Understanding Bhagat Singh
Who was Bhagat Singh? There are six films made and more than 400 books published in almost all Indian languages, more than 200 in Hindi alone. The maximum numbers of publications proscribed during British colonial period were again on Bhagat Singh. Was he a Sikh nationalist or Arya Samajist like his family? Was he an admirer of the RSS or Veer Savarkar or was he a Marxist Socialist revolutionary? Did he grow a beard and became a faithful Sikh in jail, as some religious people would like others to believe or did he remain a confirmed atheist till the end? What was his approach towards Dalits and communal issues in Indian society or what kind of Indian society did he envision after a successful revolution of his dreams? What kind of forces did he imagine as the main driving force of Indian socialist revolution and how the revolution was to be made? There exists a long list of questions regarding the personality of Bhagat Singh, a popular hero of Indian youth for all ages. Was he a kind of Indian Che Guevara or Hugo Chavez?
Understanding Bhagat Singhis a collection of articles written by Professor Chaman Lal, a leading researcher on Bhagat Singh. Professor Lal has written more than a dozen publications on the hero in numerous Indian languages, during the Bhagat Singh’s birth centenary and after, on various aspects of the revolutionary personality of the hero. the book includes rare documents as well, some from Bhagat Singh’s own pen and others from Periyar, Jinnah and such eminent people of the time, in an attempt to provoke the reader to think deeply on one of the most iconic figures of Indain Freedom Struggle.
Chaman Lalis Professor (Retired) and former Chairperson of Centre of Indian Languages in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (India). He served as a visiting Professor on the Hindi Chair in the University of the West Indies in the St. Augustine campus. He has more than fifty authored/edited/translated books to his credit in Hindi, Punjabi and English languages. Some of his books have been translated into Marathi, Bengali and Urdu as well. His main areas of interest are history of revolutionary movements during the freedom struggle of India and Indian Dalit literrature. He is known for his boooks on the Indian revolutionary Bhagat Singh and revolutionary Pubjabi poet Pash. He has won many national and state awards in the field of literature in India, including the National Prize for Translation from the National Academy of Letters (Sahitya Akademi) of India.
Professor Chaman Lal has presented papers in many national and international conferences including conferences in Monash University, Melbourne (Australia), Dongguk University, Busan (Korea), Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK), the Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam, Buo Ma Thuat (Vietnam) and the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine campus, Trinidad & Tobago. He has also delivered lectures in India and abroad, including USA, Canada, Mauritius, Pakistan and Suriname.