The government just can’t seem to get its advertisements right.
On Tuesday, the 79th death anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and the Punjab government splashed separate ads in leading newspapers of the Capital and in Punjab featuring paintings of the martyr.
Historians and Bhagat Singh’s descendants are unhappy with the paintings. “When there are so many photographs of Bhagat Singh available, why use paintings?” asked Chaman Lal, professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and editor of Singh’s documents.
The I&B ad had Bhagat Singh in a red turban, the Punjab government one in a yellow one. “Actually, Bhagat Singh wore a European style hat,” said Jagmohan, his nephew.
“Bhagat Singh did not wear a turban for the last three years of his life — from 1928 to the day he was hanged,” added Bipan Chandra, noted historian. “Nor did he have a beard, as the Punjab ad shows.”
Two months ago, the Women and Child Development Ministry had used the photo of a former Pakistani air force chief on an ad commemorating the girl child.