“ Dil se niklegi na mar kar bhi watan ki ulfat, meri mitti se bhi khushboo-e-watan aayegi”(Even after my death my love for my motherland will not diminish from my heart. Even my ashes will smell of your (motherland’s) greatness and love)–last words said by Sahid Bhagat Singh –
Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh was a revolutionary and martyr, born on 28 September (saterday)1907 (late night of 27 sep at 12.05 pm) at the village of Banga, Lyallpur district (now in Pakistan). father kishan singh and mother vidyawati belonged to a patrotic sikh family. “Bhagat” means “devotee” his nickname was “Bhaganwala”(lucky one) ‘ according to “Buried Alive” (autobiography of uncle Arjun Singh)
Bhagat didn’t attend the Khalsa High School in Lahore, because his grandfather didn’t approve of the school officials’ loyalism to the British authorities. his grandfather, enrolled him in the Dayanand Anglo Vedic High School, an Arya Samaji institution.
In 1919, at the age of 12, Bhagat visited the site of the jallian wala bagh, where non-violent people gathered at a public meeting were fired upon without warning, killing hundreds and wounding thousands. Bhagat Singh participated ardently in mahatma Gandhi’s Non-cooperation Movement in 1920, In 1922 he joined the Young Revolutionary Movement. Henceforth, he began advocating the violent overthrow of the British in India, After chauri-chaura kand.
In 1923 He joined the Indian nationalist youth organisation Naujawan Bharat Sabha (Hindi: “Youth Society of India”) along with his fellow revolutionaries, and became popular in the organisation. He also joined the HRA (Hindustan Republic Assocition) which had prominent leaders, such asRam Prashad Bismil, Chandrashekhar Azad, & Ashfaqulla Khan. The name of the organisation was changed to (HSRA) Hindustan Socialist Republician Association) at Singh’s insistence
In 1924,his parents planned to have him married. He vehemently rejected the suggestion and said that, if his marriage was to take place in Slave-India-“my bride shall be only death.” Rather than allow his father to proceed any further with the proposal, Bhagat Singh left home and went to Kanpur.
Singh was arrested for his alleged involvement in this Dussehra bomb case on 29 May 1927,but was released for exhibiting good behaviour against a steep fine of Rs. 60,000,
A rare historical photograph of students and staff of National College, Lahore, which was started by Lala lajpat Rai. Bhagat Singh can be seen standing fourth from the right.
Lala lajpat Rai died on 17 November 1928, Bhagat became so sad of this and he want to take revenge of this. The British government decided to implement the Defence of India act 1915, which gave the police a free hand. Singh proposed to the HSRA his plan to explode a bomb inside the Central legislative Assembly, He entrusted Dutt to plant the bomb. On 8 April 1929, Singh and Dutt threw two bombs inside the assembly rushing from Visitor’s Gallery. The smoke from the bomb filled the Hall and they shouted slogans of “Inquilab Zindabad!” ( “Long Live the Revolution!”) and showered leaflets. The leaflet claimed that the act was done to oppose the Trade Disputes and the Public Safety Bill being presented in the Central Assembly and the death of Lala Lajapath Rai. Few sustained injuries in the explosion but there were no deaths; Singh and Dutt claimed that the act was intentional. Singh and Dutt were arrested, as planned.
As the trial proceeded, a statement, written in its entirety by Bhagat Singh, was read in defence of the two accused. Bhagat Singh said that “force used for a legitimate cause has its moral justification.” He and B.K. Dutt were found guilty and sentenced to transportation for life. After the sentence had been pronounced in the Assembly Bomb case, Bhagat Singh was bound over for trial in the Saunders Murder case, approvers having identified his role in the killing. While awaiting trial in the Lahore Jail, Bhagat Singh started a hunger strike in behalf of political prisoners. The fast was continued even after the hearing of the case began on 10 July 1929, and was subsequently joined by many others. It was not until after the death of one of these, J.N. Das, on 13 September 1929, that facilities were promised to the prisoners and the hunger-strike abandoned. as detailed in their letter to the Home Member on 24 June 1929.
Rare snap of Bhagat with DSP gaopal singh at jail
Jinnah made a powerful speech in the Assembly supporting Singh, and sympathised with the prisoners on hunger strike. He declared on the floor of the Assembly:
“The man who goes on hunger strike has a soul. He is moved by that soul, and he believes in the justice of his cause … however much you deplore them and however much you say they are misguided, it is the system, this damnable system of governance, which is resented by the people.”
Jawaharlal Nehru met Singh and the other strikers in Mianwali jail. After the meeting, he stated:
“I was very much pained to see the distress of the heroes. They have staked their lives in this struggle. They want that political prisoners should be treated as political prisoners. I am quite hopeful that their sacrifice would be crowned with success.” “
Jatin Das of the Conspiracy Case, who was on hunger strike, died this afternoon at 1 pm Last night, five of the hunger strikers gave up their hunger strike. So there are only Bhagat Singh and Dutt who are on strike .
Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were sentenced to death in the Lahore conspiracy case and ordered to be hanged on 24 March 1931.On 17 March 1931, Singh was informed that his execution had been advanced by 11 hours on 23 March 1931, just a few hours before his execution.
Bhagat Singh was hanged on 23 March 1931 at 7:30 pm in Lohare jail with his fellow comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev. It is reported that no magistrate of the time was willing to supervise his hanging.The jail authorities broke the rear wall of the jail and secretly cremated the three martyrs under cover of darkness outside Ganda Singh Wala village, and then threw the ashes into the Sutluj river,about 10 km from Ferozepur . next day, however, his comrades collected the bodily remains from the cremation site and a procession was taken out in Lahore. Mourning for him was spontaneous and widespread and homage was paid to him for his sterling character and sacrifice.
“Sahido ke Mazaro pe lagenge har barsh mele, vatan pe marne walo ka yehi baki nishan hoga”
The execution of Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were reported widely by the press, especially as they were on the eve of the annual convention of the congress party at Karachi. Mahatma Gandhi faced black flag demonstrations by angry youth who shouted “Down with Gandhi”, the youth think Gandhi ji didn’t support Bhagat & rajguru.
In the 29 March 1931 issue of Young India, Gandhi wrote:
“Bhagat Singh and his two associates have been hanged. The Congress made many attempts to save their lives and the Government entertained many hopes of it, but all has been in a vain.
Bhagat Singh did not wish to live. He refused to apologize, or even file an appeal. Bhagat Singh was not a devotee of non-violence, but he did not subscribe to the religion of violence. He took to violence due to helplessness and to defend his homeland. In his last letter, Bhagat Singh wrote, ” I have been arrested while waging a war. For me there can be no gallows. Put me into the mouth of a cannon and blow me off.” These heroes had conquered the fear of death. Let us bow to them a thousand times for their heroism.
But we should not imitate their act. In our land of millions of destitute and crippled people, if we take to the practice of seeking justice through murder, there will be a terrifying situation. Our poor people will become victims of our atrocities. By making a dharma of violence, we shall be reaping the fruit of our own actions.
Hence, though we praise the courage of these brave men, we should never countenance their activities. Our dharma is to swallow our anger, abide by the discipline of non-violence and carry out our duty.”
Note – story & images taken by goggle, Wikipedia and “Buried Alive” (autobiography of uncle Arjun Singh)