Eulogized even today for his valour and martyrdom, Shaheed Bhagat Singh believed that he would have got the value of his life if he sacrificed it to spread the idea of “Inquilab Zindabad” to every corner of his country, was born today in 1907.
A revolutionary who dreamt of a free India, he spent his short life in undivided Punjab and Kanpur before moving to a dramatic Delhi for India’s freedom.
By 1925, Singh had shifted gears from romantic revolutionary to socialist revolutionary. Along with Batukeshwar Dutt, Singh entered the visitors’ gallery of the Parliament sandstone building and flung a low-intensity bomb into the assembly on April 8, 1929. They stood their ground and kept shouting “Inquilab Zindabad” and “Down with Imperialism” until they were arrested.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid flowing tribute to one of the bravest sons of Mother India.
मां भारती के वीर सपूत अमर शहीद भगत सिंह की जयंती पर उन्हें कोटि-कोटि नमन। वीरता और पराक्रम की उनकी गाथा देशवासियों को युगों-युगों तक प्रेरित करती रहेगी। pic.twitter.com/LMy2Mlpkol
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 28, 2020
As a prisoner, Singh shot off frequent petitions. He sought a transfer to Lahore Central Jail from Mianwali Jail so he could engage a lawyer to fight the Lahore Conspiracy Case and prepare his defence. He said he was a political prisoner who deserved better treatment than an ordinary criminal. He demanded a special diet, no forced labour, toilet necessities and, of course, literature for reading.
Singh never suffered from writer’s block as he wrote in an exquisite slanting handwriting. His themes were conspiracies and bombings, the stories of individual revolutionaries and the need for young people to come forward and join the movement.
An atheist who inspired thousands to take up the cause of the freedom movement, Bhagat Singh wasn’t quite in sync with Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence theory.
At a young age of 23, Bhagat Singh along with comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev, mistook British police officer John Saunders for Superintendent James Scott, who was responsible for leading a lathicharge against Lala Lajpat Rai and his followers for protesting against Simon Commission.
The assassination of Saunders, however, led to the hanging of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on March 23, 1931, which later came to known as the Martyrs’ Day throughout the country.
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