Inqlab Zindabad

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It is 23rd March now on the clock-the most significant day for revolutionary movement of not only India,but for whole of South Asia, at least as important for Pakistan as for India.The greatest martyr of both India and Pakistan held the head of dignity of indian nation of 1931 and revolutionary movement of the whole world, high, with the resounding sounds of ‘Inqlab Zindabad’ and Down with Imperialism’.The event made the British colonialism hang its head in shame before the brave three-Bhagat singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev!

Bhagat Singh birth place in Chak No. 105,Bange Faislabad

Bhagat singh Primary School in Chak No. 105

Bradlaugh Hall,including National College Lahore,where Bhagat singh studied

SSP office Lahore,here Saundres was killed on 17 December 1928

DAV College Kanpur hostel, here Bhagat Singh stayed with Shiv Verma and Rajguru

Chhaju Ram haveli in Calcutta, where Bhagat Singh stayed in Dec. 1928 Congress session

In Arya Samaj Mandir Calcutta, near College street,Bhagat Singh stayed in this room,though it was tinshed in 1928

Ancestral house of Bhagat Singh family in Khatkar Kalan village near Banga in Nawan Shehar now Shaheed Bhagat singh Nagar

Phansighat, now Shadman Chowk Lahore, where on 23rd March,1931,Bhagat Singh,rajguru and Sukhdev were executed.Here today Diep saeeda and her comrades are gathering to pay tributes to martyrs

Four real pictures of Bhagat Singh

Yesterday amarjit chandan sent a link of Aajkal Urdu daily from Lahore with the question that ‘whether Bhagat Singh came to my dreams ever?’ Since I went to bed only after it struck 23rd March and put a small note for the day on facebook and blog,I kept on thinking to update the note with photographs, so I am doing it now,have posted some rare photographs on facebook.

I am trying to imagine the three days of March 1931.On 20th March Bhagat Singh wrote to Governor of Punjab, daring him to send firing squad in order to shoot them, as they were ‘war prisoners’, since the war was on between Indian nation and British colonialism.On 22nd March Bhagat singh wrote a letter to his Comrades, exhorting them to continue the struggle, though they will face immense hardships,more than dyeing; living and struggling will be much difficult…And what on 23rd itself,I presume they all three slept well in the night, after singing revolutionary songs.They knew only about 24th March as the day of execution.At the time of meetings, Pran Nath Mehta their friend and advocate brought the book on or by Lenin as sought by Bhagat singh , a day earlier.In all likelihood Pran Nath Mehta must have informed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev that all their families have refused to avail the last meeting with them, though all three families were present in Lahore that day for the last meeting. Rajguru’s poor mother traveled all the way from Maharshtra to be with his son.Sukhdev’s mother was there with Sukhdev’s uncle Lala Achint Ram Thapar, who was like a father to Sukhdev after the death of his father earlier.Jail authorities refused permission to Lala Achint Ram to accompany them for the last meeting, due to ‘not being blood relation’.To protest against this, the all three families refused to avail the meeting.I was trying to gauge the pain of three mothers, particulary of Rajguru’s poor mother, who came all the way from a village near Pune in Maharashtra,who has not got many chances to meet her son during the trial, being far away.At least Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev families had many chances to meet them,being in Punjab.Bhagat singh was worried that at last meeting his mother may not cry, so he advised her not to come,she did come,but now showing examplary courage bear pain, refused to see their sons for last time, exposing British colonial regime’s cruelty in its worst form.

Bhagat Singh could understood everything,when Bogha, dalit jail worker came ,Bhagat singh asked him to cook lunch for them.In 1931, Bogha cried,he can’t commit this ‘sin’ to cook for ‘high caste’,but bhagat singh told him that before going to gallows, he has to eat from the hands of ‘Bebe’, they used to call Bogha, bebe(mother), since like mother he cleansed their shit.Bhagat singh had his way and got his last food from ‘Bebe’.Then he started reading Lenin and around four jail warder Chatar Singh requested them to take bath,could not explain anything except crying.Bhagat singh understood ‘time is up’. they got ready for the ‘last and final journey’.Bhagat singh again continued reading lenin book, when around six, the jail staff came to fetch them,Bhagat singh smiled and said-‘wait for a while’, ‘let me finish this page-a revolutionary is meeting another revolutionary, don’t spoil the beauty of their meeting’ .they waited.

All three arms in arms, singing started moving towards gallows.bhagat singh’s weight has increased by ten pounds, with the expectation of execution, mind ‘exepectation and not apprehension’, as he was so happy and excited to sacrifice his life for the country and people, in order to awaken them.i sometime wonder whether we shall celebrate 23 March with happiness or express sorrow as many people do.Bhagat singh would have said-Celebrate your struggles on this day, don’t spread gloom, be cheerul and strong.

At 7.p.m or around, they were at gallows,Bhagat singh refused to wear the black cloth on his face and told British officer-you are lucky to see how happily Indians go to gallows for the nation.Saddam hussain was not the first to go to gallows with uncovered face, Bhagat singh was the first one.

And what did the British after the executions were over. Scared of people’s anger, gathered at jail gate, the news spread fast.They mutiliated the bodies by cutting these into pieces, put into stacks and took from back gate towards hussainiwala, had burnt the bodies with kerosene oil with some Pandit/Granthi around from Kasur. Large number of people walking bby foot collected the half burnt body pieces,brought to Lahore and a lakh people joined in funeral march to Ravi bank in Lahore on 24th March evening.Thus ended the saga of one of bravest men and patriot of history at the age of 23 years and five months plus.

Today i had to decline many invitations on Bhagat singh memorial programmes from Allahabad, Nagpur, delhi, Patiala, Chandigarh,begusarai and from Jhunjhunu in Rajsthan ,where a statue of Bhagat Singh is being inaugurated.My heart though is at Phansighat Lahore, where at 4.pm, many activists are gathering to pay homage to the great martyrs of both India and Pakistan. My greetings to all revolutionary people anywhere in the world on this great day and best tribute to Bhagat Singh and Che Guvera is to shout with them-Inqlab Zindabad’, Down with Imperialism(Neo colonialism)’ and Socialist movement revival zindabad.Long Live revolution and Long Live Socialism.

Chaman Lal: On Bhagat singh’s distorted pictures in Govt. advertisements

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Professor Chaman Lal Dated:–23rd March 2010
Chairperson
Centre of Indian Languages (SLL&CS)
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi -110067

Media Release on distortion of Bhagat Singh face in Govt. Advertisements.

Shimla: It is extremely painful and shameful to know that both Central Govt. of India and state Govt. of Punjab have issued advertisement on 23rd March martyrdom day with the disfigured face of Bhagat Singh. In spite of the fact that I have been bringing this to the notice of President and Prime Minister of India and Chief Minister of Punjab many times through my email communications that both Governments are using a thoroughly distorted painting of Bhagat Singh’s face since decades, even the statues erected at hussainiwala and later at basing on that at Parliament complex have been distorted due to using this painting rather than the real pictures of Bhagat Singh, which are available. In spite of protests made by the family members of Bhagat Singh and scholars working on martyrs, both the Governments have shown utter insensitivity in this matter and continuing with their contemptuous treatment of martyr’s face, which has never been done in case of national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Netaji Subhash Bose or Dr. Ambedkar.It is only with most respected martyr of the country and region that this insulting behavior is repeated every other day. For instance today’s papers carry Central Government advertisement with red turbaned painting picture of Bhagat Singh and state Government of Punjab carries yellow turbaned painting picture of the martyr. Fact of the matter is when four real photographs of Bhagat Singh are available, then why one of the original photographs is not being used. Most popular and the last photograph of Bhagat Singh wearing an English hat was taken on 4th April 1929 by Ramnath, a photographer at Kashmere gate Delhi. Both Governments to out do each other in communal politics use turbaned painting of the martyr. Even if someone wants to use turbaned photograph of Bhagat Singh, that is also available with the family and now with the whole world through internet. This photograph of Bhagat Singh is with white turban and white Kurta taken at National College Lahore. One photo is of eleven years with turban and another without turban, but with bound head hair taken at Lahore police station being interrogated in 1927. Any where in the world, only real photographs are used to focus upon their national or international heroes, paintings are used only in case when real photographs are not being available, so painters try their imagination to create the images, as in case of gods and goddesses or even Sikh Gurus, when camera was not available.
I appeal to fair minded people in the Government and outside not to treat this matter so lightly. In fact I have given the four real photograph card, along with my book ‘Jail Notebook and Other writings’ (Bhagat Singh) to honorable Chief Justice of India Justice K.G. Balakrishanan as well, when he came to inaugurate Supreme court exhibition ‘the Trial of Bhagat Singh’ in September 2007.I wish that if the governments do not pay any attention to this sensitive issue ,I request Hon’ble Courts to take sue motto notice of this statement and issue notices to state and central Governments. If some public spirited advocate wishes to file public interest petition, he or she should do it for this national cause.
Chaman Lal
Indian Institute of Advanced Study Shimla(March 2010 only)-0177-2831376/2832195

Tel. 011-26704656 (Mob.-09868774820) Email: – prof.chaman@gmail.com

Refreshing memories of Indian Institute of Advanced Study Shimla

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I wished to write about Indian Institute of Advanced Study Shimla in some detail.I might have been visiting Shimla many times in the past, since it is a well known hill station, but it was only after 1990,my association with the institute started. I do not have a sharp memory, however sometimes in 1991 or so, on a visit to Shimla, I came to see Viceregal lodge as a tourist.Impressed by its grandeur, also knowing about its reputation as an academic institute of excellence, since the days of Nihar Ranjan Ray,its founder Director, though it has gone ups and downs later. Probably I met Ashok Sharma, courteous PRO of the institute, who gave me a form for ‘Associate’, also for ‘fellowship’.I think I filled Associate form and sent through my then University-Punjabi University Patiala.I was pleasantly surprised to join here in June 1992 for one month as associate, which could be further availed for two more months in two years.June was a privileged month for Shimla.I got a room in Public Entry then, if I remember correctly.Prof. J.S.Grewal, former Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar and a renowned historian was Director of the institute and he was trying to get it back to its glory. That was the year, when Jaidev, Prof. of English in H P university Shimla, Satya Pal Gautam, then teaching in Panjab University Chandigarh ,J D Sethi a senior economist like people were fellows here,later Prof. Randhir Singh also joined.It was a warm atmosphere here.Associates were not generally making presentations then, only on their own request, they were invited to make presentation.That year i made presentation on Punjabi poet Paash, who was assassinated by Khalistanis in 1988.That year Rajan, now Professor in Pondichery University also made presentation on Dwarka.With that started my long association with the institute, which i started liking for its cool ambiance and academic atmosphere after JNU and Teenmurthi of Delhi.Next year in 1993, I came perhaps in October and made presentation on Rahul Sankartyayan.During my stay this time I was interviewed for Reader’s post in Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar and got selected too.Dr. Pankaj Singh from English deptt. of HP University Shimla was working on Punjabi drama.Under the leadership of Prof. jaidev, who enjoyed immense respect in institute,this year we pleaded with Prof. Grewal to invite Bhisham Sahni, eminent Hindi writer, to institute as Writer in residence.The request was accepted and Bhisham and Shiela ji came to institute to spend few years. In 1994,autocratic Vice Chancellor of GNDU Amritsar Gurdeep Singh Randhawa, neither allowed me to spend a month at IIAS Shimla, even though it was binding for him from UGC to sanction duty leave. I was even stopped by him to go to England to present paper on a international seminar of Punjab by that Vice Chancellor in 1994, though I was being paid TA by sponsors of the seminar.I could avail my third term as associate at shimla perhaps in 1996, when I was back to Punjabi University Patiala, after spending two years at Amritsar.By that time Prof Mrinal Miri, soft spoken gentle scholar from North east has taken over as Director.he was friend of common friend Swarajbir, Punjabi poet, a medical doctor in Indian Pol lice service.We organized young writers of Hindi, Punjabi and English meet in his term Also organized four days national seminar on Dalit and Black:Some issues in October 1997.By far this is the most pleasant experience in my life of organizing an academic seminar with all the best facilities in IIAS Shimla.Writers like Sharan Kumar Limbale came to participate. Krishna Sobti, another eminent Hindi writer has joined as Writer in Residence.She is bold in writing and in her assertion also and a warm host. There were lot of parties in her Postmaster’s bungalow on institute.Now 85, she is a typical Punjabi woman of pre partition Punjab’s Gujrat district.Those times were really most pleasant at institute.My edited book in Hindi on this Black-Dalit seminar was published by institute in 2001.I kept on coming to institute till 2000, then came a long break.In between came to shimla and stayed at Punjabi University Patiala’s guest house,while visiting institute in those years in 2003 perhaps, was shocking. Murli Manohar Joshi’s lectures in Hindi were displayed on new book displays counter. Murlai Joshi, so called Professor of Physicas at Allahabad University, has the worst image of claiming salary without teaching there for 18 years and known for safforanisation of education as MHRD misiter during NDA regime. He had made the institute again a mess. During UPA regime institute revived somewhat and now it has good scholar Dr. Peter D’Souza as its director.Now atmosphere again seems to be back to academic excellence, but found courtesy and warmth somewhat declining.
I am almost now in the last week of my assignment here and have to consult lot many books yet,may not be able to consult all.Was happy to get many old books, which I was searching since years. I did not go out for sight seeing in temptation of books, still not visited Mall, the most attractive spot of shimla. More than literature, this time my attention is on books about history,ideology and language.I have visited Rabinder Nath Tagore’s rented house in 1893 near the institute and hope to visit Amrita Shergill resided house in Summer Hills, again close to institute. Hope to see Tagore father’s house near Himachal Assembly, on way to the Mall.One of grand daughter of revolutionary Durga Bhabhi lives in shimla, may one day go and see her.

Update on Punjabi Chair in JNU

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Some encouraging responses have come to my article in ‘The Tribune’-‘Why No Punjabi Chair in JNU?’, published on 12th February.Most pleasant was to receive mail from Ujjal Dosanjh, former Premier British Columbia state of Canada and still member of Canada’s parliament.He sought phone numbers of Punjabi background Central ministers of India to personally phone them for Punjabi Chair in JNU.I could send what was available on Govt. of India’s website. I am sure Sh. Dosanjh would have played his role to influence Indian ministers in this regard.Other pleasant surprise came in the form of copy of letter from Sh. Pawan Kumar Bansal, central minister for water resources and parliamentary affairs, coming from Tapa Mandi of Sangrur district in Malwa.Just 15 kilometers from my birthplace Rampura Phul in Bathinda district of Malwa. I had impressed upon him,in response to his new year greetings that Tapa-Rampura Phul from Malwa should play a role in establishing Punjabi chair in JNU during my term as Chairperson of Centre of Indian languages in JNU, which will be over by this July.Sh. Bansal sent the letter to Kapil Sibal, minister for human resources to favorably consider the request.Tarlochan Singh Rajya Sabha member had already written to Sh. Sibal in this regard.And newly nominated member and till recent tribune editor H K Dua has also committed support for this cause.Punjabi tribune also carried Yadvinder karfew’s article in this connection.
It was also conveyed to me that Dr. Sutinder singh Noor,Vice President Central Sahitya Akademi, raised this issue forcefully in Punjabi University Patiala seminar organized by world Punjabi centre there, in the presence of Manpreet singh Bada, most sensible finance minister in Punjab government.Manpreet Badal committed funds for Punjabi chair at JNU.Later Dr. Noor himself phoned me in Shimla to ask for papers in this regard, which I mailed to Amarjit Grewal and Manpreet Badal.
With these positive developments, let us hope that Punjabi Chair should come up in JNU in near future.

My Name is Khan-A Democratic-humanist, patriotic and nationalist film

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These days I am able to see films only with my daughter at laptop or computer.I wanted to see Shahrukh Khan’s .My Name is Khan.,so saw last night.Overall it is a good film.A simple Muslim boy Rizwan Khan, given good education by his mother and an old teacher reaches USA.He is honest , truthful , physically and mentally scared and believes as her mother told him-there are only two categories of people-either good or bad.No other category of Hindu,Muslim,Sikh or Christian etc. As a devout Muslim,he performs Namaz anywhere at the given time.His younger brother is a successful businessman in states and he falls in love with divorcee Mandira, mother of grown up boy and they happily marry.9/11 in USA brings misery in his life too,his son is killed in racial attack and he wants to meet US President to seek justice and he keeps on shouting-‘My Name is Khan and I am not a terrorist’. He is arrested and tortured by US police as the scenes are in ‘Khuda ke Liye’ as well.Islamic fundamentalist Dr. Faiyaz tries to incite Muslims,but Khan resist his actions, even by informing intelligence.He is proved innocent and released and he goes to help poor black people in Georgia during floods calamity.Ultimately US President ,a shadow of Obama himself, invites him, so the film ends on positive note,though unrealistic optimism.
There is a bit of Hindi film sentimentality and it is not as arty as Khuda ke liye,yet it has appeal to the heart.Thackery-Togadiya’s attack on film is understandable-A Muslim character, being too good human being, then marrying a Hindu divorcee,proving himself to be better and doting husband,giving full space to her religious faith, opposing Muslim fundamentalism ,getting himself murderous attack from a Muslim jehadi and surviving to be united with his estranged Hindu wife,exposing US torture machine, as is Indian one,not much different-how a fascist mind could swallow this much of democratic film!Film is influenced by Khuda ke Liye, and Shahrukh has somewhat created his own character as mixture of Taare Zameen Par +Paa, which shows that he lacks originality like Amir Khan,yet he understands the nerve of his audience.
The film is much better than the daily trash being shown,but in my view Thackerys, Togadias and Narender Modis are real stinking communal rots, making Indian society polluted by their stink. If Chidambaram has any guts,let him take action against such anti-national traitors to society,people and country.I dare call Thackerys, Togadias and Narender Modis anti national and traitors,because they try to destroy the real idea of Indian nation as perceived by people like Gandhi,Nehru, Ambedkar,Subhash Bose and Bhagat Singh,which is a multi religious,multi cultural, multi lingual, multi ethnic nation and country.Every group or community or individual in this country has equal rights and no group or community be it majority Hindu or anyone else, has any special rights over others and have right to call themselves as more ‘nationalist’ than ‘others’, in fact by doing so they perform the role of anti national and commit treachery to this plural society.Narender Modi controlled mobs can kill Muslims at will with Police kept at bay to help the killer goons. Chidambarams controlled forces of this country can kill poor adivasis in plenty but dare not face these traitors squarely!Chidambaram has to decide that whether he accepts Gandhi-Nehru and constitutional idea of Indian nation or Golwalkar’s ideas of a fascist and unconstitutional nation?

Scanning some rare Books

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I am mad after old and rare books and feel excited when find one.Keep on noting the titles in my notebook for years and keep on searching in libraries.Indian Institute of Advanced Study Shimla’s library is quite rich in this matter.Was searching for Sedition committee report since years and lo! I found the 1918 British colonial Govt. published first edition here,priced one anna or so.Scanning it between the lines,one can read it as early history of Indian revolutionary movement against British colonial regime.There are lot of pre partition publications from Lahore here,including Sarojini Naidu quoted Jinnah: Symbol of Hindu-Muslim unityI am mad after old and rare books and feel excited when find one.Keep on noting the titles in my notebook for years and keep on searching in libraries.Indian Institute of Advanced Study Shimla’s library is quite rich in this matter.Was searching for Sedition committee report since years and lo! I found the 1918 British colonial Govt. published first edition here,priced one anna or so.Scanning it between the lines,one can read it as early history of Indian revolutionary movement against British colonial regime.There are lot of pre partition publications from Lahore here,including Sarojini Naidu quoted Jinnah: Symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity

Remembering Franz Fanon

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Scanning books on Franz Fanon in Indian Institute of Advanced Study Shimla library,noted his words in my notebook–‘We are nothing on earth,if we are not in the first place,the slaves of a cause,the cause of the people,the cause of justice and liberty’.
Born on 20 June 1925, this radical African nationalist lived a life of just 36 years,died in USA on 6th December 1961,where he went unwillingly for treatment and USA almost killed him by denying him crucial treatment and interrogating for ten days.Known more for his ‘Wretched of the Earth’ with introduction by Sartre, his other books, not available these days, are no less important.These are ‘Black Skin White Masks(1952),’Studies In Dyeing Colonialism'(1961) and ‘Towards an African Revolution'(1964),published by Monthly Review Press.Where do we find such committed and dedicated personalities now?

Train To Shimla

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Traveled from Delhi to Shimla on 3rd March to join as Associate for the month of March at Indian Institute of Advanced Study Shimla.Journey from Kalka to Shimla through hills,crossing many tunnels is very pleasant.Took this journey after more than a decade. I stayed in Institute last in 2000. On the way read Yasmin Khan’s much appreciated book The Great Partition.. in Hindi Translation.Translation is  OK,but grave errors at places.Book has been written with rigrous research and I also liked at a lot.Noted references of more than fifty books on partition from the book and later searched these in Institute library,found many.This Institute is one of the most favorite place for me, about which I shall write later .For the moment few photographs from my mobile camera of the train journey..

Tara Devi station

Summer Hill station

Summer Hill station