Friday, February 25, 2011

Bhagat Singh: Romance unrequited

"What basic distinction do you find between the revolution Naxalites claim and the one Bhagat Singh and others ignited against Britishers?" (Sunil Sharma) None -if I could alternately join the loyal bands of each at different times and see the two movements as a member of each. Thats a harsh fact. Bhagat Singh was lucky he did not live long enough to have to face the ugliness of a dream dragged to live itself out in the dull and heartless lanes of ordinary truths. Hence the romance never died. Death eternalised our hero's frozen dream fragment and lifted it out of the market-place of institutionalized revolution. it is the sad but inevitable destiny of all revolutions that they have to ride institutional and , worse, organisational crutches. Bhagat Singh's was the great glory that belongs to every love unrequited. And Pukhraj has pointed out the additional irony of Bhagat Singh's advantage that he was not fighting a democratic government. Revolutions generally thrive on dictatorships or foreign and unrepresentative regimes. We salute Bhagat Singh's heroic martyrdom. But I shudder to think of what fate might have awaited him had he succeeded in his initial task and was made to live out the full script he was preparing. The destiny of a re-run of Russian and French Revolutions , and many others, might have awaited our young hero. Would he also have had to face a Tianaman ? Questions, questions, questions. But I would rather be a Bhagat SIngh fan and avoid these questions. It is a whole lot more comfortable that way.

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