While marking the occasion of revolutionary Bhagat Singh’s 87th death anniversary on Friday, two Pakistani groups demanded that he be declared a national hero of their country. The two organisations in question were Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation (BSMF) and Bhagat Singh Foundation Pakistan (BSFP).
The groups had also conducted two separate events at Lahore’s Shadman Chowk, where Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged on 23rd March 1931. The events involved the participants paying tributes to the trio which included the revolutionaries’ relatives expressing their thoughts via phone.
The events incidentally were held under tight security owing to the possible threat from extremists.
BSFP’s founder Abdullah Malik was quoted as saying that, Bhagat Singh raised his voice against imperialism and that he would be remembered as a great freedom fighter. He later demanded that India and Pakistan declare Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev as “national heroes”.
The other demands of the groups included:
- BSMF’s chairman Imtiaz Rashid passing a resolution asking Britain’s Queen to tender an apology for hanging the trio and paying compensation to their families.
- Naming a road after Bhagat Singh and including a chapter on him in Pakistan’s schools.
- Installing Bhagat Singh’s statue at Shadman Chowk and issuing a postal ticket in his name.
- Both BSMF and BSFP have demanded that Shadman Chowk be renamed as Bhagat Singh Chowk, but radical Islamist organisation Hurmat-e-Rasool has opposed it and instead demanded that it be renamed “Hurmat Chowk”.
Such efforts to try and properly recognise Bhagat Singh have been made time and again in Pakistan.
In January it was reported that the Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation had demanded that he be conferred Pakistan’s highest gallantry award “Nishan-e-Haider”. The application regarding the same was made to the country’s Punjab province government.
Back in September 2017 a Pakistani lawyer Advocate Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi had filed a petition in Lahore High Court for proving the innocence of Bhagat Singh.