Bhagat Singh's Corpse
South Asia: Journal of South Asian studies
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This article explores how a sense of responsibility toward the revolutionary Bhagat Singh (1907-1931) is mediated by and articulated through a relationship with the martyr’s written remains. It considers how efforts to reconstruct the ‘real’ Bhagat Singh propel a polemic around the ‘proper’ subject of Indian politics, one that destabilizes common sense nationalist narratives and extant autobiographies of the Indian left. These interventions must, however, grapple with the anarchic potentiality of Bhagat Singh’s self-sacrifice: empiricist efforts are tempted to engage in spectral practices of conjecture and counterfactual, building a politics of inheritance around a future that never came to pass.
- History