Rise My Venture team is going to share the Shaheed Bhagat Singh – India’s Greatest Martyr story. Legend Shaheed Bhagat Singh who sacrificed his young life for the love for his motherland. A sacrifice that inspired millions, a death that sparked a fire and a life that ignited one in the hearts of countless people – Bhagat Singh is truly one in a million.
The popular freedom fighter and a great revolutionary is an inspiration for the youth of India. Born in a Punjabi Sikh family of freedom fighters in 1907, Singh was known for his aggressiveness to oust Britishers from our country.
Bhagat Singh or Shaheed Bhagat Singh was an Indian socialist considered to be an influential revolutionary of the Indian independence movement. Born into a Punjabi Sikh family which had earlier been involved in revolutionary activities against the British Raj, as a teenager Singh studied European revolutionary movements and was attracted to anarchist and Marxist ideologies. He worked with several revolutionary organisations and became prominent in the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), which changed its name to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in 1928.
Seeking revenge for the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, Singh murdered John Saunders, a British police officer. He eluded efforts by the police to capture him. Soon after, together with Batukeshwar Dutt, he and an accomplice threw two bombs and leaflets inside the Central Legislative Assembly. The two men were arrested, as they had planned to be. Held on this charge, he gained widespread national support when he underwent a 116-day fast in jail, demanding equal rights for European prisoners and those Indians imprisoned for what he believed were political reasons. During this time, sufficient evidence was brought against him for a conviction in the Saunders case, after trial by Special Tribunal and appeal to the Privy Council in England. He was convicted and subsequently hanged for his participation in the murder, aged 23.
His legacy prompted youth in India to persist fighting for independence and he continues to be a youth idol in modern India, as well as the inspiration for several films. He is commemorated with a range of memorials including a large bronze statue in the Parliament of India.
“Ab bhi jiska khoon na khaula, khoon nahi wo paani hai, jo desh ke kaam na aaye, wo bekaar jawani hai.”
When he was only 8-year-old, he wanted to make India free from the British regime. Singh had an impressive academic record and he was also active in extra-co-curricular activities. When Jallianwalan Bagh massacre happened, Singh was only 12-year-old. The young boy reached the massacre spot and kept some blood-stained soil in a bottle. He used to worship that bottle that contained the blood of innocent lives.
At the age of 15, he left his home for Kanpur to escape from marriage!
We are going to highlight the inspirational points about Bhagat Singh – India’s Greatest Martyr :
1. Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary: Why real heroes moving into oblivion?
To seek revenge for the freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai, Singh assassinated British police officer, John P Saunders on Dec 17, 1928. To avoid being arrested for the killing, Singh, being a Sikh, got his hair and beard shaved and managed to escape Calcutta from Lahore. In a bid to topple the British rule in India, Singh joined the Young Revolutionary Movement. Singh did not even entered matrimony due to his undying dedication and indomitable spirit to serve his country. Such was his patriotism and love towards his nation!
2. Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary: Have Indians forgotten his martyrdom?
To spread his movement to gain freedom, Singh contributed various articles in newspapers. Singh was opposed to the Gandhian ideology and was highly inspired by the teachings of atheist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin. Singh is learnt to have observed hunger strike for 116 days when he was in jail to demand better treatment for prisoners. He also coined the famous slogan, “Inquilab Zindabad”.
3. Bhagat Singh’s kin demand airport to be named after the martyr
Fearless and brave 23-year-old Singh, along-with his two associates- Rajguru and Sukhdev, was hanged to death on March 23, 1931 at around 7.30 pm in Lahore Central jail. The three great sons of the Indian soil laid their lives to achieve independence for India, that was in the shackles of British rule. Secretly, their last rites were performed at Hussainiwala on banks of Satluj river. It is said that Singh asked Britishers not to hang him, instead, he told them to shot him dead. The brave Singh went to the gallows with a smiling face.
4. Bhagat Singh & Valentine’s Day: What’s the controversy?
Iconic Bhagat Singh’s tale of struggle has been kept alive by many films in the Indian cinema like Shaheed-e-Azad Bhagat Singh (1954), followed by Shaheed Bhagat Singh (1963), Shaheed (1965), Shaheed-E-Azam, 23 March 1931: Shaheed and The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002), Rang De Basanti (2006)
5. PM Narendra Modi remembers Bhagat Singh on his birth anniversary
Even after over 84 years of his martyrdom, Bhagat Singh continues to be an inspiration for the modern India. Many museums, memorials, institutes and colleges have been formed to keep him immortal. Jai Hind!
7. Bhagat Singh’s father, Kishan Singh, and his two uncles were also freedom fighters and were in fact released from jail the day he was born.
They were imprisoned for being a part of the freedom movement.
10. Bhagat Singh went on a fast for 116 days in jail demanding the same rights for Indian prisoners as European prisoners.
He believed that all those imprisoned due to political reasons required similar treatment. His demands were met after the fast.
12. At the age of 12, right after the Jalianwala Bagh incident, Bhagat Singh bunked school and went straight to the place of the tragedy. He collected a bottle of mud wet with blood of Indians and worship the bottle every day.
13. As a child, Bhagat Singh often talked and wanted to grow guns in the fields, so that he could fight the British.
14. At the age of 8, he talked about driving out Britishers from India and not about the games or toys.
At an early age he was attracted towards socialism and socialist revolutions led by Lenin Soon he started to reading about them.
15. Bhagat Singh said: “They may kill me, but they cannot kill my ideas. They can crush my body, but they will not be able to crush my spirit.” This was to be quoted many times over by revolutionaries after Singh’s death.
16. The bombs Bhagat Singh and his associates threw in the Central Assembly in Delhi were made from low grade explosives. They were lobbed away from people in the corridors of the building and were meant only to startle and not harm. The British investigation into the incident and forensics report also confirmed this.
17. He was hanged on 23rd March at 7:30 pm, 11 hours before the scheduled time.
18. The authorities broke the rear wall of the jail and cremated him in secret, along with and Sukhdev near Sutlej river.
They burnt the bodies and threw their ashes in the river. Jail authorities were apparently scared of public riots and rescheduled the hanging.
The youth of India still draw tremendous amount of inspiration from Singh. He was voted the “Greatest Indian” in a poll by the Indian magazine India Today in 2008, ahead of Bose and Gandhi. During the centenary of his birth, a group of intellectuals set up an institution named Bhagat Singh Sansthan to commemorate him and his ideals. The Parliament of India paid tributes and observed silence as a mark of respect in memory of Singh on 23 March 2001 and 2005. In Pakistan, after a long-standing demand by activists from the Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation of Pakistan, the Shadman Chowk square in Lahore, where he was hanged, was renamed as Bhagat Singh Chowk. This move was challenged in a Pakistani court and held. On 6 September 2015, the Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation filed a petition in the Lahore high court and again demanded the renaming of the Chowk to Bhagat Singh Chowk.[
This article has been well researched by Rise My Venture team.