Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has invited criticism on Monday after comparing Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is facing sedition charges, with freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
While the BJP attacked Tharoo r for his comments, the Congress distanced itself from his remarks.
Addressing a group of students at the JNU on Sunday night, Tharoor, while listing the names of victims of sedition law under British rule, 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.
Lashing out at Tharoor’s comments, 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.
Virtually disapproving of Tharoor’s remarks, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, “There has been only one Bhagat Singh. There is only one Bhagat Singh”.
Tharoor, for his part, clarified that he did not intend to equate Kanhaiya with Bhagat Singh.
“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.