Legend of a hero

It’s not only on his martyrdom day that Shaheed Bhagat Singh is remembered. He goes on to deeply inspire the ideologies of many youngsters
Mona

Shaheed_Bhagat_Singh

It is easy to kill individuals but you cannot kill the ideas. Great empires crumbled, while the ideas survived…was written in the leaflet that was thrown in the Central Assembly on April 9, 1929. Two years later, this hero of the independence struggle was hanged but he has continued to live on. One would like to believe that our youngsters engrossed in social media have cine-stars for their idols and Bhagat Singh has lost the race; not really…he is alive and kicking not only in public domain — he is trending on twitter, blame it on a political row — but also in personal journeys.

“I belong to the same place as his. I remember when I would cry as a kid, my father would ask me to be strong like him,” shares Tarun Nanda who hails from Nawanshahr that was named Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on the martyr’s 100th birth anniversary. Moustaches perked up like his hero, Tarun, who is preparing for competitive exams in Chandigarh, admits that in his low times he visits Khatkar Kalan still. “I relate to him not only as an inspiring figure, but as my brethren. Whatever has me down and out, a quick visit to the museum or the memorial and I realise when we have it so easy today compared to his times then why lose hope!”

A PhD scholar Neeraj Pant, Department of Microbiology, Panjab University, fondly remembers the martyr. “Young Bhagat, knowing how a seed leads to a fruit, thought of sowing hathiar for our revolutionaries. This was Bhagat Singh when he couldn’t speak properly. When his life was cut short early, he was reading Marx,” shares Neeraj, who is a voracious reader too. “I have also learnt from my idol to pick up something useful from everyone. Each one of us is a mix of good and bad, I seek the positive in each and avoid the rest.”

While the guys are hopeful, law student Aksh Basra isn’t. “We are so consumed by the trivial issues, look at the TV debates — what are they talking of, who is bothered about issues like sacrifice, loving the motherland. We do not give up the slightest comfort, where do we find Bhagat Singhs now who would lay their life for the country?”

There are others who disagree. For Krishna Kumar, PhD scholar in Department of Geography, Bhagat Singh would always be the figure who would inspire you to give your best.

“Corruption is not only taking bribe but also not giving your best in whatever you do,” shares Krishna, who has read the martyr’s Jail Diary more than once.

While Bhagat Singh has continued to be a beacon of impeccable conduct, his life has inspired artistes. The movie Shaheed earned actor Manoj Kumar the sobriquet of Bharat Kumar! Artist Malkit Singh is on bed-rest post a major operation, but a mention of Bhagat Singh is enough to make him talk with a renewed vigour, “At such a young age, Bhagat Singh had a philosophy in place.

Usdiya kikhita mere jahan ch basdiya hun,” shares the man who sought help from scholars before portraying him.

Larger than life
While most of us visualise Bhagat Singh with a pistol in his hand, little is known about the reader and writer that he has been. “Revolution isn’t necessarily through bombs and pistols, but largely through reading and writing; he exemplified it,” shares Ishwar Dayal Gaur, who has penned a book Martyr As Bridegroom: A Folk Representation of Bhagat Singh. “To our youth lost in materialism, he is a befitting hero who can inspire for more cerebral pursuits.”

Net worth
Long before Shashi Tharoor made Bhagat Singh a twitter sensation, singer Jasbir Jassi was busy promoting Bhagat Singh Week on the same platform. “While all know the soorma Bhagat Singh, but little is known about the intellectual that he was,” shares Jassi, whose initiative aims at making people read about the legend and share the information further. “I started with singing Bhagat Singh’s songs at theatre legend Gursharan Bhaji’s shows and also did a full album on him,” says Jassi. The new thrust has gained him many invites for political debates, but that’s not what he is looking for, “Bhagat Singh’s picture has launched many political ambitions, but we want the youth to know and adopt his ideology better.”

mona@tribunemail.com

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