Concern over Bhagat Singh not shown as martyr in govt records
New Delhi: Members in the Rajya Sabha on Monday voiced concern over official records not showing Bhagat Singh as a martyr, prompting the government to promise remedial steps.
"If his (Bhagat Singh`s) name is not in records, it will be done. Government thoroughly considers him a martyr and gives him the status of a martyr," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said.
His response came after members cutting across party lines expressed concern that the great freedom fighter was not shown as a martyr in government records. This was revealed in an RTI reply by the Home Ministry.
The issue was raised during Zero Hour by K C Tyagi (JD-U), who said the nation recently celebrated its 67th Independence Day but the status of a martyr still eludes its greatest freedom fighter.
Several other members associated themselves with Tyagi, demanding that the martyr`s name be included in the official record.
Shukla said the government held Singh in highest esteem and Ambika Soni as the Union Tourism and Culture Minister in 2008 had released commemorative coins at Khatkar Kalan in Nawanshahar, Punjab, the ancestral village of the martyr.
Even the government has changed the name of Nawanshahar as Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar, he said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Saturday asserted that the "fact" that late freedom fighter was a martyr is not dependent on any official records.
Singh had termed the controversy on the matter as "hurtful to a nation that is indebted to the struggle and sacrifices of our freedom fighters" and made an appeal to people to desist from creating a row over it.
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