New Delhi: In what may snowball into a big political controversy, the Congress has described freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Hari Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar by their caste affiliations in party mouthpiece ‘Sandesh’.
The references were made in an in-house advertisement marking the 81st Martyrdom Day published in the March edition published on March 23. Bhagat Singh has been described as a freedom fighter “born to a Jat Sikh family,” adding that he is “often” referred to as Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
Shivaram Hari Rajguru has been termed as “an Indian revolutionary from Maharashtra” who “belonged to Deshastha Brahmin community”.
And Sukhdev Thapar “as a (sic) freedom fighter who was involved with Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Rajguru in the killing of a British police officer J P Saunders in 1928 in order to take revenge for the death of veteran leader Lala Lajpat Rai due to excessive police beating”.
Expectedly, the BJP has criticised the Congress for insulting the nation’s heroes by referring to them by their caste. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev have a standing that is not linked to their caste, the party opined.
Senior party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “Congress should apologise and explain its motive.”
However, Rajeev Shukla of the Congress defended the caste mention saying that a controversy should not be unnecessarily created over the issue as caste was mentioned only as a reference while writing their biography.
First Published: Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 23:29