Vantage point

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bhagat Singh's Satyagraha

Have been meaning to write this blog post since many days.

All of us admire the bravery and patriotism that Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru displayed. Then there are some of us who get so carried away in their Bhagat-bhakti(pardon the pun) that they then start attacking Gandhiji. Gandhiji is of course, the most attacked Indian in history. It doesn't take much to attack Gandhiji. Knowing a couple of incestuous expletives is usually considered enough ammunition in this country for that purpose.

I am just writing this post to wonder if anyone else is struck by the sheer irony of the fact that Bhagat Singh and co, when they did not get the facilities in prison they had a right to, went on a hunger strike. They did not attack the prison guards. They did not hatch a conspiracy to murder the jailor. They did not even plot a takeover of the prison. They went on a hunger strike.

Ask yourself why. Once you get the answer, you will realise it is not necessary to hate* Gandhiji to admire Bhagat Singh and vice versa.

*To hate Gandhiji is not the same as disagreeing with some or most of his ideals. In other words, when I say I do not hate Gandhiji does not mean I agree with all or even most of his ideas.