“We don’t have any faith in statue-worship but as a symbol, the importance of a statue cannot be underestimated. We adore our homes with the pictures or statues of our heroes, mentors or beloved ones and these pictures or statues inspire and enthuse us. Had the statues been devoid of any importance then after the defeat of socialism and restoration of capitalism in Russia, the statues of Lenin would not have been brought down. The memories, the places, and the symbols associated with the great personalities are valued highly. Today when the fascist forces are set to install a huge statue of Sardar Patel, posing him as a face of Hindutva, this statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh installed by the toiling masses is the symbol of Inquilab as opposed to fascism.”
These were words of the president of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Disha Trust and the occasion was the unveiling of the big bronze statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, on September 28, 2015, just 100 meters away from Kurukshetra railway station. After about one and half years the above said words seem to be coming true.
This 50 feet high bust of Shaheed Bhagat Singh generates the spirit of ‘Inquilab’ within the hearts of the viewers. Whenever the passengers travelling in the train get a glimpse of the bust, the slogan ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ comes out spontaneously from their mouths. The youth take their photos with the statue of Bhagat Singh and take information about the ideas of Bhagat Singh. This statue inspires the struggling toiling people to intensify their struggle.
The highest bust of the country and the biggest bust of Bhagat Singh in the world rests on a 32 feet high foundation. The height of the bust itself is 18 feet, width 14 feet and the thickness is 8 feet. The total weight of this bronze-bust is about two and a half ton. 38 steps have been constructed to reach the bust.
Suresh Kumar, the cashier of the Trust explained, “About rupees 40 lakhs have been spent on the foundation and the bust and no contribution from the government has been received: the entire contribution has been through the cooperation and contribution of the toiling masses.” Rupees 22.5 lakhs has been spent on the bust and Rs 18 lakhs on building the foundation. The unveiling ceremony of the bust was performed by Phool Singh, a representative of struggling people and president of the Jan Sangharsh Manch of Haryana.
On asking how the idea of creating such a statue was born, comrade Shyam Sunder states, “When we started studying Bhagat Singh in depth then we came to the conclusion that it is Bhagat Singh, who in a real sense is the first Marxist thinker born on Indian soil. Despite there being present a communist party in existence, the work and thinking of Bhagat Singh alone represents the true spirit of Inquilab and the liberation of all exploited people is only possible realising this.
“Hence, our organisation decided to create a centre for spreading the ideas of Bhagat Singh and to attract and inspire the people a big bronze statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh was sought to be installed which can be visible to the whole world. For this purpose, we bought a plot of land adjacent to the railway junction Kurukshetra with the cooperation of the working people and installed the statue. A library has also been recently opened here called the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Disha Sansthan.”
Besides India, Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, the young Indian with a broad internationalist vision is also commemorated in Pakistan and this bust, fittingly, stands by the side of Delhi-Amritsar railway line which goes straight on to Lahore. Today when the governments of both countries are furthering their private agendas and bartering on the politics of hatred, this bust is a symbol of an alternate way of thinking: a resistance. It calls upon the toiling masses of both countries, reminding them of their common interests, to struggle for the attainment of the ‘red-tinted’ (read communist) dawn.