Taking a notice of portrayal of legendary heroes like Bhagat Singh and others as terrorists in a Delhi University (DU) history book by Bipan Chandra on Indian freedom struggle, the Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry on Thursday asked the University to eliminate the word “terrorist”. The HRD said the word can hurt national sentiments.

The HRD ministry asked the University to make corrections in the book which described freedom fighters including Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar Azad as “terrorists.”

The ministry wrote a letter to DU, stating that the word “terrorist” in current context has different meanings and using the word for freedom fighters “could hurt national sentiments”.

The move came after a book titled ‘India’s Struggle for Independence’, by famous historians Bipin Chandra and Mridula Mukherjee, mentioned Singh, Azad, Surya Sen and other freedom fighters as “revolutionary terrorists” book’s Chapter 20.

In reaction to the controversy, Singh’s nephew, Abhey Singh Sandhu said the Britishers, who hanged Bhagat Singh, described him as ‘true revolutionary’ in their verdict, even they didn’t use such words like terror or terrorism.  He added such words for revolutionaries in an attempt to trigger controversy, which is very unfortunate.

The move came after Bhagat Singh’s family had written a letter to Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani demanding her intervention into the matter and had also met DU vice-chancellor Yogesh Tyagi on Wednesday, who assured them t look into the matter.

DU vice-chancellor Yogesh Tyagi informed Singh’s family that the book is just a reference book in university’s history department and is not a text book or published or authored by DU faculty.


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