Nehru’s link with Bhagat Singh
I am grateful to Prof V.N Datta for having responded to my proposal on Bhagat Singh Chair at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), in the background of the martyr’s “close association” with Nehru (Perspective Page, Jan 14). As for his observations about Nehru’s conduct at Gandhi’s behest, I have no difference with him. Nehru backtracked from his friendship and closeness of ideas from Subhash Bose as well.
Though Jinnah defended Bhagat Singh in the Central Assembly during his and other revolutionaries’ hunger strike, other leaders also defended him, particularly Subhash Bose, who held a big rally in Delhi on March 20, 1931, three days prior to his execution, to oppose death sentence to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. Viceroy Lord Irwin wanted Gandhi to stop Subhash from holding this rally, but in vain.
Undoubtedly, Nehru and Bhagat Singh had deep liking for each other, particularly for socialist ideas. Bhagat Singh, in an article, had appreciated “Nehru’s ideas as more rational than those of Subhash Bose” though Subhash was emotionally more close to Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries than Nehru was.
Prof CHAMAN LAL,
Centre of Indian LanguagesJNU, New Delhi
Published: The Tribune (Chandigarh), January 30,2007