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Those chiselled features

Bhagat Singh, always a controversial figure, has once again come into the limelight even as his statue is being unveiled in Parliament.

india Updated: Aug 26, 2008 21:47 IST

A neat little row has broken out over a Bhagat Singh statue. Did the great warrior-freedom fighter have ‘such’ a thick beard? Did he wear a turban? It seems that yet another iconic figure bites the ‘proper representation’ dust.

Bhagat Singh, always a controversial figure, has once again come into the limelight even as his statue is being unveiled in Parliament.

And the faithful have leapt to the forefront. The statue has no resemblance to the real person, they say. (As if the countless ones of Ambedkar, Subhas Bose and other worthies do.) It is but a sad shadow of what really was this man , they say. He never wore a turban, he never sported a beard.

Now our point it that a statue is just that: a statue. How super-seriously should one take it? Yes, there would be a problem showing the shaheed hanging out with, say, Lord Irwin, the Governor-General of India when Singh was put to death.

And yes, it wouldn’t be right at all having a statue of Gandhiji holding, instead of his marching stick, a glass of ember-coloured fluid. But micro-worrying about a statue is being a tad Platonic.

The statues of Lenin and Stalin have become collectors’ items. So please let’s not get our knickers in a twist over Bhagat Singh. We are pretty sure that Bhagat Singh — hat or turban or hair aflow — wouldn’t mind or care.