By- Preet Amol Singh
Duniya se ghulami ka nam mita dunga,
Ik bar zamane ko mein azad kara dunga.
The interest in world revolutionary’s life began as a light hearted exchange with my friends in the beginning. I cannot now pin down the exact point at which the conversations became serious, but I know that before getting up I promised to try my hand on the life incidents of India’s great revolutionary: Bhagat Singh.
Why this particular revolutionary? The reason was partly fluky (I had books of him handy) & partly due to his refreshing pragmatic approach on the concept of religion which according to him was the prop of a man who had not yet found himself.
Bhagat Singh and his two comrades Sukhdev & Rajguru were executed in the Lahore central jail on 23 March 1931 as their execution was preponed by eleven hours and was scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. on the same day. At present no stone is found that marks the spot where these three revolutionaries were executed.
Bhagat Singh was born on 28 Sept 1907 and was named Bhagan Lal after his father Kishen Singh and Uncle Swaran Singh were released from the jail on the same day. The child was thought of bringing a good destiny to his family. Bhagat Singh completed his primary education at District Board primary School in Banga then was shifted to the DAV High school Lahore. In 1923, he joined National College, Lahore that was founded by Lala Lajpat Rai and Bhai Parmanand. Bhagat Singh had a youthful physique with a super eminent voice. He was never a studious student which he himself wrote in his pamphlet” Why am I an atheist?” But also he had a good command in English, Urdu, Gurmukhi, Hindi and Sanskrit.
Bhagat Singh left his house to reach Kanpur on being forced by his father to get married. He joined HRA(Hindustan Republic Association) founded by Sachindranath Sanyal & orgamized by Chandra Shekhar Azad. After joining the association he walked village to village recruiting people to join the armed revolution to end British imperialism. He was first arrested in connection of Kakori Case accused and bomb explosion during Dusshera fair in Lahore. He was only released from the jail against a heavy security of Rs.60,000.
His strict secular and socialist approach can be understood when he started to have differences with Lala Lajpat Rai who was a “staunch Hindu” and wanted to division of India into Hindu India & Muslim India. Irrespective of ideological differences he had with him, he carried a strong respect for Lala Lajpat Rai for his continuous struggle against the British oppression and his love for the nation. He also actively participated in the rally that took place on 30 Oct 1928 under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai resisting the Simon commission where protestors were lathicharged on the orders of Superintendent of police: A Scott, which lead to vengeful assassination of Saunders by Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Chander Shekhar Azad and Jai Gopal.
Recalling the words of French anarchist Auguste Vaillant: ‘It takes a loud voice to make the deaf hear’ Bhagat Sing along with B.K. Dutt hurled bombs in the assembly hall against the repressive bills that were to be introduced in the assembly but ensuring it did not hurt anyone and surrendered. They made assembly their platform, so that actual message and cause of revolutionary ideas should reach every countryman. He spent his last days in his Cell No.14 and on Oct 7, 1930, he was sentenced to death by the British tribunal. He considered Karl Marx his guru and Charat Singh the jail warden would smuggle in all the books he wanted to read mostly the Marxist literature that was strictly banned by the then government.
Bhagat Singh a great erudite revolutionary who not only sacrificed his life at the age of 23 but also gave a new direction to the freedom struggle. According to him freedom of India was incomplete unless transfer of power is joined with economic betterment of the country which could be achieved by socialism. Look at this great revolutionary visionary that considered ‘Study as a cry that reverberated in the corridors of mind. Study to arm yourself with arguments in favour of your cult.’
I remember one of the incidents when writings of the revolutionary Bhagat Singh merely saved my nose from being cut in front of many Punjabi poets. Few years ago, I accompanied my Uncle Prof. Kuldeep Singh to a function in a village where some Punjabi poets were to be honoured. To my surprise, suddenly without any prior information my Uncle announced my name from the stage to recite some poetic lines. Being a medico and obviously having no sense of poetry, I tried reciting few lines of Bhagat Singh’s writings that won me huge round of applause among the audience. This is the versatility of the priceless writings that Bhagat Singh gave to Indians as heritage. Though he lived a short life but to understand him ages are required. So, it remains ours stern duty to live up to his expectations and live in prosperity and equality. Inqlab Zindabad!
Preet Amol Singh
College of Pharmacy,
Pt.B.D. Sharma University of Health Sciences,(P.G.I.M.S)
Contact Number- 8437000234
Department of Pharmacognosy & Phytochemistry
Jamia Hamdard University