The bygone Sunday marked 107th birth anniversary of legendary freedom fighter, but hardly anyone of us had any idea regarding this. Except the Nehru-Gandhi family members, all other freedom fighters and leaders have only been limited to the NCERT history books. Very few of us really remember them or have any idea of their birth or death anniversaries.
Bhagat Singh is no different. The man who shook the entire fabric of a then-enslaved nation with his earnest and fervent patriotism, has now vanished from people's memory. Not only people, the Government and the media took less interest in reviving their legacy. Until the Modi-led Government comes at the helm of affairs at the Centre, the previous Governments be it NDA, UF or the Congress-led UPA took no effort to liven up these forgotten heroes.
Bhagat Singh not even a martyr in Government records
Bhagat Singh's sacrifice might have inspired many, but in Government records Bhagat Singh is not a martyr.
In 2013, an RTI revealed that the Home Ministry does not have any record to show whether Bhagat Singh has been declared a martyr or not.
Replying on RTI query, the Home Ministry said that it had no record to show whether Bhagat Singh had been declared martyr. The reply also said it had no information on what the government was doing about it.
Ads on Nehru-Gandhi family members cost Govt Rs 53 crore !
It seems the previous Congress-led UPA was less generous in remembering a martyrs or leaders outside the Nehru-Gandhi family. According to reports, more than a third of UPA-II's spending on newspaper advertisements for birth and death anniversaries of former leaders were on Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Of the total Rs 142.3 crore spent on newspaper advertisements on former leaders, Rs 53.2 crore was used for ads on these three.
According to the directorate of advertisement and visual publicity (DAVP), in the five years between 2008-09 and 2012-13, the Government spent Rs 38.3 crore on ads on Mahatma Gandhi's death and birth anniversary. He was followed by Rajiv Gandhi, B R Ambedkar, Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. These five leaders accounted for over Rs 100 crore of the ad spending, more than two-thirds of the total expenditure.
The expenditure on commemorating the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev was mere Rs 9.7 crore, while the ad spending on birthdays of Netaji was Rs 50 lakh only.
Congress obsessed with Gandhi-Nehru family
Over the last 60 years, on a rough estimate 650 Central and State Government programmes, projects and national and State level institutions involving public expenditure of lakhs of crores of rupees have been named after members of Gandhi-Nehru family.
There are nearly 650 social welfare schemes in the name of Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
According to an RTI report accessed by IBNlive, 12 Central and 52 state schemes, 28 sports tournaments and trophies, 19 stadiums, 5 airports and ports, 98 educational institutions, 51 awards, 15 fellowships, 15 national sanctuaries and parks, 39 hospitals and medical institutions, 37 institutions, chairs and festivals and 74 roads, buildings and places are named after 3 members of the Nehru-Gandhi family.
Are other leaders and martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Lal Bahadur Shastri , Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and B R Ambedkar anyway less important than Gandhi trio?