In an instance that seems to add unnecessary fuel to the ongoing JNU issue, the MP and former diplomat Shashi Tharoor shot a statement comparing Kanhaiya Kumar, the president of the JNU students’ union, who is currently under charges of sedition, to the legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
Addressing a group of students at the JNU on Sunday night, Tharoor, while listing the names of victims of sedition law under British rule had said Bhagat Singh was the Kanhaiya Kumar of his time.
“The biggest victims of sedition law under the British rule were Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Annie Besant,” he said.
When a girl mentioned Bhagat Singh, Tharoor promptly responded, “Bhagat Singh was the Kanhaiya Kumar of his time.”
Reacting to that, the BJP said it was an insult to the “great freedom fighter” as well as all patriots of the country.
“Bhagat Singh went to the gallows chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ while fighting for the country’s independence. Comparing Kanhaiya Kumar with Bhagat Singh is an insult to the freedom fighter and all the patriots. Shashi Tharoor should tell if Kanhaiya is Bhagat Singh, then what are Rahul and Sonia Gandhi,” BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain said.
Tharoor on his part, tried to clarify saying he didn’t equate Kanhaiya with Bhagat. “You are finding one marginal thing which was said in response to a comment from the audience. Bhagat Singh was fighting colonial rule and foreign oppression and Kanhaiya is fighting for his beliefs in a very different democracy. So the situations are different but the comparison (was)-young, Marxist, idealist, passionately committed to their motherland, in their 20s…that’s all,” he said.