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The revolutionary Heros that changed India

  • Category
    History
  • Published
    30th Mar, 2022

Context

In the light of the observance of the Shaheed Diwas, in remembrance of Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar who were hanged by the British Government on 23rd March, 1931, this brief aims to present a detailed picture of the revolutionary heros that ‘actually’ changed India.

About

Who was Bhagat Singh?

  • Bhagat Singh was born in Lyallpur District (today in Pakistan’s Punjab) on 28th September, 1907.
  • He was an Indian revolutionary and freedom fighter.
  • He completed his education at the National College, Lahore established by Lala Lajpat Rai.
    • Lala Lajpat Rai was considered by Bhagat Singh to be his mentor in the beginning of his political career.
  • Fondly known as 'Shaheed (martyr) Bhagat Singh', he is considered a national hero of India's freedom struggle against colonial rule.
  • As a teenager, Bhagat Singh popularised the slogan of ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ which eventually became the catchphrase of the Indian independence movement.

What ideologies were followed by Bhagat Singh?

  • Bhagat Singh was anti-imperialist to core.
  • According to him imperialism was not only limited to being ruled by foreign nationals.
  • Even rule by indigenous people of the country was considered to be imperialism by him if it involved exploitation of the poor.
  • Political ideology of Bhagat Singh bended towards Marxism, and it was considered by him to be the only solution to India’s poverty.
  • He therefore was in favour of nationalizing important industries in the country (e.g. steel plants, railways etc.).
  • His romanticism with Marxist ideology was due to the success of Russian Revolution.
  • Secularism was another idea that Bhagat Singh held dearly to.
  • For him communalism was as dangerous for India as colonialism.
  • He personally was an Atheist and has explained his reason for being so in the book “Why I am an Atheist?”
  • Bhagat Singh did not believe in blindly following anyone and laid emphasis on critically examining and questioning every idea irrespective of its source.
  • He gave utmost importance to reading, which according to him was very important for a revolutionary.
  • Bhagat Singh himself is known to have been a voracious reader and he also pushed his comrades to do the same.

With which organizations was Bhagat Singh associated?

  • In 1926, Bhagat Singh established the 'Naujavan Bharat Sabha (Youth Society of India) and joined the Hindustan Republican Association (later known as Hindustan Socialist Republican Association).
    • Leaders and cadres of communal political organizations e.g. Muslim League, were not provided enter into the Bharat Naujawan Sabha.

What political actions were taken by Bhagat Singh?

  • In December 1928, Bhagat Singh, along with Sukhdev and Rajguru, planned to avenge the death of Indian nationalist leader Lala Lajpat Rai and plotted to assassinate the Superintendent of Police James Scott in Lahore.
  • However, in a case of mistaken identity, John Saunders, the Assistant Superintendent of Police was shot.
  • To avoid being recognised and arrested for the crime, Bhagat Singh escaped from Lahore to Calcutta after shaving his beard and cutting his hair.
  • In April 1929, Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt bombed the Central Assembly Hall in Delhi, and shouted the slogan of “Inquilab Zindabad!”.
  • He was later arrested after the incident. He and his comrades fasted for 63 days in jail for their demand of being treated as political prisoners and accorded certain rights on that basis.
  • For his involvement in the Lahore Conspiracy Case Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were awarded death penalty.

Important quotes by Bhagat Singh:

  • The Sword of revolution is sharpened on the whetting stone of ideas.
  • Revolution is inalienable right of mankind.
  • Merciless criticism and independent thinking are two traits of revolutionary thinking.

    Title accorded to Bhagat Singh:

    • Bhagat Singh is fondly called “Saheed-e-Azam”.

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