Bhagat Singh – The eternal youth icon…

Link to my new blog on Times of India


52 Responses to “Bhagat Singh – The eternal youth icon…”

  1. Sharmila,

    There are so many angles to Bhagat Singh’s iconic image. I can’t say which particular aspect you have dealt with.

    There is the Leninist side of Bhagat Singh, and there is also a simple, unselfish murderer. There is a fanatic writer and poet, and there is also a suicidal maniac. There is a loquacious orator, and there is also a patriotic terrorist. There is a martyr for freedom, and there is also a proletarius activist.

    Bhagat Singh did not fight for any one person’s freedom – neither yours nor mine. For him, liberty was a state of mind. He was fighting for territorial sovereignty.

    I’ll wait for the post to appear here.

  2. Time for me to slip away for my Thursday long afternoon nap.

    I guess it’ll be almost midnight in HK and past ten in India by the time I return to life.

    Till we meet again… hasta la vista… adieux… farewell… toodle-oo

  3. Muraliraja Says:

    I don’t think youth today are frustrated. Incident like Prashant Bhushan can’t be taken as an example for youth frustration in a nation of 1.2 billion people where the majority of the population are youth. Incidents like this happened in the past, but only this time caught on camera & caught our attention. Thanks to media frenzy, everything is being made sensational. In a country where more than half a billion people face power shortage every day, news about Blackberry service(approx a million users) disruption makes headlines. Youth today are much happier than previous generation. Yes, the political & legal system is down & in worst shape, but youth find satisfaction in plenty of other things.

    PS: I totally agree Bhagat Singh is a eternal youth icon .

    • Well, if you think I am youthful enough to say this, I am frustrated with the system. If I saw the majority of youthful crowds that came out to support Anna, it is because they are frustrated by the system. If they were not, they would be busy doing what you and I would normally be busy with. Of course , the difference between sensible youth and non sensible youth is stark, the sensible ones support Anna, non sensible ones whack Bushan or join the maoists and naxals! I agree, we find satisfaction in many other things, but, it does not mean we are frustration free, as yet.

  4. Lets start the evening with something about Bhagat Singh.

    Personally I have nothing against or for him. In fact, I can say this with absolute confidence, I have never met him since 23 March 1964. I was born that day. The country was remembering a brave man that day and I was bawling my heart out, testing my new found lungs.

    All I know about Bhagat Singh is what he has himself written in a rather agitated state I’d say in solitary confinement – highly provocative or seditious in style and content.

    But I like the movie that Manoj Kumar made on Bhagat Singh. Here is a short collection of clips of that movie, released in 1965. It was worth three Rupees for a balcony seat even in 1976.

  5. Anand Khare Says:

    Prashant Bhushan truly deserved what he got. In fact all the three who are using Anna’s personality deserve that.

    However, it would be wrong to compare anybody with the iconic Bhagat Singhji. Few nations had this pride of having such cult figures.


  6. 23 years and 6 months is too young to be hanged for murder.

    Bhagat Singh was just about 8500 days old, (including leap years), when he was convicted for killing Mr. Saunders. Apparantly Bhagat Singh had no personal grudge against the victim. In fact he didn’t even know whether Honorable Saunders was a legitimate son of English parents.

    But young blood like Bhagat Singh is often trigger happy. He knew how to shoot a gun and he hit bulls eye. No one can contest that.

    My only regret is that 23 is too young to die on a hangman’s noose.

    I mean it’s okay if one falls unconscious and fades out for a while, or be sedated by a doctor and forget all sense of time like a deep dreamless sleep.

    But, dying, means not having that divine option to wake in the morning and feel good about being in human shape.

    Bhagat Singh was almost 20 years younger to Gandhi. He would have been well and alive in 1947, just 39 years old. If only he had not been caught in that murder case.

    Perhaps, if he had believed in God, he might have been alive even today in 2011, had this present Congress government been in power in 1931. Like Ajmal Kasab and Afzal.

    One thing is certain. If Bhagat Singh had lived, Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah and all the so called freedom fighters would have been liberated by him personally. He was a firm believer of Lenin’s ideology.

  7. Sharmila,

    Reading Anand and Murali’s comments I get the impression that you have associated Bhagat Singh’s motives to the whacking that Prashant Bhushan received two days ago.

    No, no. Bhagat Singh would never stop at a slug fest. If he was in that chamber (instead of that alu-gobi who was doing the services), Bhagat Singh would have pulled out Prashant Bhushan’s insides and made him eat himself.

    Bhagat Singh was a rather dynamic crusader. When it came to patriotism he never left anything to divine intervention or human conscience.

    I mean he was not the type who would knock out Prashant Bhushan and count upto ten for the broken bones to stand up. He would have gathered up the remains and taken them to the nearest antique shop.

    Personally I feel it is a political act, devised by some goons who may belong to any of the parties.

    Digvijay SIngh, for instance, has not left any citizen of India outside his definition of terrorists. Muslims in Kashmir, Christians in Kerala and Chennai, Maoists in Bihar, Orissa and Bengal, Naxals and Gorkhas in Darjeeling, Bodo and ULFA in Assam, Modi in Gujarat, Thackerey in Maharashtra, the Khalsas in Punjab, Gujjars in Himachal and Hindus all over the country. So, in his reference books, all natives are terrorists, except Sonio and her cabinet.

    Bhagat Singh’s vision of Leninism has nothing to do with the current politics in India. We have never been exposed to Leninism. People in Kerala and Bengal have learnt and practice Marxist ideologies that were first tested in France. And a few random militants are following Maoism that wreaked havoc in China.

  8. Okay. I’ll wait for the actual post. I don’t know what is the opposite of whacking Bhushan. I have seen him on TV. I don’t think even his wife could choose to kiss him instead of whacking. And as far as my understanding of Bhagat Singh’s admirer’s goes, I think it would be very strange for any of them to go around kissing people they don’t like.

    So, I’ll hold my horses. Let the post appear here and then I shall dwell on it carefully word on word.

    Till then, I’ll continue to experiment with the styles of great writers in the past.

    Victor Hugo was done in the first comment above.

    Wodehousian humor and Ayn Rand’s no-nonsense styles are permanently embedded in my algorithms. I can’t separate them for an experiment.

    Hmm.. let see.. how about.. who… Tagore, Gandhi, Nietzsche, Radhakrishnan?

    Friedrich Nietzsche… yes… dramatic aphoristic dictums…

    I’ll put my thoughts about Comrade Bhagat Singh in Nietzsche’s style… how about that… it’s a Friday.. we do strange things here…

    You can be sure that the opinions are mine alone. Nietzsche could not have had any idea about Bhagat Singh. Nietzsche died before Bhagat Singh was born. Nietzsche kicked the bucket in 1900. Bhagat Singh broke loose in 1907.

    Coming up after a brief encounter with my breakfast…

  9. Preface:

    The old victorian style of tongue-tied speech used ‘Thou’ ‘-eth’ ‘thy’ etc to compensate for common sense. They probably had an extra set of teeth in the roof of their mouths.


    Thus Spake Friedrich Nietzsche on Sharmila’s blog:

    Lo! Time passeth, yet history comes around, when the table turneth on an Ouija Board. After five scores and five, the spirit of Bhagat Singh is a man again.

    Fie! Ye who preacheth the love of patience! Doth a real man love a serpent? He who loved the Self, loved nothing!

    Thus spake the spirit of Bhagat Singh.

    Oh! To be dead now than never! To die a martyr for Lenin than beg for mercy!

    Verily, O mine animals, thee who crave immortality, deserve to suffer!

    My brethren in war! Must ye fight with words and banners, when thou canst pull the trigger? Sweep aside those cowards of literature! Clean thy holy land of the Serpent’s filth and evil odour!

    Thus spake the spirit of Bhagat Singh.

    (To be continued… I am need some coffee…)

  10. When the spirit of Bhagat Singh reached the gates of Delhi, a crowd of slaves gathered around him.

    Thus spake Bhagat Singh unto them:

    Shoo! Ye, pigs of war! Look not upon me as thy saviour! I do not preach the morality of repentance! Begone!

    Come hither! Those who love not Life enough to care for Death!

    This, thy battlefield, is thy land!

    Nor the meek nor the swine shalt inherit thy wealth! This is the land of the brave. Thou shalt not let it pass. No libertine canst break thy spirit.

    Hear thee, the midnight’s voice! Freedom is not raised by a flag! It laith silently and assured in thy hearts!

    Spare not thy life for the shame of deceit and mockery! Spare not the agents of badinage!

    Thy home! This land, dresseth in lonesomeness! Forsake that evil spirit of ridicule!

    ‘Twas thee who seeketh the joy of life! Not the morality of sacrifice! Kill, or be killed!

    Defy the Order! Tread firmly over the germs of doctrinal slave drivers! The spirit of God is a conjecture! Thy spirit is thy truth!

    Do not pity the weak and the miserable! Pity is an offence to modesty!

    Destroy the evil that tempts thee with peace and love! Peace and Love are not anyones to grant! It is thine or never!

    Come not to seek favors of me! I grant none! Cometh with courage and I share with thee my wealth of valor! Thus I warn thee against myself!

    Flee, my friends, to thy solitude! Or beginneth my venture in the market-place!

    Blast the complacent power of the word! It is thy word that must prevail!

    Blow the memorials of shame and captivity! Thou needeth no monuments of suffering!

    Thy war is not for peace of the scoundrels! Thy war is thy right!

    Thy enemy is not a man nor woman! They are mere gifts of sacrifice for thy ideals!

    Go forth and unleash thy weapons! Thy arms beckon the sight of blood!

    Woe unto the coward that haith failed thy ideals!

    “Everything is freedom; thou canst, for thou willest!”

    (To be continued… I must go thither to cook lunch for myself… 🙂 )

    • I can never imagine Singh speak in this manner.. he sounds like Lord Baggot Singh..

    • Aishwarya Says:

      Thus spake Ayn Rand (Twas thee who seeketh the joy of life! Not the morality of sacrifice!) and Wodehouse (Shoo! Ye, pigs of war!) in Nietzschese on Bhagatian thoughts… 🙂

      Disclaimer: I only read Reader. I haven’t read the works of the other writers. Thus I warn thee against myself…
      I shall now dresseth in lonesomeness and layeth silently. Flee, my friend, to thy solitude. Good Night… 🙂

      • 🙂

        I cannot seperate Ayn Rand and Wodehouse from my thinking. They have been with me since ’82 – Wodehouse earlier than Ayn Rand, post high school.

        ‘Pigs of war’, as you may have noticed, is a genetically modified version of Mark Antony’s words in Julius Caeser (Mischief is afoot… Cry havoc! And let loose the dogs of war!). According to George Orwell in ‘Animal Farm’ pigs are more intelligent than dogs.

        (I didn’t use ‘Cats’ because given a choice between fight or flight, if the target is not food, cats would choose ‘flight’)

        ‘Morality of sacrifice’ is the most irrational aspect of any socio-politicial movement.

      • Aishwarya Says:

        है लिये हथियार दुश्मन ताक मे बैठा उधर
        और हम तैय्यार हैं सीना लिये अपना इधर

        खून से खेलेंगे होली गर वतन मुश्किल में है
        सरफरोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है

        I love Urdu…how beautifully it expresses the emotion…

      • Aish,

        That verse is written by Bhagat Singh. Inspiring.

        Notice the difference in the rebellious nature of communists and socialists.

        Sahir would never say ‘khoon se khelenge’..

        Sahir said, ‘Khoon phir khoon hai, tapkega toh jamm jayega!’ He has never advocated bloodshed.

        On the other hand, Bhagat Singh invites bloodshed. He believes an armed conflict is the only way to acquire sovereign land. Which is true. But armed conflicts never won the hearts and minds of the people. Russia is a living example. You have luved in that state. Gadhha ghoda baraabar. There is no difference between a mule and horse.

      • Oops.. lived not luved

      • Aishwarya Says:

        I have lived and luved there… (Sorry, that was too hilarious a correction to let go 🙂 )

        I got the feeling that all the people there, apart from the government officials, are equals. Hardworking, impersonal, mechanical and motorized. If that is what the governance has done to them, then it is sad. Amazing people they are of course, but it felt as though someone has sucked all emotion out of them. Only a personal observation. No offence. I may be wrong.

        Non-violence also had a fair share of blood shed too. Has our governing system post-independence won our hearts? If Bhagat Singh inspires the youth, who inspires the oldies ruling us today?

        I see that you are not logging in from the office, so I’ll come back late night or tomorrow…or when Sharmila puts up her post…


      • I’ll be online for at least another hour.

        You are right. The office PC has gone to the IT for ‘domaining’, which is a sort-of baptism where it is re-programmed to fit into the local area network.

        I’ll be offline from 1530 to 1800 my local time.

    • I meant the style as well..

      • Sharmila,

        The thoughts in them are definitely Bhagat Singh.The ideas are mine, which means the subjects are his and the predicates are mine. I stylized it to Nietzsche’s ‘Zarathustra’, which mirrors the sense of violence that Bhagat Singh stood for.

        It’s violent, ruthless and inhuman.

        It is also exactly what Lenin did to Russia. He modified Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, ‘The Das Capitale’, to suit an agrarian society that lived on pagan values; appropriated all property rights, killed all the land owners and the ruling family, and created a politburo.

        Stalin extended that model to cities, which is now called Stalinism.

        The communist language is very deceptive. But it never masks the basic principles – that the individual is subservient to the society and that each one must work according to his ability and shall be given according to his needs.

        Which means, if you are a surgeon and a bachelor, you must work as a surgeon and you’ll get one room with an attached toilet; while if you are farm hand with 10 children, you’ll get a six room villa with free ration for all. We know how that system fails in peace-time.

        The opposite of that is the principle of lassez faire capitalist democracy: From each according to his ability to each according to his work. Which pays, and how!

  11. Thus spake the spirit of Bhagat Singh on Twitter:

    Did you kill a politician today? Check for my reward scheme at….

    Thus spake the spirit of Bhagat Singh on Facebook:

    Hi, I am online. Care to chat?


    I am tired. Cooling off now.

    Young people like Dr. Aish feel hot, old people like me chill…

  12. Bhagat Singh tweeted his friend Sukhdev from his cell phone:

    Hi, Suku… The jailor says he heard that the Brits are going to give us a long rope… love your DP. Cheerio

  13. Okay, one last entry before I leave for a Friday evening drive. Let me try Gurudev Tagore’s style.

    Tagore was one of Mahatma Gandhi’s gurus in non-violent, civil resistence. How would Tagore address the effervescent violence of Bhagat Singh?

    Hmm… it has to be an allegory… Tagore wouldn’t mention Bhagat Singh by name or in spirit…

    Let me try.

    A note as usual: The thoughts are mine, the style is Tagorian.


    I am uneasy at heart, my child;

    You stand in desolate shadows and moonless gloom; your face is darkened by unspoken desires; precious pearls lie wastefully at your feet. My song scatters its breath in disharmony.

    Come, my child, feel the enchantment of the light that shines for you. Come, my child, feel the awakening of love without desires.

    My child, you are caught in the web of infinite maya. Come, my child, unlearn the ephemeral, and cease this weary wandering.

    In the ruins of the temple of my life, I pray for your well being.

    Come, my child, come back. I am uneasy at heart.


    Good Night… Shubh Ratri…

    • This is the only one I have backed up in a Word file for furture reference.

      More than Victor Hugo or Nietzsche, I liked this one the best.

      (As I have said in the note there, it is an imaginary address by Tagore to Bhagat Singh. It had to be allegorical as Tagore would never think of people capable of such gory violence.

      You can find the real time evidence of Bhagat Singh’s vision in the historical account of the Russian ‘October Revolution’ when Leninism massacred all the land owners and executed the Czar and his family.)

      I think Tagore’s style came out very well, in terms of both the epistemic content and metaphysics.

      • I felt so too. Positive, inspiring, soothing. The words flowing smoothly. Poetry in prose. Beautiful.

        My daughter is reading Kabuliwala now. I hope to get her more of Tagore’s works.


        I don’t know if its because those were commands, but Nietzsche’s style in the earlier comment felt like someone chewing betel nut and spewing it all over the place as orders are barked out…:)

        This has been refreshingly different, Reader…one thought in different styles. Wonderful.

      • Buy her the same set that you sent me in 2009.

        Nietzsche’s style is aphoristic. He is not talking to his readers. He just throws out ideas without waiting to seek consent.

        I like all the styles.

        I like Wodehouse the best. Nobody can say it like PGW.

        On one of the occassions, PGW’s hero, Bertram, is driving his two seater and stops at a traffic signal. He is immersed in deep thoughts, and doesn’t notice the signal changing from Red to Amber to Green and back to Red.

        A polite policemen comes up to him, knocks on the glass, points to the signal and says,

        “Excuse me, Sir, don’t you like any of the colors we have?”

        Bertram breaks out of his stupor and steps on the gas…

      • Of the set you sent me, I have two copies of The Geetanjali and Volume one. I can bring them back to India in December, if you wish.

      • Sweet of you to ask, Reader. She is to prepare a book review for her English class every week. But for now, I’ll just let her pick the ones of her choice from the library. I feel this way she can enjoy a variety of classics. I may take you up on that offer sometime… For now, just bring yourself in December…:)

      • Aish,

        I’ll be there in December with a packed agenda.

        The supreme court orders prohibiting GPA are effective October 11, 2011. This has triggered a perestroika in the land mafia.

        Have you noticed, the constabulary always choose between Law and Order? Either Law or Order, not Law and Order. And given their constitutional accountability, they naturally choose maintaining order over enforcing the law.

        The lawyers have got a bonanza coming their way!

      • I wonder what impact this will have on the present day real estate scenario…if existing agreements can become null and void, if agreed property prices can be subject to change…and if the tax collector is the only one who will benefit from this SC ruling…

      • Aish,

        It won’t have any impact on the middle income groups who are buying and selling within India and do it themselves.

        GPA are used by high income groups for high values estates to evade taxes or used by NRI, through the embassy, to save costs.

        Prices will increase locally for those were saving the registration fees by simply signing sale deeds. That’s about 4% of the total price, not much in absolute value, if its a flat or apartment upto 50 lacs. Its also safe because a new buyer does not need to dig up the history of the property for legitmacy of ownership.

        It will hurt the middle men, agents, who take GPA from owners with a promise to find the best buyer.

        These GPA agents force the owner to hold the sale till they find a buyer who pays his price. There are also cases of fraud when GPA holders take advances from more than one buyers.

        Don’t worry. I am not involved in any of these transactions. All my deals are done with the embassy as witness.

      • Aishwarya Says:

        The middle men are well connected with the police and the top govt. officials…a rap on their knuckles is well deserved.

        Glad your deals are foolproof and everything’s in order, Reader. I believe your experience in the Mumbai/Pune real estate has proven beneficial here…

    • Wow. Tagore would have been impressed!

      • Sharmila,

        Tagore was one of them whose words penetrate the soul without causing any damage. Gentle and reassuring.

        But, hey, I got to stop this mimickry, and get back to my normal style of thousand typos.

        I am feeling like one of those stage comedians who pick one line and present how each actor would say it from Dilip Kumar to Amitabh Bachchan to Sanjay Dutt…

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