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Shaheed Bhagat Singh had said "Inqlab Zindabad"
On March 19th Manish Tewari twitted - "Netaji said Jai Hind, Bhagat Singh said Inqlab Zindabad & Hindustan Zindabad. BJP says except Bharat Mata ki Jai everything else ANTI-NATIONAL?"

The Bengal election is nearing and the 'BJP - in Power' might try to dig out some more files about Netaji if it serves its ends. That idea is restraining me to stretch my thoughts about Netaji. However, the fundamentals of Bhagat Singh's clash with RSS ideology and his references would do no good in coming events for them.

I believe BJP would strategically avoid mention his name except his casual photograph or a few stray references. I also feel that it would be in the fitness of political atmospherics if I elaborate upon the ideology, thoughts and approach of the great freedom fighter - Bhagat Singh.

This worthy son of Mother India is remembered for his love and sacrifice for the nation. The Congress Party had been presenting a picture of Nehru-Gandhi Family as the most prominent heroes of freedom struggle as if rest of the warriors were just insignificant. For those readers who are lesser known to Bhagat Singh, I've to describe here his life briefly.

Bhagat Singh was born in 1907 into a Punjabi Sikh family at Banga village, Jaranwala Tehsil in the Lyallpur district of Punjab. His father and two of his uncles, Ajit Singh and Swaran Singh, were released from jail on the day of his birth. His family members had been active in Indian Independence movement.

In 1919, when he was twelve years old, Singh had visited the site of the 'Jallianwala Bagh massacre hours after thousands of unarmed people gathered at a public meeting had been killed. He disagreed with Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence after Gandhi called off the 'non-cooperation movement.'

From May to September 1928, Bhagat Singh had published a series of articles on 'Anarchism' and Marxism in the newspaper Kirti. According to Singh, "The people are scared of the word anarchism. The word anarchism has been abused so much that even in India revolutionaries have been called anarchist to make them unpopular." The ultimate goal of Anarchism was complete independence, according to which no one will be obsessed with God or religion, nor will anybody be crazy for money or other worldly desires. There will be no chains on the body or control by the state. This means that they want to eliminate: the Church, God and Religion; the state; Private property.

His ideals were Kartar Singh and Bhai Parmanand, the founding-members of the 'Ghadar Party.' He was an avid reader of the teachings of Mikhail Bakunin, Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Leon Trotsky. In his last testament, "To Young Political Workers", he declares his ideal as the "Social reconstruction on new, i.e., Marxist, basis". Bhagat Singh did neither believe in 'RSS-type' that advocated Hindu Apartheid or the Gandhian ideology, which believed in Satyagraha and other forms of non-violent resistance.

The great historian K.N. Panikkar has described Singh as one of the early Marxists in India. According to the political theorist Jason Adams, Bhagat Singh was less enamoured with Marx than with Lenin. From 1926 onward, he studied the history of the revolutionary movements in India and abroad. In his prison notebooks, he quoted Lenin in reference to imperialism and capitalism and also the revolutionary thoughts of Trotsky. When asked what his last wish was, Singh replied that he was studying the life of Lenin and he wanted to finish it before his death. In spite of his belief in Marxist ideals however, Singh never joined the Communist Party of India.

Bhagat had questioned the religious ideologies after witnessing the Hindu-Muslim riots that broke out after Gandhi disbanded the Non-Cooperation Movement. He did not understand how members of these two groups, initially united in fighting against the British, could be at each other's throats because of their religious differences. Singh believed that religion hindered the revolutionaries' struggle for independence.

Bhagat Singh wrote an essay entitled "Why I am an Atheist." He said in that he used to be a firm believer in the Almighty, but could not bring himself to believe the myths and beliefs that others held close to their hearts. He acknowledged the fact that religion made death easier, but also said that unproven philosophy is a sign of human weakness.

"As regard the origin of God, my thought is that man created God in his imagination when he realized his weaknesses, limitations and shortcomings. In this way he got the courage to face all the trying circumstances and to meet all dangers that might occur in his life and also to restrain his outbursts in prosperity and affluence. God, with his whimsical laws and parental generosity was painted with variegated colors of imagination. He was used as a deterrent factor when his fury and his laws were repeatedly propagated so that man might not become a danger to society. He was the cry of the distressed soul for he was believed to stand as father and mother, sister and brother, brother and friend when in time of distress a man was left alone and helpless. He was Almighty and could do anything. The idea of God is helpful to a man in distress.

Let us see how steadfast I am. One of my friends asked me to pray. When informed of my atheism, he said, "When your last days come, you will begin to believe." I said, "No, dear sir, Never shall it happen. I consider it to be an act of degradation and demoralization. For such petty selfish motives, I shall never pray." Reader and friends, is it vanity? If it is, I stand for it."….End of the quote.

Bhagat Singh was convicted and hanged for his participation in the assassination of John Saunders. With Batukeshwar Dutt, the other revolutionary, he had thrown two bombs and leaflets inside the Central Legislative Assembly. His sacrifice inspired the youth of India to fight for independence and he still remains an influence on young people in modern India.

In 1923, Singh had joined the National College in Lahore and won an essay competition set by the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, writing on the problems in the Punjab. He founded the Indian nationalist youth organization 'Naujawan Bharat Sabha' and later joined the Hindustan Republican Association, which had prominent leaders, such as Chandrashekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil and Shahid Ashfaqueullah Khan. The 'Hindustan Republican Association' (HRA) changed its name to the 'Hindustan Socialist Republican Association' (HSRA) in 1928. A year later, he ran away to avoid an arranged marriage and left behind a letter which said:

'My life has been dedicated to the noblest cause, that of the freedom of the country. Therefore, there is no rest or worldly desire that can lure me now.'

He was arrested in May 1927 on the pretext that he had been involved in a bombing that had taken place in Lahore in October 1926.

He wrote for, and edited, Urdu and Punjabi newspapers, published in Amritsar and also contributed pamphlets published by the Naujawan Bharat Sabha. He also wrote for Kirti, the journal of the 'Workers and Peasants Party' and briefly for the Veer Arjun newspaper, published in Delhi.

In 1928, the British government set up the 'Simon Commission' to report on the political situation in India. Some Indian political parties boycotted the Commission because it did not include a single Indian in its membership. There were protests across the country. When the Commission visited Lahore on 30 October 1928, Lala Lajpat Rai led a march in protest against it.

Police attempts to disperse the large crowd resulted in violence. The superintendent of police, James A. Scott, ordered the police to lathi charge against the protesters. The SP personally assaulted Rai, who was injured and died of a heart attack on 17 November 1928. The HSRA decided to kill James Scott. However, in a case of mistaken identity, the plotters shot John P. Saunders, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, as he was leaving the District Police Headquarters in Lahore on 17 December 1928.

According to the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru - 'Bhaghat Singh did not become popular because of his act of terrorism but because he seemed to vindicate, for the moment, the honour of Lala Lajpat Rai, and through him of the nation.'

After killing Saunders, the group escaped. On 8 April 1929, Singh, accompanied by Batukeshwar Dutt, threw two bombs into the Assembly chamber from its public gallery while it was in session. The smoke from the bombs filled the Assembly so that Singh and Dutt could probably have escaped in the confusion had they wished. Instead, they stayed shouting the slogan "Inquilab Zindabad!" ("Long Live the Revolution") and threw leaflets.

Mahatama Gandhi had issued strong words of disapproval of their act. But Singh and Dutt responded to the criticism by writing the Assembly Bomb Statement:

"We hold human life sacred beyond words. We are neither perpetrators of dastardly outrages... nor are we 'lunatics' as the Tribune of Lahore and some others would have it believed... Force when aggressively applied is 'violence' and is, therefore, morally unjustifiable, but when it is used in the furtherance of a legitimate cause, it has its moral justification."

The freedom fighter Batukeshwar Dutt was defended by Asaf Ali and Bhagat Singh defended himself.

Pandit Nehru met Singh in Mianwali jail and after the meeting he stated:

"I was very much pained to see the distress of the heroes. They have staked their lives in this struggle. They want that political prisoners should be treated as political prisoners. I am quite hopeful that their sacrifice would be crowned with success."

On 7 October 1930, the tribunal delivered its 300-page judgment based on all the evidence and concluded that the participation of Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru in Saunder's murder was proved beyond reasonable doubt. They were sentenced to death by hanging. The remaining twelve accused were all sentenced to life imprisonment.

The real freedom fighters who sacrificed their everything for the nation never ever put a condition like chanting 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' as a proof of 'Love and Respect' for 'Mader-e-Watan.' Jai Hind!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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