Beware Of Alt-Facts: What’s Bhagat Singh Got To Do With Valentine’s Day?


Indian freedom struggle is comprised of innumerable set of actions but the most unique and important among them remains contribution of Indian revolutionaries, were handful of youth who kept a clear vision for universal brotherhood and equality. The independence they stood for was of economic, social and political nature. Organizations like Naujawan Bharat Sabha (NBS), Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) were pioneer to play this visionary role. The whole idea of building a socialist India was an inspiration from Russia’s socialist revolution whose leader V.I.Lenin did make a great impact on minds of leaders of HSRA. The inclination and commitment towards the communist, Marxist doctrine can easily be traced if one goes through writings of Bhagat Singh on the problem of Punjab’s language and script, the problem of untouchablity, communalism with writings of Comrade Ram Chander who was the first president of Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Shiv Verma who later joined a parliamentary left party in nation’s politics.

In India it has become a regular trend to play with historical dates and their significance. Recent past has acknowledged series of attempts to play with history of Indian revolutionary movement and it is being undertaken by so called self-proclaimed nationalists of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), youth wing of Hindu groups, Shiv Sena, etc. Followers of Savarkar are in state of pain as they don’t have their own icon who gave up life during nation’s liberation movement. A huge deficit, bankruptcy prevails. Let us have a look on few attempts of anachronism. Couple of years back “Bhagwa Brigade” (Saffron Brigade) gave a public call in state of Madhya Pradesh (M.P) to recruit 10,000 Hindu Youth for mission to establish a Hindu Rashtra. To do so they issued a poster with Savarkar, Shivaji, notably in the poster one finds picture of Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh being portrayed as “Hindu Revolutionaries”. It is really idiotic to show Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad as symbol of hindu rashtra in reality who stood against communalism favoring a secular state.


Hindutva forces did not stop here, went ahead to hell bent history, influencing common sense through medium of mass communication. On eve of Valentine’s Day, these forces spread a rumor that on 14th February 1931, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged by British government. And we celebrate this day as Valentine’s Day! Isn’t it surprising and condemning? The zealots went ahead to spread this misinformation through Wikipedia, the preferable web dictionary for the net savvy, to know who is who and what is what. According to a news report in The Hindu, “the Wikipedia page on Bhagat Singh underwent many editing changes on February 13 and 14, Valentine’s Day”. The date of hanging had been changed from 23rd March 1931 to 14th Feb 1931”. And it was due to such propaganda that an international news website, reported, “While the whole world observes 14th Feb as Valentine’ day, not many remember that the day was also when Indian freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru were hanged to death by Britishers”. Similarly on Twitter this misinformation had spread like a fire.

A group from named Shiv Sena (Punjab) also propagated the same rumor mere out of hate towards Valentine’s day.

Above actions prove an aggressive agenda very clearly that hardcore hindutva fringe elements are trying their level best to hijack heroes of national freedom struggle in particular youth revolutionary like Bhagat Singh by portraying him as agent of “Hindu Rashtra” in posters. Very smartly these people  distort history but have meet successive failures. Death warrant to Bhagat Singh was issued on 7th October 1930 and he was sentence to death on 23rd March 1931. They are unaware of the fact that in last letter to young political workers dated 2nd February 1931 Bhagat Singh wrote- Social reconstruction on new, i.e., Marxist, basis. In same letter he strongly pitches for formation of a communist party to carry out task of revolution.

The insane approach and hatred towards Valentine’s Day by religious fundamentalists land up creating misunderstanding among us of our own proud legacy of sacrifice. Bhagat Singh and his comrades logically advocated the idea of independent India which was to be inclusive in nature with strong bonds of commonality among all rejecting interference of religion in state affairs. In simple terms they were against formation of any “Hindu Rashtra or an Islamic state”.

The above mentioned mishappening put a greater responsibility on us- the responsibility of not believing in distorted facts, but to keep alive the belief of what these revolutionaries had lived and died for. In order to pay real tribute to these fearless visionaries, we must counter the propaganda of communal forces loaded with lie and animosity at various levels within our own capacities. We must stand against this injustice done to our historical legacy of struggle, sacrifice service.

Saurav Kumar is a researcher

Email Id- [email protected]

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