NEW DELHI: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, on Monday asserted that there could be only one Bhagat Singh and none of the boys from the present generation can replace the freedom fighter.
“I don’t know what Shashi Tharoor has said but no one can replace Bhagat Singh, especially the boys of this generation. Only one Bhagat Singh can be born in this country and he is irreplaceable,” Azad told ANI.
Following the furore over his comment drawing parallels between Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru University sensation Kanhaiya Kumar, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor asserted that all he meant was that the two men had certain qualities in common, a fact which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would never understand.
“When I said that Bhagat Singh was a Kanhaiya of his time I meant that he was a young man in his 20s with Marxist ideas and beliefs, who had a great passion for the motherland and Kanhaiya has those same qualities in common. That’s all, there is nothing more to that,” Tharoor told the media here.
“Obviously circumstances were different. Bhagat Singh was fighting colonial rule and foreign oppression and Kanhaiya is fighting for his beliefs in a very different democracy,” he added.
Stressing that the situations are completely different for both the personalities, the Congress MP from Trivandrum said that the only parallel between the two was that they were young men in their 20s with Marxist ideals and passionately committed to their motherland.
“Those who have read Bhagat Singh’s writings will know exactly what I am talking about. Bhagat Singh would have never supported the BJP because he was a strongly committed atheist and a fan of Lenin. So, I don’t think that the BJP should have many ideas about Bhagat Singh. Perhaps they got them from Bollywood movies!” Tharoor said.
Speaking on 'JNU and Nationalism' outside the administrative hall of the varsity yesterday, Tharoor while replying to a question from the audience admitted that there were some similarities between the duo.