India’s Struggle for Freedom


A Delhi University textbook has been caught up in a political row after it was found that it mentioned revolutionaries like Shaheed Bhagat Singh as ‘revolutionary terrorists’.

The textbook titled ‘India’s Struggle for Freedom’ which has been in circulation for 25 years now also mentions Surya Sen and Chandra Shekhar Azad as ‘revolutionary terrorists’ with the Chittagong Uprising described as a terror attack. The context and the explanation in Chapter 20, where the nomenclature was used, however, is not being discussed.

Several historians and authors have come forward to correct the error. Veteran historian Irfan Habib, however, said that ‘this controversy is not new for him’. “This issue is in public domain for a long time. When I was writing a book on Bhagat Singh, I deliberately used ‘revolutionary terrorist’ for him.”

Terming the ‘error’ as an ‘academic murder’, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani made it clear that no amount of intellectual cover could be used to demean those who have lost their lives. “If I am to be called intolerant to ensure that Bhagat Singh is not called a terrorist, then that is a tag I will proudly wear,” she said.

Janta Dal United (JD(U)) is expected to bring the issue up in Rajya Sabha


Kartikeya Bhatotia

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