17 May, 2021

‘His Violence Wasn't Just About Killing’

Kuldip Nayar, eminent journalist and Rajya Sabha member, spoke to Outlook about his latest book that’ll be formally released by the PM on the 25th. Excerpts

‘His Violence Wasn't Just About Killing’

Why a book on Bhagat Singh now?
Because, sadly, Bhagat Singh is a name the new generation is hardly aware of, leave alone being familiar with his work. Even the Lahore Central jail, where he and his two comrades, Sukhdev and Rajguru, were hanged has been mostly demolished. The scaffold is now a traffic roundabout. There is no marker to their memory. I wanted to remember these forgotten heroes, these people who belonged to an altogether different ethos. These days, young people seem to have absolutely no awareness of our heritage, of the sacrifices that went into making India. Then there’s the fact that Bhagat Singh was a staunch secularist. Today, when the country is being polluted by fanatics and religious parties are trying to hijack our culture and heritage, Bhagat Singh assumes greater importance. These revolutionaries had united all communities for the task of building the nation.

Is there a need to return to Bhagat Singh’s methods?
He believed in violence, yes, but not for the sole purpose of killing. Violence was to be used if...

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