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Shaheed Bhagat Singh

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Inquilab Zindabad! Long live the revolution! Even today, these famous words evoke Patriotic feelings and a spirit of Nationalism in the heart of every Indian.

 

Bhagat Singh, an Indian freedom fighter is considered to be one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian Independence movement. He is remembered in the minds of people as Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

 

Bhagat Singh was born on 28 September 1907 into a Sandhu Jatt  family to Sardar Kishan Singh Sandhu and Vidyavati in a village in the Lyallpur district of Punjab. He came from a patriotic Jatt Sikh family, some of whom had participated in movements supporting the independence of India. Singh, as a teenager, became an atheist and had studied European revolutionary movements. He also became attracted to anarchism and socialism. His father had enrolled him in Dayanand Anglo Vedic High School, an Arya Samajist school due Khalsa high school's loyalism to the British Rule.  At age 13, Singh began to follow Mahatma Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement.  In support to this movement, he burned his government-school books and any British-imported clothing. Following Gandhiji's withdrawal of the movement after the violent murders of policemen by villagers from Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh, Singh, felt resentful and discontent with Gandhiji's nonviolence action. He joined the Young Revolutionary Movement and began advocating a violent movement against the British.

 

He studied at the National College in Lahore where he came into contact with other revolutionaries such as Bhagwati Charan, Sukhdev and others. By the age of 16, Bhagat Singh was completely dedicated to the cause of national liberation. Nothing illustrates this better than his attitude to marriage. In 1924, Bhagat Singh was pressurised to get married. Unable to convince his parents of his determination not to marry, Bhagat Singh left his house in Lahore, reached Kanpur and became a member of the organization Naujawan Bharat Sabha.  In the note left behind for his father Bhagat Singh said, 'My life has been dedicated to the noblest cause, that of the freedom of the country. Therefore there is no rest or worldly desire that can lure me now'.

 

In 1928 he came into contact with another famous revolutionary Chandrasekhar Azad. The two combined to form the 'Hindustan Samajvadi Prajatantra Sangha'. In the same year, the British government of India appointed the Simon Commission to enquire into the possibility of granting India the chance to rule itself. That this Commission had no Indian representative made it the focus of popular attack in Lahore. Lajpat Rai was at the head of a demonstration that was asking the Simon Commission to go back to England. The police in retaliation lathicharged the crowd and Lajpat Rai enfeebled by age, died subsequently. To avenge Lajpat Rai's death, Bhagat Singh and his friends, Sukh Dev and Raj Guru decided to kill the British official responsible for the killing, Deputy Inspector General Scott. But they accidently shot Assistant Superintendent Saunders instead, and then went underground.

 

Later, on April 8, 1929, Bhagat Singh threw a bomb in the Central Legislative Assembly and thereafter courted arrest. Bhagat Singh's trial began aon May 7th and in the statement made in court on 6th June, Bhagat Singh said, 'we dropped the bomb on the floor of the Assembly Chamber to register our protest on behalf of those who had no other means left to give expression to their heart-rending agony. Our sole purpose was to make the deaf hear and to give the heedless a timely warning... from under the seeming stillness of the sea of humanity, a veritable storm is about to break out'. On the 15th of June he launched a hunger strike for jail reforms. The trial of the Lahore Conspiracy Case started on 10th July, 1929 and ended on the 7th of October, 1930 with a death sentence for Bhagat Singh for his subversive activities. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged on the 23rd of March, 1931. The legendary son of India became Shaheed (martyr) at a tender age of 23. But his famous war cry of “Inquilab Zindabad” lives on!

Shaheed Bhagat Singh

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