Inspiring Indians - Bhagat Singh

Bhagat Singh is considered one of the foremost revolutionaries in India's struggle for freedom. He, in many ways, gave a direction and impetus to our freedom struggle through self supreme sacrifice and strategic planning that eventually made him a hero amongst millions of Indians. His name is still alive in the hearts of Indians. 

His Early Years 

Bhagat Singh was born on September 27, 1907 in a Sikh family in the Khatkar Kalan village near Banga in the Lyallpur district (now Faislabad district) of erstwhile undivided Punjab. He was born in a patriotic family where many had participated in movements supporting the independence of India and had even served in Maharaja Ranjit Singh's army. Unlike Sikhs of his time due to his grandfather's faith in Hindu reformist movement of Arya Samaj propagated by Swami Dyanand Saraswati he did not attend the Khalsa High School in Lahore, his grandfather also disapproved loyalty of school officials to British authorities. He attended the DAV High School, in Lahore. 

In 1923, Bhagat famously won an essay competition set by the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan and grabbed attention of many literary personalities especially Prof. Vidyalankar on whose advise he later joined the Hindustan Republican Association.

The Death of Lala Lajpat Rai 

The British government created a commission under Sir John Simon to report on the current political situation in India in 1928 without a single Indian being its member. The Indian political parties boycotted the commission. On October 30, 1928, when the commission visited Lahore, Lala Lajpat Rai led the non violent silent protest against Simon Commission. The police responded with violence and Lala Lajpat Rai was beaten with lathis and later succumbed to his injuries. 

Bhagat Singh along with other revolutionaries, Shivaram Rajguru, Jai Gopal and Sukhdev Thapar, created a plot to kill the police chief, Scott but due to a communication error the Deputy Superintendent Saunders, instead of Scott, was shot. Bhagat Singh quickly left Lahore to escape from the police. To avoid recognition, he shaved his beard and cut his hair. This was a violation of the sacred tenets of Sikhism but to him nation was ahead of religion.

The Assembly bombing 

In the face of actions by the revolutionaries, the British government enacted the Defence of India Act to give more power to the police. In response to this act, the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association planned to explode a bomb in the Central Legislative Assembly where the ordinance was going to be passed.

On April 8, 1929, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw a bomb onto the corridors of the assembly and shouted "Inquilab Zindabad!" ("Long Live the Revolution!"). This was followed by a shower of leaflets stating that it takes a loud voice to make the deaf hear. The bomb neither killed nor injured anyone; Singh and Dutt claimed that this was deliberate on their part; a claim substantiated both by British forensics investigators. Singh and Dutt gave themselves up for arrest after the bomb. He and Dutt were sentenced to 'Transportation for Life' for the bombing on June 12, 1929. 

Shortly after his arrest and trial for the Assembly bombing, the British came to know of his involvement in the murder of J. P. Saunders. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were charged with the murder. They were punished to be executed by hanging. They were hung on 23rd March, 1931 without even having a customary meeting with relatives. 

At a time when the high and mighty were bowing to the British authorities for personal gains, Bhagat Singh not only showed a new path but inspired the youth to take active interest in India's Future. 

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