It will take a long time for Congress MP Shashi Tharoor to live down his remark: “Bhagat Singh was the Kanhaiya Kumar of his times.” In fact, Tharoor’s own party has been hugely discomfited by Kanhaiya’s appeal in JNU as it spells doom for the Congress Party’s students’ wing, NSUI. It makes no political sense whatsoever for a leader to extol the virtues of Kanhaiya whose supporters are threatening to wipe the floor with all other anti-BJP forces except their own.
Whether Kanhaiya should have been charged with sedition is a debatable issue as the case against him seems to rest largely on some disputed TV footage. The mercurial student leader has been at pains to deny proximity to Kashmiri separatists, claiming his role model is Rohith Vemula, the Dalit student of Hyderabad University who committed suicide. The comparison with Bhagat Singh is not only wrong but also hurtful to the vast majority of Indians who idolise the young militant nationalist who was sent to the gallows by the colonial regime.