DU Reference Book Calls Bhagat Singh as Revolutionary Terrorist

Bhagat Singh’s relatives have approached the MHRD and the Delhi University after Thakur pointed out the reference.

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BJYM National President Anurag Thakur speaks in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday, 27 April 2016. (Photo: PTI)

A book which forms part of Delhi University curriculum calls Bhagat Singh a “revolutionary terrorist”, BJP member Anurag Thakur said in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Thakur demanded a debate on what is being taught in the educational institutions across the country.

The book titled India’s Struggle for Independence, authored by noted historian Bipin Chadra and Mridula Mukherjee, mentions Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Surya Sen and others as “revolutionary terrorists” in Chapter 20.

While taking strong exception to this, he hinted at the authors’ link with the UPA, saying Chandra was National Book Trust chairperson between 2004-12.

Mukherjee, he alleged, had faced a vigilance probe.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani and BJP MP Anurag Thakur during the Parliament Session in New Delhi on Wednesday, 27 April 2016. (Photo: PTI)
HRD Minister Smriti Irani and BJP MP Anurag Thakur during the Parliament Session in New Delhi on Wednesday, 27 April 2016. (Photo: PTI)

Thakur said the book also describes a Congress leader as a “charismatic leader”, which was a “joke” as the party had been reduced to 44 Lok Sabha seats.

This triggered protests from Congress members who objected to the mention of their leader, who was not present in the House. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan later expunged the Congress leader’s name.

In a Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination, Thakur said, a question was asked about “revolutionary terrorism” of Bhagat Singh, a noted freedom fighter who was hanged by the British.


Abhey Singh Sandhu, Grandson of Bhagat Singh’s younger brother raised objections against the term and wrote to Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani about it.

While addressing the media, Singh said:

This is a very sad precedent that even after 68 years of Independence such words are used for the revolutionaries who gave their lives for the freedom of the nation. The Britishers, who hanged Bhagat Singh, described him as ‘true revolutionary’ in their judgement. Even they did not use words like terror or terrorism. Using such words for revolutionaries in an attempt to stir controversy is very unfortunate.
Abhey Singh Sandhu, Bhagat Singh’s Relative

The freedom fighter’s family approached Delhi University Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi who has promised to look into the matter.

Tyagi, however, pointed out that the book is used as a reference book and not a text book. He said:

The book is taught as a reference book in our history department but is not a text book or published or authored by DU professor. Few members of his (Bhagat Singh’s) family met me today (Wednesday). We have taken note of the request and the matter is being looked into.

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