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Thursday, September 27, 2012

celebrating 105th birth anniversary of legendary Bhagat Singh

He is the very definition of martyr and would eternally motivate the youngsters for the Nation Cause.   Before that have you heard of Kartar Singh Sarabha. 

In the leaflet he threw in the Central Assembly on 9 April 1929, he stated: "It is easy to kill individuals but you cannot kill the ideas. Great empires crumbled, while the ideas survived.   While in prison,  he and his 2 friends wrote to Lord Irwin,  asking to be treated as prisoners of war and consequently to be executed by firing squad and not by hanging.  He declined to sign letter for clemency…….

-        that is Shaheed Bhagat Singh – who was born this day 105 years ago.

From his early days, he had been attracted by revolutionary activities against oppressive British Raj.  Seeking revenge for the death of Lala Lajpat Rai at the hands of the police, Singh was involved in the assassination of British police officer John Saunders. He eluded efforts by the police to capture him. Together with Batukeshwar Dutt, he undertook a successful effort to throw two bombs and leaflets inside the Central Legislative Assembly while shouting slogans of Inquilab Zindabad. Subsequently they volunteered to surrender and be arrested. Held on this charge, he gained widespread national support when he underwent a 116 day fast in jail, demanding equal rights for British and Indian political prisoners. He was convicted and subsequently hanged for his participation in the murder, aged 23. His legacy prompted youth in India to begin fighting for Indian independence and he continues to be a youth idol in modern India.

Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were sentenced to death in the Lahore conspiracy case and ordered to be hanged on 24 March 1931 The  execution was fixed  on 23 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.  Singh was hanged on 23 March 1931 at 7:30 pm in Lahore 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 then 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 Sutlej river.  An ex-parte trial was against the principles of natural justice that no man shall be held guilty unless given an opportunity to defend in a hearing.  It was probably for the first time, that executions were carried out in the evening, by advancing the date of execution. The families of the accused were not allowed to meet them before the execution nor were they informed about it, even the bodies of the three were not given to their relatives after the execution to perform last rites, but were removed by demolishing the rear wall of the jail since there was an angry crowd at the front gate and were disposed off by cutting them into pieces and burning with the help of kerosene  after which the remains were thrown into Satluj river.

Years after the sad historic event, now it is reported that social activists from India and Pakistan will jointly celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of legendary revolutionary Shahid-e-Azam Bhagat Singh in Lahore on September 28. However, what may play spoilsports is delay in giving of visa by the Pakistan to 32 member Indian delegation, which includes 18 persons from Uttar Pradesh (UP). Indians  however are  hopeful they will get clearance) and join celebrations on September 28. The Indians activists along with their Pakistani counterparts, if allowed, may also visit revolutionary's village Bangha in Jaranwala tehsil of Lyallpur district.

The celebrations are being organised by the Bhagat Singh Memorial Committee in Pakistan and it will be held at at Shadman Chowk in Lahore where the revolutionary was hanged to death by the British colonial rulers. The Labour Party of Pakistan has already demanded its government to rename Shadman Chowk after Bhagat Singh.  Apart from the Labour Party of Pakistan, more than 40 civil society organisations and workers/labour unions will participate in the celebrations.  The activists feel that colonialism has been replaced by economic imperialism which can be countered only by reclaiming the revolutionary socialist legacy of Bhagat Singh and his comrades-in-arms, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Sohan Singh Josh, Chandarshekar Azad, Ajay Kumar Gosh, Yashpal and others. It was decided that events associated with these revolutionaries will be celebrated to motivate people of the two countries to join the struggle against the imperialism.

Bhagat Singh’s mentor as a young boy was Kartar Singh Sarabha, whose photo he always carried in his pocket.  Kartar Singh Sarabha (1896 – 1915) was an Indian revolutionary who was amongst the most famous accused in the Lahore conspiracy trial. A leading luminary of the Ghadar Party, Kartar Singh was executed at Lahore in November 1915 for his role in the Ghadar Conspiracy in February 1915.

Saluting and remembering the hero – Shaheed Bhagat Singh

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Sept. 2012.


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