NEW DELHI: 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 on Monday 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.
However, a rift seems to have appeared over this issue in the grand old party, as Congress leader Ghulam Nabhi Azad flatly refused to back Tharoor’s statement, saying that there was only one Bhagat Singh and no one from the current generation could step in the shoes of the martyr.
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.