh Sumit Chakarvrati-Editor, ‘Mainstream’ and Eminent Journalist
21. Prof. Zoya Hasan- Member, Knowledge Commission,Eminent Political Thinker)
22.Prof. Gopal Guru-Eminent Dalit Thinker and Professor, JNU

     The proposal is also being supported by Com. Prakash Karat(CPM), Com. A.B.Bardhan(CPI) Mohd. Salim, MP and Sh. Shashi Bhushan, former MP.
This proposal was submitted to Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on 22nd October 2006.

Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi

Subject: Proposal regarding establishing Bhagat Singh Chair in J.N.U.

         Please find enclosed a proposal on above mentioned subject, which is endorsed by some of very senior faculty members and Professor Emeritus’s of the University.
       I hope the proposal would draw your urgent attention.

With regards

Chaman Lal
Vice Chancellor, JNU

5. JNUTA Support for Chair

In the meantime I had been elected JNU Teachers Association(JNUTA) President and JNUTA also extended support to the proposal, which was also conveyed to Vice Chancellor.
      Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association(JNUTA)
President                    JNU logo                  Secretary
Prof. Chaman Lal                                                   Dr. M.M Kunju

Vice- chancellor

Subject: Bhagat Singh Chair proposal

Dear Professor Bhattacharya,
        Please find enclosed a copy of Bhagat Singh Chair proposal, which has already been submitted by Prof. Chaman Lal  and   endorsed by JNUTA Executive committee in its meeting on 11/01/07.This proposal has got support from many eminent personalities, as well as from JNUSU, as is apparent from the list given at the end. We hope JNU administration will take necessary steps to establish this chair in the birth centenary year of Bhagat Singh during 2007.

Chaman Lal                                                                         M.M Kunju

Media also highlighted this proposal in major English, Hindi and Punjabi.two clippings of that time in The Hindu and Asian Age-

Proposal sent to Govt. of India

Since the copy of proposal was also sent to Prime Minister, MHRD minister and people like Sh. Shashi Bhushan, it got attention of Programme Implementation Committee of Govt. of India, which was created as subcommittee of five eminent anniversaries larger committee formed under Prime Minister of India in 2007

Bhagat Singh Chair granted to JNU by Govt. of India

 Out of these five anniversaries, two related to Bhagat Singh alone-75th Martyrdom anniversary-2006 and birth centenary-2007. Shashi Bhushan was most effective member from Govt. side in Programme implementation committee under the chair of Sh. Arjun Singh then MHRD minister. It was in this committee this proposal was accepted on 6th March 2007.

  Govt. sent the letter in this regard to JNU on 28th March 2007 asking for proposal to set up Bhagat Singh Chair.

8. JNU locates Bhagat Singh chair at History centre
 JNU administration circulated this letter to all centres particularly in Humanities related Schools. No proposal was submitted by any Centre or individual faculty member except me. Irony is that Centre for Historical Studies (CHS) took up the chair when allotted to JNU by Govt., but without showing any interest when proposals were invited!
     JNU responded on 11th May 2007 to Govt. of India accepting the offer and submitted my proposal for the chair-

In the meantime, JNU called a meeting of three Deans of Schools of Social Sciences(SSS), International Studies(SIS) and Languages(SLL&CS), under chairmanship of Rector, which awarded the chair to School of Social Sciences to be placed in Centre for Historical Studies(CHS).The committee put on record appreciation of my efforts in this regard on 18th June 2007 and also resolved to involve me in consultative capacity of the chair, which was never done as one would see later!-

While appreciating Govt. decision I wrote to Prime Minister on 31st August 2007-
. My letter to Prime Minister in this regard is reproduced-

Professor Chaman Lal                                                                  Dated:-31-8-07

Centre of Indian Languages (SLL&CS)
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi -110067 (INDIA)

Prime Minister of India
Chairman, National Committee on national Anniversaries
Government of India
New Delhi

Subject: In regard to birth centenary celebrations of Bhagat Singh

Dear Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh ji,
                      As the birth centenary of the greatest martyr of the nation-Bhagat Singh, begins from 28th September, the day he was born in Chak No. 105, village Banga in Jadanwala tehsil of district Lyallpur( Now named Faislabad) in undivided India in year1907, I wish to draw your attention towards certain significant matters, which should be paid serious and urgent attention.
  1.  We, in India, celebrate Bhagat Singh birth day and martyrdom day in village Khatkar Kalan in district Nawanshehar( now being named as (Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar) and at Hussainiwala near Ferozepur, where we have erected a memorial for them , taking these to be the place of his birth and cremation, respectively. The fact of the matter is that both the places are artificially created. Bhagat Singh was born in a house at the place, I mentioned above and I have visited that house recently and brought some photographs too, which I am attaching with this mail. Khatkar Kalan is just the ancestral village of Bhagat Singh, where he never lived. Same way Bhagat Singh was executed in Lahore jail, the ‘Phansighat’ has since been demolished and turned into ‘Shadman Chowk’,its photographs are also attached with. Bhagat Singh had his early education in a village near his house, about which CPI General Secretary Sh. A.B.Bardhan has drawn your attention. Better part of Bhagat Singh’s life was spent in Lahore. His father, a patriot in his own right and a Congress worker had a farmhouse near Lahore. Bhagat Singh and his father had long association with Bradlaugh Hall, Lahore, which was the centre of national movement and which located National College, set up by Lala Lajpat Rai, where Bhagat Singh had his education. (Photographs attached) In fact, after execution a horrifying cremation of bodies took place, badly cut into pieces and burnt after pouring kerosene on these near Ganda Singhwala village by British rule, which is now called Hussainiwala. The piece of land, which was actually acquired by Govt. of India after many years of partition. But the people searching for the bodies for whole night of 23rd March 1931, had actually picked up the half burnt pieces and brought these back to Lahore and cremated these properly with huge procession on Ravi river bank, where earlier Lala Lajpat Rai was cremated in November 1928. So the actual place for memorial of Bhagat Singh is Lahore, either at the location of river Ravi or at Shadman Chowk, where they were executed.
  2.  On the occasion of Bhagat Singh centenary, I think these are the places, where memorial functions must be held, with the participation of Indian and Pakistani people and if possible, with both the Governments should also plan joint functions. Bhagat Singh is loved by Pakistani people as well and he is the one, who is regarded as a common symbol of freedom struggle. Government of India must send a delegation to Lahore and Chak no. 105, his birth place, probably in the leadership of Sh. Shashi Bhushan, former M.P. and member of programme implementation committee for Bhagat Singh birth anniversary. Members of Parliament like Mohmad Salim(CPM), Abani Roy(RSP), Debbrat Biswas(Forward Block),D Raja(CPI), historians like Prof. Bipan Chandra, journalists like Kuldeep Nayar, Chief Editor-‘The Tribune’ from Chandigarh, patriots like Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga, President Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall Jalandhar, writers like C D Sidhu,( Author of Punjabi play-Bhagat Singh Shaheed) film makers like Rajkumar Santoshi and Ajay Devgun,(“The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ fame) members of Bhagat Singh family—Kiranjit Singh(nephew -son of Kultar Singh), Jagmohan Singh(nephew), Abhai Singh(nephew), Advocate and writer Malwinderjit Singh Waraich,Researcher Dr. Gurdev Singh Sidhu etc. should form Indian delegation. These names are such, who have contributed towards preserving the legacy of Bhagat Singh.
  3. Government of India should make efforts to get Bradlaugh Hall of Lahore declared as heritage building from Government of Pakistan. At the moment the building is in bad shape, but this must be preserved due to its historic importance in freedom struggle. This should also serve as common symbol of the people of both the countries. Same way the house, where Bhagat Singh was born should also be turned into a memorial. Initially, a plaque must be put up there and it should develop into a place, where Indian visitors could easily go to pay their respects, as they go to Nankana Sahib. A plaque and statue of Bhagat Singh needs to be put up near or inside Shadman Chowk square, Lahore. This demand has been made many times by Pakistani intelligentsia itself and the present Pakistani Govt. may not be averse to this idea. A plaque should be put up in Mianwali jail in Pakistan, where Bhagat Singh was kept for few months.
  4. A year long common programmes like film shows, drama festivals, poets/writers meet, seminars etc. should also be chalked out to commemorate Bhagat Singh, either at various groups level or at Governmental level or at both the levels. In this regard Bhagat Singh’s writings must be published in Urdu, Sindhi, Pashto, Punjabi (Persian script) and Baluchi for Pakistani readers. At least it should begin with Urdu and Punjabi in Persian script, which is in use in Pakistan.
                           I wish and hope that these suggestions may be kept in mind, while chalking out various programmes in regard to Bhagat Singh centenary. If programme implementation committee can discuss these suggestions that will even be better. The committee has already taken a commendable decision to establish Bhagat Singh Chair in JNU and 1857 Chair in IGNOU.
With best regards

Chaman Lal

Editor—‘Bhagat Singh ke Sampuran Dastavej’(Hindi)
-do-       ‘Bhagat Singh ke Rajnitik Dastavej’ (Hindi-NBT-under print)
Co-editor ‘Bhagat Singh aur unke sathiyon ke Dastavej’(Hindi)
Compilation and Introduction—‘Jail Notebook and Other Writings’-Bhagat Singh (Leftword, Delhi)
Editor      Bhagat Singh:Jivan aur Rachna’ (Hindi—being submitted)
Writer     Ghadar Party Nayak:Kartar Singh Sarabha(Hindi-NBT) 
President- Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA)
Copy:  Sh. Arjun Singh, Minister,MHRD, Chairman. Programme Implementaion committee.

9. Proposal to hold first Bhagat Singh Memorial Lecture in JNU Chair

Since the Chair was given to JNU, I started making efforts to get it functionalised. In February 2008, I mooted a proposal for holding first Bhagat Singh memorial lecture from eminent Pakistani historian Prof. Mubark Ali and sent proposal to Rector of JNU on 5th February 2008-

Professor Chaman Lal                                                                          Dated:--5th February,’08

Centre of Indian Languages (SLL&CS)
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi -110067

Subject:  Proposal for holding Bhagat Singh memorial lecture.

Through: Chairperson,C.I.L./Dean,SLL&CS

Dear Professor Rajender Prasad,
              This is in context of discussion we had the other day regarding Bhagat Singh Chair. By now, you might have gone through the minutes of Programme implementation committee of Govt. of India on national anniversaries, which has now sanctioned two crore rupees as corpus fund for Bhagat Singh Chair. Govt. has also desired to make the Chair functional as early as possible. In this regard, I have the following suggestions:
1)                  Bhagat Singh Chair should be inaugurated in the month of March by holding first Bhagat Singh memorial lecture by an internationally renowned historian Professor Mubark Ali from Pakistan. This lecture could be held between 10th to 25th March, as the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh falls on 23rd March. It could be held on an earlier date, as there is a rush of programmes around 23rd March. Professor Bipan Chandra, who has done pioneering work on Bhagat Singh could be invited to chair this memorial lecture.
2)             A two or three day international seminar on Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries role in Freedom Movement could be held during the later part of year with good preparation. This could be held in collaboration with Institute of Socialist Education, which is located in front of east gate of J.N.U. in ‘Secular House’. 
3)          An archives, as suggested by me in the initial proposal for the Chair, to collect documents of revolutionary movements in India from 1757 to 1947, could also be given a preliminary shape, by allotting some space in the Central Library for this purpose.
                             One needs to give time for all these activities. Given the chance, I am prepared to perform all these duties. For this purpose, if I could be designated “Concurrent Professor on Bhagat Singh Chair’, till the time the post is filled on regular basis; I am willing to share the responsibility, along with performing my duties in Centre of Indian Languages.
  With best regards

   (Chaman Lal)   
       I followed it up with another letter on 20th February 2008, in the hope that Chair could start functioning from 23rd March 2008, the martyrdom day of three freedom fighters-

Professor Chaman Lal                                                                          Dated:--20th February,’08

Centre of Indian Languages (SLL&CS)
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi -110067
                                                Through Proper Channel

Subject: Proposal on Bhagat Singh memorial lecture

Dear Professor Rajender Prasad,
                This is in continuation of my earlier communication, in which I had suggested Prof. Mubark Ali’s name for delivering first Bhagat Singh memorial international lecture at JNU. In the meantime I had received CV of Prof. Mubark Ali and his consent on email to deliver the lecture. I am sending the tentative programme and approximate expenses to organize this programme, mentioned below:
             It would be a half day programme, which would preferably to be held in SSS-I auditorium, subject to availability. The theme of the lecture tentatively would be—‘The relevance of Bhagat Singh in present day India and Pakistan’. The lecture would be followed by discussion. Prof. Bipan Chandra would be invited to preside over. Prof. Savyasachi Bhattacharya, Chairman ICHR would also be approached to be associated with this programme. Hopefully the lecture would invite audience from D.U., Jamia Milia, IGNOU, apart from JNU.
                  Return air ticket to Lahore from Delhi cost about fifteen thousand rupees plus. Tea and other arrangements would also need expenses. Fifty thousand rupees may be the upper limit for organizing the whole programme, though efforts would be made make the minimal expenses.
                     I hope you would approve the proposal formally, so that necessary arrangements could be initiated as the schedule of time is rather tight.
With regards

Chaman Lal
10. Proposal to hold lecture killed inappropriately
In the meantime Chairman of Centre of Indian Languages, acted in most inappropriate and immoral manner to get the proposal to hold Bhagat Singh memorial lecture killed by acting against CIL faculty’s approval for this lecture earlier, about which I wrote to Rector-JNU on 29th February 2008-

Professor Chaman Lal                                         Dated:--29th February,’08

Centre of Indian Languages (SLL&CS)
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi -110067

Subject: Regarding Killed Proposal for Bhagat Singh memorial lecture

Dear Professor Rajender Prasad,
               Please refer to my earlier letters of 5th and 20th February in this regard. Although the proposal was submitted after informal discussion with you and was duly read and approved in 7th February,’08 faculty meeting of CIL, before being forwarded to you by Chairman/CIL and Dean/SLL&CS. The continuation letter of 20th February was subjected to wrong interpretation and subsequent rejection of the proposal by Chairman CIL in a most unacademic manner. The facts of the whole process are as followed by:
  1. I submitted a letter addressed to you for being forwarded through proper channel on 5th February,’08 to CIL office. The Chairman read the letter in 7th February Faculty meeting, which included proposal for holding Bhagat Singh memorial lecture to be delivered by Prof. Mubark Ali, apart from few other suggestions. Faculty approved the letter in Toto and asked to be forwarded to you.(Annexure-I)However despite my request to put the decision in the minutes of Faculty meeting, Chairman inexplicably refused to record it in the minutes and forwarded it, which was further forwarded by Dean of the School to your office.
  2.  Since the time suggested for proposed lecture, around first week of March, keeping in view your engagements from 10th to 25th March, was very short, I sought the consent of proposed speaker Prof. Mubark Ali on mail and acquired even his bio-data. In continuation of my 5th February letter, I wrote another letter to you on 20th February to be sent through proper channel. This letter gave further details of programme and approximate expenses for the proposed programme. Since it was a letter in continuation of earlier letter of 5th February, which was put before faculty and approved on 7th February, the natural course before Chairman was to forward it to you, without any delay. But Chairman, first forwarded it on 21st February, which was probably forwarded by Dean as well. Somehow on second thought, he withheld the letter and put a note with different pen, afterwards Dean also put another note, then it was forwarded to you only on 25th or 26th February.(Annexure-II) The intention has been very clear to kill the proposal. As I received the letter back from your office due to the comments of Chairperson, as ‘being individual proposal of Prof. Chaman Lal’ ‘not discussed in the centre’, I raised the issue in the Faculty meeting on 28th February,’08. Though all the faculty members accepted that the proposal was read and the name of Prof. Mubark Ali for lecture was also part of that, Chairman irrelevantly made unsavory remarks about the scholarly credentials of Prof. Mubark Ali and mentioned Prof. Randhir Singh’s name as well. While accepting that Prof. Randhir Singh could also be invited, I objected to his comments on Prof. Mubark Ali by saying that one could have different opinion about the scholarship of people, but one can denigrate people by unsavory remarks. Incidentally I had submitted the CV of Prof. Mubark Ali, which has the reference of one of JNU’s renowned Professor of History, Prof. Harbans Mukhia. Since many members of faculty did not know about Prof. Mubark Ali’s works, they kept quite. In the discussion that followed, Chairman Prof. Talwar was supported by only one member of the faculty Dr. Gobind Prasad to reject the proposal out rightly. Whereas at least three members of the faculty, namely Prof. K. Nachimatu, Dr. Raman Sinha and Dr. Khwaja Ikram supported my proposal explicitly and strongly. One member Dr. Ram Chandra did not oppose, but suggested collaboration with CHS. Other members namely, Prof. Shahid Hussain, Prof. Jinawade, Dr. Mazhar Hussain, Dr. Anwar Alam ,Dr. Ranjit Saha, Dr. O.P.Singh and Sh. Ganga Sahay Meena did not express any opinion at all, though most of them were in favor of having programme in memory of Bhagat Singh. Rest of the faculty members were not present. Only last year CIL had invited renowned historian Prof. Irfan Habib to deliver Kabir memorial lecture. Everybody agreed that since JNU is a place known for interdisciplinary studies, there are no technical boundaries to have programmes in different disciplines. In spite of large number of faculty members not supporting Chairman to reject the proposal, Chairman announced the rejection of proposal, which individually most of the faculty members felt that it was in bad taste. However not many members expressed their opinion explicitly in the meeting.
  3.              So for all practical purposes, the proposal to hold Bhagat Singh memorial lecture in JNU stands killed, but this whole process raises some disturbing questions, which needs to be addressed and paid serious attention, such as:
(A)  Is it not administratively and academically immoral to reject the proposal, which was approved in one meeting of faculty and forwarded to Rector-I?
(B)  Does it not  bring JNU into bad light outside the country, when a renowned scholar is first approached for delivering a lecture and later has to get a ‘regret letter’, not because of sound administrative or academic reasons, but because of ‘petty politicking’ at the centre level?
(C)  Is it not immoral to first forward a letter and then on after thought write a ‘note’ with intention to kill the proposal?
(D)  Is the Chairmanship or any other rotatary academic administrative position a ‘duty’ to be performed dispassionately or to ‘settle personal scores’ or ‘promote personal agenda’, with no objective academic concern for the Centre or the University?                                                                                                                          

  1.                  I will welcome probe into the whole issue and submit my mail communication with Prof. Mubark Ali for scrutiny to any University official. I am enclosing the copy of both the letters addressed to you in this regard. It is necessary to probe this, because such subjective and personalized functioning by any chairman will damage the reputation and credibility of JNU’s academic and democratic ethos.
  2.             Incidentally I have been practically, though not formally designated as ‘Consultant’ to proposed Bhagat Singh Chair, by a committee under the Chairmanship of Rector-II, which included three Deans of SSS, SIS and SLL&CS. Would it not be desirable to assign me the duty of organizing such lectures or other programmes independently, till the time Chair starts formally functioning?(Annexure-III)
                                 Lastly, since I have not routed this letter through Chairman/Dean, I wish Rector and Vice Chancellor to welcome such letters from faculty directly, which are in the broader interest of the University. You may treat it as official/demi -official/informal, but please pay urgent attention to the issues involved.
 With best regards

Chaman lal       
Copy to Vice Chancellor
It was becoming increasingly clear that even though JNU administration accepted Bhagat Singh Chair for University, it has no desire to make it functional, not even to hold even a Bhagat Singh memorial lecture to begin with. It made me very unhappy and gave me a sense of embarrassment before Sh. Shashi Bhushan, who got this Chair for JNU at my insistence, but which was not even holding a memorial lecture from the chair during Bhagat Singh birth centenary, which Govt.of India was celebrating at big level. In order to pay tributes to Bhagat Singh in JNU during birth centenary year, in association with Institute of Socialist Education whose President Sh. Shashi Bhushan was, I mooted a proposal on 5th March 2008 to hold memorial lecture for Bhagat Singh and 1857 martyrs on 8th April 2008 in JNU-

Professor Chaman Lal                                                                         Dated:--5th March, 08

Centre of Indian Languages (SLL&CS)
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi -110067

Subject: Proposal on Bhagat Singh memorial discussion

                           A Bhagat Singh memorial discussion on the theme of ‘The relevance of Bhagat Singh in present day India and Pakistan’ is proposed to be held on 8th April, on the day of martyrdom of Mangal Pandey and the anniversary of bomb throwing in Delhi Assembly by Bhagat Singh and B.K.Dutt. The proposed speakers are—Prof. Mubark Ali from Pakistan, Prof. Bipan Chandra,Prof. Savyasachi Bhattacharya, Chairman ICHR, Prof. Irfan Habib and Prof. Arjun Dev. The presentations would be followed by discussion. The total expenses, including, Hall booking, poster making and refreshments etc. could be around fifty thousand reuppes. Institute of Socialist Education can organize either on its own or in association with ICHR. The programme can be held in JNU, where large number of students can turn up for this programme.

Institute of Socialist Education, New Delhi
Copy—ICHR, New Dellhi
11.     Bhagat Singh-1857 Memorial discussion held in JNU on 15th April 2008

This discussion was held in JNU on 15th April. In which Prof. Irfan Habib,Prof. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, Prof. Mridula Mukherjee along with Shashi Bhushan and Vie Chancellor of JNU Prof. B B Bhattacharya participated,  was covered well in the media-

             12. Government of India releases two crores rupees grant for Bhagat Singh Chair

Govt. of India released funds for the chair on 10th March 2008 with certain conditions, which included utilizing the funds for the purpose of grant, meaning whereby working on my proposal submitted by JNU. It also put a penalty of recovery of funds with 10% penal interest if funds not utilised properly. Within six months utility certificate for using the grant for assigned proposal was to be submitted to ministry, which gave grant. Occasional reports were also be submitted on the developments of the Chair functioning.

In April 2008, I wrote a letter in this regard to Rector(Academic), expressing my concerns about the chair-

Professor Chaman Lal                                                                         Dated:--7th April,’08

Centre of Indian Languages (SLL&CS)
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi -110067

Subject: Regarding Bhagat Singh Chair

               I wish to draw your kind attention towards following facts:

1.         I started campaign at all India level to get first ever Bhagat Singh Chair established in JNU since October, 2006 by submitting a proposal to the Vice Chancellor, JNU. The proposal was recommended by more than twenty eminent scholars of the country, including from JNU.
2.         I was informed about JNU’s inability to establish the Chair from its own resources; however I was referred to the procedure and budgetary needs for establishing a chair in JNU. I wrote to President and Prime Minister of India, along with sending an appeal to many members of Parliament and leaders of political parties to support this idea at their level. I had even drafted an appeal for NRI’s abroad to contribute funds to facilitate the establishment of this chair. However, since the Govt. of India notified the formation of National committee and Programme implementation committee for making programmes to celebrate Bhagat Singh centenary and other centenaries, I approached the members of this committee. I was happy to get a very positive response from Sh. Shashi Bhushan, freedom fighter, former M.P. and Padam Bhushan awardee, who pleaded very strongly to establish Bhagat Singh Chair in JNU and Bahadur Shah Zafar Chair in IGNOU in National programme implementation committee, of which , he is one of the most vocal and influential member. Although there was opinion in favour of Jamia Milia Islamia to have Bhagat singh Chair, it was on my strong emotional pleading for JNU, that Chair got finally to JNU.
3.          After programme implementation committee decided to allot Bhagat Singh chair to JNU, it asked JNU through MHRD to send a proposal in this regard. Deputy Registrar JNU Sh. A.K.Malik sent proposal ‘Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chair and Archives for Revolutionary Movements (1757-1947)’. This proposal was drafted by me, which was acknowledged in forwarding letter of Sh. Malik. On 23rd May, 2007 Vice Chancellor in his own signature sent the letter to have Chair in School of Social sciences at JNU.  
4.     Accepting the proposal sent through MHRD,the committee initially sanctioned 18 lakh rupees for Bhagat Singh Chair, but later at the pleadings of Sh. Shashi Bhushan, the corpus fund of rupees two crore each was sanctioned for Bhagat Singh chair, as well as for Bahadur Shah Zafar Chair. Interestingly JNU has sought only one crore ruppes as corpus fund, whereas it got two crores amount, which is rare development.
5.           Initially I had also suggested that JNU faculty could contribute one of their books royalty towards Bhagat Singh Chair, which I did not pursue later, but I expressed my desire to contribute royalty or remuneration from my books on Bhagat Singh (Five till now, but more in preparation).Accordingly I submitted my first cheque received after the establishment of Bhagat Singh chair to JNU officials for depositing in the account of Bhagat Singh Chair.
6.           On 18th June, 2007, committee of Deans of School of Social Sciences, School of International studies and School of Languages, Literatures and Culture, in a meeting chaired by Rector-II, decided to locate the Chair in the Centre for Historical Studies, however, keeping in view of my ‘efforts and expertise in the subject’ also recorded to keep me involved in the establishment of Chair in ‘consultative capacity’. Frankly, the chair could have been located in any centre, but it does require an integrated study and program. It needs to have competence or exposure to political thought, language &literary studies, apart from having historical perspective.  Bhagat Singh was not only a historical personality, he was a political thinker, litterateur, who wrote in four different languages—Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and English. To undertake research & studies on him I am even trying to have good command on Urdu, which I have already learnt to read slowly.
7.          After waiting for many months, I, on my own talked to Chairman of CHS to have some discussion on the Chair, which was not generally encouraged. Though I was bit reluctant to take initiative on my own, still having keen interest to see this historic chair make its mark on academic scene, having put so much efforts, I ignored the question of even dignity to carry on communication in this regard, but I failed to get any positive response, which did made me sad.
8.          On February 5th,2008, after having a preliminary informal discussion with Professor Rajender Kumar, Rector-I(Academic), I submitted a proposal to him through Chairperson CIL/Dean SLL&CS, which among other things suggested to inaugurate the Chair around 23rd March, martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, by holding first international Bhagat Singh memorial lecture. I had offered that apart from performing my normal duties in CIL, I can devote my time to the chair as ‘Concurrent Professor’, till the time, Chair had its regular incumbent. Addressed to Rector-I, this letter was duly forwarded to Rector, after being approved in CIL faculty meeting. However, the letter of 20th February, ‘In continuation of 5th February letter’ was killed, the details of which are given in another communication.(About killed BS lecture proposal)
9.           CHS faculty meeting did not agree to allow me to work on Bhagat Singh Chair as ‘Concurrent Professor’. Faculty probably did not even discuss my other suggestions like holding lecture/seminar etc.
10.            In the meantime JNU received grant of two crore rupees from Ministry of Culture vide their letter dated 10th March, the information of which I had already submitted to VC/Rector with the copy of minutes of programme implementation committee in January end itself. While sanctioning the amount, the ministry has put certain terms& conditions, which include spending the money on ‘given project’ or proposal, which has been accepted by MHRD earlier and to show ‘performance-cum-achievement report’ thereof within six months, i.e. by the end of august or so.
11.         During the last two years, apart from actively campaigning for the chair, I had devoted my time and energy to work on the documentation and propagation of Bhagat Singh’s ideas through writing/editing books/articles in English, Hindi& Punjabi, and delivering lectures through length and breadth of the country, the details of which are available in my bio-data. Even now, I am in the process of preparing at least three books in English and as many in Hindi, on the basis of material collected/available in National Archives and Nehru Memorial Library& Museum. Historians refer to my publications in this regard, but I do not know whether they consider me ‘historian’ or not.
12.           I can only request you to find out a rational and productive way to functionalize Bhagat singh Chair in JNU, for which we feel proud to have and wish that the original proposal which has been approved by MHRD, starts taking concrete shape. I can only say that I am ready to contribute in any manner to see the chair not only function, but also bring JNU further laurels in the field of academic excellence.  I still wish to issue an appeal to NRI’s to contribute liberally towards this chair, in order to create many fellowships in the memory of martyrs like Khudi Ram Bose, Kartar singh Sarabha, Ram Prasad Bismillah, Ashfaquallah, Preetilata Wadedar, Master Surya Sen, Chandershekhar Azad and so many others.

Rector (Academic)
Copy to Vice Chancellor
Copy to Rector-II

Rather than attending to my concerns, I was tried to be kept away from all activites relating to Bhagat Singh Chair, despite 18th June 2007 decision to keep me involved in ‘Consultative Capacity’! on 10th April 2008, I was sent this letter-

13.    CHS-JNU report to Govt. of India-October-2008

As per the terms of Govt. of India’s grant sanction letter, a report was to be sent within six months of receiving the funds. Centre for Historical Studies, though did not do any activity on Chair, sent this report in October 2008, along with demand for raising grant amount from 2 crore rupees to 10 crore rupees. The report incidentally was not in consonance with the proposal which was sent by JNU administration to Govt. of India, which was supposed to “Study Anti Colonial Revolutionary Movements during 1757-1947 period” and also to create Archives for that. Original Proposal is given in the beginning of this story. 

14.    Discussion in Centre for Historical Studies without Prof Bipan Chandra on Chair-30th January 2009
Chairperson of Centre of Historical Studies (CHS) invited me for a discussion on Chair programmes on 30th January 2009. Prof. Bhagwan Josh was also part of this discussion, while we were told that Prof. Bipan Chandra is not able to attend the meeting due to ‘illness’, which was denied by him later by saying that he was never invited for the meeting!. CHS Chairperson was supposed to send me the minutes of this discussion, which he never sent. I had gone to Mauritius in a UGC assignment for seven weeks, but even after my return, the minutes were not sent despite two reminders, 1st on 9th April and second on 5th June in this regard-

Professor Chaman Lal                                                                         Dated: -- 5th June, 2009
Centre of Indian Languages (SLL&CS)
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi -110067

Sub. Regarding Minutes of committee on Bhagat Singh Chair

Dear Professor Neeladri Bhattacharya,
                    As you remember, the meeting of above committee was held on 30th January, 2009 and it was decided that the minutes of the meeting shall be sent to members within a week. Prof. Bhagwan Josh, yourself and I attended the meeting. Professor Bipan Chandra was part of the committee, approved by CHS faculty, but you told that he can’t attend the meeting, as ‘he was not well’.
                    After my return from Mauritius, I checked with my office whether any letter from CHS has come. There was no letter. Your office also expressed ignorance about sending any communication to me. Professor Bhagwan Josh confirmed that he did not receive the copy of minutes of the above meeting. I tried to talk to you on phone many times but I was cold shouldered. Then I sent a reminder to you on 9th April regarding the minutes, the letter was not even acknowledged, not to think of getting the copy of the minutes. In between I checked from Professor Bipan Chandra whether he expressed his unwillingness to attend the meeting. He was surprised and said that he was not approached about the meeting and he would have certainly liked to participate in the meeting.          Not getting any response from your side I wrote a letter to Rector-II, under whose Chairmanship the Bhagat Singh Chair was allotted to CHS, but the committee also put on record to involve me in the setting up of the chair. The copy of the letter was sent to you as well. You remember that I and Prof. Bhagwan Josh agreed  with you on most of the issues, we just wanted to add-‘To study Bhagat Singh Thought/Ideas’, prior to what CHS faculty has put as essential qualifications for the post-‘To study anti-colonial struggles and movements for social emancipation. While you agreed with us, but apprehended that CHS faculty will not agree to that. I apprehend that my letter would have got the same response from your office as you expressed in this meeting.         I am writing this letter to just put the facts in the matter on record, as I don’t expect now the copy of the minutes, which now I apprehend that have not been prepared on some purpose, which I don’t know. Same way to keep Professor Bipan Chandra, the most respected scholar on Bhagat Singh, away from this crucial meeting also indicates to some thing which is beyond my comprehension. I am apprehensive that under the circumstances Bhagat Singh Chair is not going to perform the tasks for which National Programme implementation committee has sanctioned this chair to JNU, neither MHRD guidelines are going to be followed in this regard. It must be kept in mind that MHRD has sanctioned this chair on the base of my proposal, sent by JNU administration to MHRD.SincerelyChaman LalCopies to –Dean,SSS, Rector-!,Rector-2,C.E.(Incharge Chairs
15.    Frustration and Withdrawal
Frustrated and disappointed at CHS attitude I wrote about my concerns to Rector-II, incharge of Chairs in JNU on 7th April 2009-

Professor Chaman Lal                                                 Dated: -- 7th April, 2009
Centre of Indian Languages (SLL&CS)
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-110067

Regarding Bhagat Singh Chair

Dear Professor Kumar,
This is in reference to the responsibility assigned to me by the committee under your chairmanship in June 2007. I was and am supposed to have some advisory role in setting up ‘Bhagat Singh Chair’ in JNU, keeping in view of my involvement in this regard. I wish to bring to your kind notice some developments in this connection, which in my view are not very encouraging.
1.  I was invited by Chairperson, Centre for Historical Studies, Prof. Neeladri Bhattacharya to join in consultation regarding Bhagat Singh Chair in January end 2009.Prof. Neeladri Bhttacharya, Prof. Bhagwan Josh and myself deliberated upon the programmes for this proposed Chair. Prof. Bipan Chandra was also supposed to join as per CHS faculty decision about committee, but perhaps due to health problems, he was not able to join. Prior to this committee’s meeting, CHS faculty had many discussions regarding Chair’s academic programmes, about which I was and am largely unaware of. I had sent the copy of my proposal (only proposal received by the University despite circulation in at least four major Schools inviting proposals regarding this Chair), which was duly sent by JNU administration to MHRD for setting up this Chair in JNU. I was happy that MHRD accepted my proposal and sanctioned Bhagat Singh Chair for JNU. An amount of Two crore rupees was also sanctioned for the Chair with certain guidelines.( This amount is likely to be increased to five crore rupees.) The guidelines included six monthly reports on the activities of the chair.
2.  However it took almost one and half year to start proceeding in the setting up of the Chair. While agreeing with most of the suggestions brought by Prof. Neeladri Bhattacharya on behalf of CHS faculty, I made a suggestion regarding essential qualifications for the recruitment of Chair Professor. CHS faculty has put it as—‘To study anti colonial struggles and movements for social emancipation.’ I suggested adding ‘To study Bhagat Singh Thought/Ideas’, prior to the above mentioned qualification. Prof. Bhagwan Josh fully supported me in this regard, while Prof. Neeladri Bhattacharya also did not oppose it, yet expressed his doubts that CHS faculty might not agree to this suggestion. Prof. Bhagwan Josh and I did not object to the mentioned qualification, we just insisted upon adding ‘Study of Bhagat Singh Thought/Ideas’ to do justice with the Chair. I pleaded that it was first historic Chair in the country in the name of Bhagat Singh and he has substantial number of political writings, which becomes the base of studying Bhagat Singh Thought/ideas and if first ever Bhagat Singh Chair would not begin with studying Bhagat Singh Thought, what justice it would do to the name or memory of Bhagat Singh? Even Prof. Bipan Chandra in verbal discussion with me had told that he fully agrees with my proposal sent to MHRD.  This proposal includes study of Bhagat Singh Thought and also the study of anti colonial movements from 1757 to 1947.
3.  After my return from Mauritius, I came to know that CHS has sent Bhagat Singh Chair Professor post for advertisement, but this does not include the suggestion of the committee held in January 2009, regarding essential qualifications for the post and has put up the earlier CHS faculty recommendation regarding essential qualifications, without any reference to ‘The Study of Bhagat Singh Thought/Ideas’. This has somewhat shocked me. While I respect institutional autonomy of faculty/Centre recommendations, yet the views of committees appointed by faculties themselves or by University administration should also be given due consideration. Particularly committees appointed for specific purposes. In this connection, I  was involved in advisory role for setting up Bhagat Singh Chair by the committee of Deans, chaired by Rector-2 and also invited by the committee appointed by CHS faculty itself to chalk out programmes for the Chair. So to ignore the suggestions of the committee in this regard seems to be very unfair on academic grounds.
4.  In the age of RTI, any person in society at any stage can acquire the copies of proposal sent by JNU for establishing Bhagat Singh Chair and the copies of MHRD approval in this regard and ask for report on steps taken. Questions can be raised in parliament, even before the establishment of Chair, 2-3 questions had already been raised and JNU had to reply about these. Any Government if it feels that the amount sanctioned for particular purpose (Chair proposal in this matter) has not been spent properly, can ask for punitive return of the spent amount, which is clear from the guidelines sent along with the sanction letter.
5.  Considering the whole issue in proper perspective with care and caution, it would not be advisable to treat Bhagat Singh Chair like any Professorship in some particular subject. Chairs like Dr. Ambedkar Chair, Bhagat Singh Chair etc. are established to focus upon certain specific ideas and movements and these Chairs are under more academic/public scrutiny as well. I had campaigned to get first ever Bhagat Singh Chair to be established in JNU, because I think this is the best place where justice could be done to ideas of Bhagat Singh and also that it has the best academic environment for studying Bhagat Singh thought.  If even JNU can not do justice to the study of ideas of Bhagat singh in objective and historical perspective, then it would be repeating the same historical error in evaluation of Bhagat Singh, through which he remains confined as ‘brave patriot’, ‘ revolutionary terrorist’ or some such kind and it will bring no good name to the prestige of JNU.
I hope your intervention will make things move in right direction.

With sincere regards
                     Chaman Lal
After not getting any response from Rector, I addressed another letter to Vice Chancellor on 21st June, confirming my apprehensions about the chair-
To                                                                                          21st June,  2009.
The Vice-Chancellor
New Delhi-110067.

Subject: Regarding Bhagat Singh Chair.

Dear Sir,
This is in the context of the letter which Professor Chamanlal has sent to you on 5th June,2009 regarding the contents of the Bhagat Singh Chair. He has sent a copy this letter to me also.
The letter gives the details of the meeting in which I, Professor Neeladhari Bhattacharya and Professor Chamanlal have participated to discuss the contents of the Bhagat Singh Chair.This meeting was held on 30th January, 2009.This is to put on record my perception of the meeting.
  1. Professor Chamanlal is correct in saying that minutes of the meeting was not circulated.
  2. After discussion  I agreed with professor Chamanlal that the words “ To study Bhagat Singh’s thought” should be added to the already framed text which read as: “ To Study Anti-Colonial Struggles and Movements for social Emancipation.”
  3. In my view addition of these words is necessary to underline the fact that the contents of the Chair ALSO include the specific concerns of a historical personality that belonged to a specific current of Indian Nationalism.

Thanking you.

Yours Sincerely
Bhagwan Josh
Professor of History.
Copy to:
3.Dean SSS
4.Chairperson, CHS/SSS
This was the last attempt to draw University administration attention, Prof. Bhagwan Josh was also not given any response.
    From June 2009 to October 2010, till I was in JNU before going for an assignment to University of West Indies for 14 months, I was not given any information about Chair’s functioning despite my association with it in ‘Consultative Capacity’ as per JNU administration own decision of 2007.
16.  Questions in Parliament and media discussion
I came to know through media reports that at least two questions in Lok Sabha regarding Bhagat Singh Chair, one was by BJP member Hema Malini. There was lot of reports in media, but I am just one in my records

 Probably due to adverse media reports and Parliament questions, CHS organized first Shaheed Bhagat Singh Memorial lecture on 23rd March 2010 by Prof. Bipan Chandra, but that was the only activity in whole seven-eight years of existence of Bhagat Singh Chair in JNU. Second lecture , which is controversial to say the least in relation to Chair was only after five years in 2015! This also might not had been held, if Aam Aadmi Party MP Dr. Dharamveer Gandhi had not written to Vice Chancellor about the chair on 29th September 2014-

17.  Another Attempt with Vice Chancellor Prof. Sopory
During my stay in The University of the West Indies, Prof. S.K.Sopory took over as Vice Chancellor of JNU. He has been very warm and positive personality and showed interest in Bhagat Singh Chair. Mostly discussions took place with him verbally, but  he was not able to convince Centre for Historical Studies(CHS) to make chair functional and he could not do much respecting JNU’s internal academic autonomy. However at one time in 2012, after my return from Trinidad, I submitted the complete 20 document file to VC, Rector, to all three Deans of SSS/SIS/SLL&CS, who were part of deciding about Chair in June 2007. I submitted hard copies of these documents, the details of which are given in covering list-
     Sad State of AffairsBhagat Singh Chair, JNU: Details with Documents in Sequence

1.    Proposal for Bhagat Singh Chair by Prof. Chaman Lal with endorsements
2.    Media coverage for Chair-The Tribune, The Hindu, Asian Age and lot more-Dec.2006-Jan.07
3.    Submission of proposal to JNU VC-December 2006
4.    Bhagat Singh Chair granted by Govt. of India-6th March 2007
5.    Letter from MHRD to JNU regarding Chair-28th March,2007
6.    Submission of proposal of Prof. ChamanLal by JNU to MHRD, as per required by MHRD (Only proposal from whole faculty!)-11th May 2007
7.    Acceptance of Chair proposal by Dean, SSS-18th May 2007
8.    JNU VC confirmation to MHRD about Chair-23rd May 2007
9.    JNU Committee allotment of Chiar to CHS, appreciating Prof. Chaman Lal with associating him in ‘Consultative Capacity’ to chair-18th June,2007
10.  JNU letter to CHS Chairperson on Chair-26th February,2008
11.  MHRD letter to JNU- sanction of funds for Chair with condition of recovery with penal interest for non-functioning of Chair in stipulated period-10th March, 2008
12.  My letter to Rector regarding Chair-7th April,2008
13.  Letter of CHS Chairperson to Rector in response to above-10th April,2008
14.  Letter of Prof. ChamanLal to Govt. of India through Sh. ShashiBhushan on more chairs in the name of martyrs-5th June 2008
15.  Shashi Bhushan signed notification on 11 Chairs in Universities, including JNU
16.  CHS report on Bhagat Singh Chair-October 2008
17.  My letter to Rector, JNU on Chair-7th April 2009
18.  My letter to Chairperson ,CHS-5th June 2009
19.  My letter to JNU VC-8th June 2009
20. Prof. Bhagwan Josh’s letter to JNU VC on Chair -21st June, 2009
No further correspondence. Got exasperated at University’s non seriousness.Perhaps one or more questions in Parliament about Bhagat Singh Chair’s non functioning were asked. Details could be with Coordinator Dr. Chandershekhran

19.- Bhagat Singh Archives Proposal
Since my retirement from JNU was due and I was concerned about my collection of revolutionary literature of freedom movement, which included more than 1500 hundered books, out of which 100+ were in Photostat format, which were not available anywhere and which I collected from my field search for material. This also includes many more documents of historic value like Bhagat Singh Trial proceedings etc.  I thought since Vice Chancellor Sopory is positive, so I gave him a proposal for Bhagat Singh Archives, for which I wished to gist all my collection without any payment for the purpose of research and public utility of this matter. This was to be more on the pattern of PC Joshi archives, but with much more matter than Joshi archives had in the beginning. I was ready to have this archives located in JNU library, for which JNU Librarian seems to be inclined initially-
 Proposal to set up Bhagat Singh Archive to preserve documents relating to Revolutionary freedom struggles in India from 1757 to 1947
 Bhagat Singh Archives: Documents of Revolutionary Movements (1757-1947)
  In 2006, I gave a proposal of Bhagat Singh Chair to be established in JNU. The proposal included apart from other points, to set up a Bhagat Singh Archive, which should not only have documents relating to Bhagat Singh and his organization-HSRA, but also from all other revolutionary movements launched and fought in different parts of the country from 1757 onwards, when East India Company after winning Plassey war against Indian rulers, started occupying whole of India, resulting in Queen of England’s direct take over after first war of Independence in 1857. This proposal was accepted in Toto by MHRD and funds released to establish the chair and archives as early as in 2007 or 8. While filling up the chair may have some problems, setting up archives was not such a big problem. JNU has infra structure in its library and already some other archives exist as well.
            There are hundreds of such movements fought by different sections of Indian society in far away parts of the country, including movements by tribal’s and other poorer sections. Documents of most of these movements are in Indian languages, which are not translated either in Hindi or English, except few. Large number of these documents may even have been lost, because of no institution or Government taking any interest in their collection or preserving of these since independence. Only National Archives of India and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in Delhi have some documents collected and preserved, but that too not in proper sections.
      During Bhagat Singh birth centenary and 1857’s 150th anniversary in 2007, some sensitivity has grown about revolutionary aspects of Indian freedom struggle, which still had remained confined to Indian National Congress, Muslim League kind of mainstream mass movements. But that is neither complete history of freedom struggle nor of undivided India or of later India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Mainstream processes in a society or nation may have hegemonic presence in academic world, the significance of other processes, though not considered mainstream, cannot be ignored. Nor the documents of Indian languages depicting the history of these processes can be overlooked by any enlightened academic institution.
         I have got nearly 1500 books/journals/photocopied documents in Hindi, Punjabi, English, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, and Telugu etc. from various sources relating largely to revolutionary movements and freedom struggle in general in my own collection. These include photocopies of many rare and now unavailable books. These include almost hundred plus books on Bhagat Singh alone, hundreds of books/documents on HSRA, Gadar party, Chittagong revolt, INA of Netaji Subhas Bose and more. While I can part with this collection of mine to gift it to Bhagat Singh Archive, if JNU can plan and execute it, though I need to keep working upon and consult  these documents for at least another decade or so, till the time my health permits me to work. However this archive cannot be set up without proper shape. There are different sources to collect material from, like:
1.       National Archives of India.
2.       Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
3.       State Archives of almost all states, particularly of UP, West Bengal, Punjab, Bihar, Delhi etc.
4.       Archives of Pakistan and Bangladesh, even Nepal and Afghanistan, where Indian revolutionaries took shelter.
5.       Gadar party archives of University of California, Berkeley campus, New York Public Library, Singapore and many more countries’ different institutions.
6.       Desh Bhagat yadgar Hall, Jalandhar, Shaheed Smark Lucknow and Agra and more such institutions.
7.       Digital records-I myself have hundreds of photographs in my computer, of family, friends, comrades, monuments/posters etc. of Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries, which can be enriched further with more collections
                             I have seen P C Joshi archives in JNU library, which is focused on Communist movement in India, but which does not have much material on revolutionary movements of pre 1947 period. Bhagat Singh Archives should specifically focus on revolutionary movements and its documents, in the form of books/journals/pamphlets/handwritten documents/police reports/home deptt. documents etc.
     Any foreign University of repute, which is having strong South Asia study centre, shall be happy to acquire  this collection, even paying for it, yet it will not serve the purpose, surely it will preserve documents well. This collection can also be gifted to institutions like Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall Jalandhar, Shaheed Smark Lucknow or Agra, but these institutions do not have resources to expand the archives and serve as research centres for lack of infra structure. Nehru memorial Museum and Library may still be the best and ideal institution for such collection, and if JNU is unwilling to set up such archives, I shall have to approach it. However despite a lot of frustration, I still wish that JNU could have such collection from me, as well as from other places, in which I can play a facilitating role, if JNU is willing for that. But this can be done only in proper conducive atmosphere and respect for such collections.
        I am submitting this proposal for one last time, if JNU does not wish to consider it, it is up to it.But that will certainly make scholars world over think that are their some deep routed prejudices at work against revolutionary movements and its documentation in Indian languages, to be focused in JNU, which has a progressive image world over, but which is not proved to be so, many times by its choices and preferences in academic elitism and its over emphasis on English language hegemony!
                I do wish that this treasure may not get lost for lack of interest on the part of academia in JNU, which may force me to gift it or arrange its handing over to some other institution. Though Teenmurthi (Nehru Memorial Museum and Library) is best place for its upkeep, yet I prefer JNU, due to presence of large number of students on the campus and many more visiting the place. I wish these documents to be available to maximum of interested readers for consultation, but without taking out of the premises. I also think that archives should be located in Central Library like place, which is open and have easy access for JNU community and others concerned. Both JNU and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library are visitor friendly institutions, but JNU can have much more utility of these documents for purpose of research and inspiration to youth to inculcate national values and sense of dedication towards nation, society and people.

Chaman Lal, Retired Professor
JNU, New Delhi-110067,, mobile no.-09868774820

To my surprise even this proposal was put into cold storage by the University. I had talked about it to Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teenmurthy, the best institution with such archival material and they were willing too.
Since JNU did not show any interest even in archives, it frustrated me a lot and as I was to leave Delhi after retirement, so I shifted all my books and other collections to my residence in Patiala for interim period.
   I did release few of my books on Bhagat Singh in JNU campus outside campus
1.    Shaheed Bhagat Singh: Datstavezon ke Aaine Men- (Ed.-Hindi)-Complete available writings of Bhagat Singh-published by Govt. of India Publication Division-released by Kuldip Nayar in Shastri Bhavan, Delhi- on 19th December 2007)
2.    Bhagat Singh: Vicharvan Inqlabi (Punjabi)-released in January 2009 at Navyug Farm Delhi by Kuldip Nayar
3.    Bhagat Singh (Hindi) on 23rd March 2009 in SAAS auditorium-released by Prof. G S Bhalla
4.    Krantiveer Bhagat Singh:Abhyuodey aur Bhavishya(Ed.-Hindi)-on 24th August 2012-released by Vice Chancellor Prof. S.K.Sopory, Prof. Manager Pandey
5.    Understanding Bhagat Singh (English)-on 3rd May 2013, released by Prof. Randhir Singh, in presence of Prof. G.K.Chadha, Prof. S.K.Sopory, Prof. Mushirul Hasan, Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty. Prof. Mridula Mukhrejee received the first copy for Prof. Bipan Chandra, who could not join due to illness.
6.    Bhagat Singh ke Rajnitik Dastavez(Ed.Hindi) was published by National Book Trust, New Delhi in 2007 and was translated and published in Urdu and Punjabi in 2010 and 2011.
7.    Shaheed Bhagat Singh: Dastavezon ke Aaine men(Ed.-Urdu)-December 2014-Translated from 2007 publication in Hindi by Publication Division, Govt. of India, but updated with new documents.

To m

20.                  Some Observations and Questions
   Anybody not knowing internal functioning of JNU will feel perplexed at this sad story of Bhagat Singh Chair. Why an enlightened and supposedly left oriented University will treat Bhagat Singh Chair in this shabby and inexplicable manner? Chair was rightly granted to Centre for Historical Studies, which still had Prof Bipan Chandra on its faculty as Professor Emeritus, apart from Prof. Romila Thapar and having such luminaries as Prof. Sabyasachi Bhattachary, Prof. Harbans Mukhiya as its retired faculty. But the present faculty in administrative control probably did not consider Bhagat Singh as a significant political or historical personality, who could be treated as thinker like Dr. Ambedkar. Though Prof. Bipan Chandra did treat Bhagat Singh as thinker, his students in important position in History centre did not treat him so or at least value him as much as Prof. Bipan Chandra did. Secondly though some of Bhagat Singh’s writings are available in English, most or complete available writings are in Hindi, Urdu or Punjabi, translated in Marathi, Telugu, Bengali etc. as well. Though JNU or AMU or other historians do treat classical languages- Sanskrit, Persia, Arabic writings source material as valuable historic sources for research, somehow for modern Indian languages material, they have certain hesitations in treating as authentic sources for research. They may treat Adivasi languages etc. again as authentic source material for Subaltern research in History, but not so much modern Indian languages material! For the study of Revolutionary stream of Indian freedom movement, best source material is available mostly in Bengali, Marathi, Hindi, Punjabi and such modern Indian languages, which has not been used by most of the eminent and progressive historians of the country. Ironically research is being done on Bhagat Singh in Australian, UK and US like Universities, but in our own Universities, research on such topics is confined to Universities like Meerut, Lucknow, where thesis’s, even in History or Political Science departments have been written in Hindi or other Indian languages, which are valued very little in JNU like Universities.
  Other reason for JNU History centre has been that for them researchers on Bhagat Singh are not available in their discipline-History or Modern or Cotemporary History and they cannot treat researchers like me or other non History discipline people as Historians, even if The Hindu like media treat it on the basis of  writings!
  Due to all these reasons my trust in JNU as the best University to have first ever historic chair on Bhagat Singh, has proved futile and late Sh. Shashi Bhushan’s skepticism about JNU has proved true. My struggle to get Bhagat Singh Chair began almost a year after I joined in its Faculty and it continued till my retirement! At the end of my career in JNU, while feeling quite happy and satisfied in general sense, I am left with a festering wound in regard to Bhagat Singh Chair, which first of its kind in Indian academic world remains non functional. Now when anti-JNU spirited political powers are at the helm of the country, what they would do in this matter, is not hard to imagine! But do not progressive and enlightened historians of JNU owe  responsibility and accountability to Indian people and their own fellow academia for not performing their duty to bring Bhagat Singh’s historic personality and progressive ideas to mainstream of history, so that it could not have been left to neo rightist powers and Batra type of historians to color and distort Bhagat Singh at their will!? Though I am sure-had this Chair been given to JNU, when Prof. Bipan Chandra and his other colleagues were in active service and could influence the centre, this Chair would have done excellent research and done justice to Bhagat Singh’s historic personality, his place in freedom struggle and his ideas. But now-very big question mark?  

   Dr. B R Ambedkar was also not given his due in Indian history till the time Dalit movement arose in strength and then political power holders and hegemonic academia also shifted their attention to B R Ambedkar and now one can ignore him only at one’s own peril! Left movement in India itself did not think Bhagat Singh to be their own political thinker and kept him confined as an icon just for their youth at emotional level and did not encourage academic research in states ruled by them for long time.Irony is that even though JNU has strong presence of left student activism, none of those activists are bothered about this Chair, though they sing songs on Bhagat Singh day, hold meetings or show films, but none of them had tried to do research on his historic role or ideas in JNU. I remember one of very senior radical activist was keen to do research on Hindi literature relating to Bhagat Singh, but dropped due to negative attitude of Centre Chairperson, who was against this idea. So much for their convictions!
              Ironically though I am treated as out caste by JNU historians, most of the thesis’s done on Bhagat Singh, either in History or Political Science departments of Universities, have been referred to me as examiner!


                                          Such is the sad state of affairs of Bhagat Singh Chair in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi!