The continual tussles over Bhagat Singh's identity, even more amplified of late, are a testament to the heroic status the man continues to hold in the annals of the Indian freedom struggle. Despite him having addressed his views on religion, politics and activism, there are many willing to forge completely new narratives of his life, and many more willing to believe them. A timely antidote, this meticulously researched biography is an expansive foray into the life of Bhagat Singh. The volume deliberates upon his family from before when he was born, examining along the way the role that various episodes, policies and people played in shaping the identity of a legendary revolutionary, while also delving into his opinions on important questions of the time. It shines a bright light on the oft-ignored personal influences that made Singh who he was, along with the issue of his contested identity in today's politics. This is the definitive Bhagat Singh biography of our times.
Dr Satvinder S. Juss, Phd (Cantab) is a Professor of Law at Kings College London, a practising Barrister in London, and a Master of the Bench of Gray's inn.
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