A textbook ‘India’s Struggle for Independence’, which is a part of the Delhi University’s history course, calls Bhagat Singh a revolutionary ‘terrorist,’ prompting the freedom fighter’s family to raise the issue with the university’s administration as well as relevant authorities. Abhey Singh Sandhu, the nephew of Bhagat Singh said  legendary freedom fighter being labelled as ‘revolutionary terrorist’ in a Delhi University textbook is extremely unfortunate as even the Britishers described him as a ‘true revolutionary’.

The book is authored by famous historian Bipin Chandra and Mridula Mukherjee. The historians mentioned Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Surya Sen and others as revolutionary ‘terrorists’ in Chapter 20. The book also calls the Chittagong movement a ‘terrorist act,’ while Sanders killing has been called an ‘act of terrorism.’

“This is a very sad precedent that even after 68 years of independence such words are used for the revolutionaries who gave their lives for the freedom of the nation,” the family members said. “British people, who hanged Bhagat Singh, described him as true revolutionary in their judgment, even they didn’t use words like terror or terrorism. Using such words for revolutionaries is unfortunate,” said Abhey Singh Sandhu, nephew of the late freedom fighter.

Maintaining that the book is taught in the History Department as a ‘reference’ book and not a text book, the vice chancellor said they have taken note of the request. “The book is taught as a ‘reference’ book in our History Department but is not a text book or published or authored by university’s professor,” he told the Press Trust of India news service.

On the other hand, the issue was taken up in the Lok Sabha by lawmaker Anurag Thakur. He even demanded a debate on what is being taught in the educational institutions across India. In an UPSC examination, Thakur said a question was asked about revolutionary ‘terrorism’ of Bhagat Singh.

While taking strong exception to this, he hinted at the authors’ link with the former Congress-led government, saying Bipin Chandra was the National Book Trust chairperson between 2004 and 2012. He also said that Mridula Mukherjee faced vigilance probe.

Bhagat Singh’s family has written a letter to India’s Minister Smriti Irani, seeking her intervention in this regard and demanded appropriate changes in the textbook.

The family members also met university’s Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi, who assured them of looking into the matter.

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