Jul 08, 2016
Launching a book on Bhagat Singh, one of India’s greatest freedom fighters, Kejriwal reiterates his resolve for corruption-free and transparent governance.
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal believes that the dreams of freedom fighters about a just and corruption-free system are yet to see light of the day.
Releasing a book in New Delhi titled Bhagat Singh’s Jail Notebook: Its context and relevance Arvind Kejriwal said that Bhagat Singh is still the inspiration for youth as the fragrance of his ideas still remains. He urged the youth to read the book on jail notes by Bhagat Singh.
Revolutionary socialist leader Bhagat Singh is fondly remembered by Indians as a young man who killed a cruel British police officer John Saunders and lobbed a bomb at the then Central Legislative Assembly.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said that Anna Hazare movement was considered to be the second freedom struggle. “We are struggling ten times more being in the government than outside it during the Anna movement,” he lamented.
Reiterating his stand for a transparent government, Kejriwal claimed that Delhi has the first government with zero tolerance to corruption. “The Anna Hazare movement is still on. During my first stint as the Chief Minister of Delhi for 49 days I put corrupt people in jails,” he said.
Veteran journalist Kuldeep Nayar recalled the days when Bhagat Singh was in jail. “I was studying in high school and we did not eat. All of us observed fast to pay condolence to the martyr on the day he was hanged,” he reminisced. Though Shaheed Bhagat Singh is not considered a big hero in Pakistan, the chowk where he was hanged in Lahore has been named after him.
Sumail Singh Sidhu, academic-activist, talking about the pre-independence era said that book brings out some untouched facets related to India’s greatest martyr. “The book has the record of last days and last moments of reading by Bhagat Singh. Jails became the meeting point of revolutionaries that were geographically apart. He instilled confidence into masses through adventurism though he was mindful of its limitations”
Sidhu adds that Bhagat Singh had a pioneering role in contributing towards democratic politics apart from throwing away the foreign rulers. “He knew that terrorism and violent action cannot improve things forever. He had a multilevel engagement with Mahatma Gandhi,” he said.
The book mentions how Bhagat Singh who was going to be hanged on the destined day left a page folded of Vladimir Lenin's book. He also took exhaustive quotes from Sidney Webb's book.
Editor of the book Harish Jain said that contrary to his image of someone with a bomb and pistol, Bhagat Singh was fundamentally a political activist and voracious reader.
Jain said that the martyr in his note book scribbled quotes profusely on subjects like poverty and oppression. For Bhagat Singh, a man and woman were not just bodies but ideas, he added. “We looked at the quotes written by him in a context. We contacted people in America, Canada to understand them with relevance. We have tried to speak only on the basis of facts and not just on the basis of anecdotes,” he said.