It seems that not only are our politicians getting on the wrong side of historical facts, as far as Bhagat Singh is concerned, they have managed to get on the wrong side of style too. Miffed at being un-consulted by the government, the martyr’s family have got their knickers in a twist over his ‘look’ in a recently unveiled statue in Parliament. The look, apparently, is off by more than a mere whisker.
While de-Westernising his attire in favour of the respectable kurta pyjama, a hot favourite of our netas, the sculptors have generously mis-proportioned the firebrand to look too chubby for his family’s comfort. And they’re twirling their moustaches down in annoyance over the upturned tilt of his, which, evidently, doesn’t quite gel with his traditional Indian look.
Historians, too, are unhappy with the image, which seems to have been conjured out of a hat, depriving the freedom fighter of the European one he wore in the years before he was hanged. Also been found hair-raising is the abundance of fuzz on his face and the length of his locks, which he had shed along with all religious symbols including the turban adorning his head in the statue. History has been unkind to statues, generally the first casualty at the turn of every era. Let’s hope the row over a mere idol doesn’t overshadow the message of the man whose image we’re fighting over.