Punjab: Chandigarh airport will now be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh as a tribute to the great freedom fighter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday . Chandigarh airport will now be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh, said PM Modi in the 93rd episode of his monthly Mann ki Baat address.
PM Narendra Modi said, “As a tribute to the great freedom fighter, it has been decided that the Chandigarh airport will now be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh.”
In the same address, Modi also paid tribute BJP ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, saying he was a profound thinker and a great son of the country.
While the PM pays homage to Bhagat Singh every year on his birth and death anniversary, the naming of the airport comes among a series of attempts by the BJP to appropriate Singh’s legacy for political traction. In 2013, then the PM candidate Modi raised eyebrows when he agreed to release a book based on Singh’s prison diary. While being a testament to Singh’s anti-colonial struggle as a revolutionary, the book is also a reflection of Singh’s deeply Leftist philosophies and rejection of capitalism and organized religion. In the book, Singh quotes heavily from Marx, Trostky, Lenin and other Leftist leaders’ works.
Modi’s Mann Ki Baat announcement also gains in significance coming in the background of an increasingly sharp tussle between both the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP to claim the legacy of Bhagat Singh. When Bhagwant Mann became the Chief Minister, he chose to take the oath in Bhagat Singh’s native village in Punjab. Soon after, in March, the BJP announced that it will be hosting over 300 events across Punjab to observe the martyrdom of Singh on March 23.