Editor’s note: The letter can be found in the book ‘The Bhagat Singh Reader’ edited by Chaman Lal.
While searching for documents for my research work in the archives, I came across this letter of Bhagat Singh that he wrote for his fellow comrades. What can be a better occasion than this day, i.e. March 23, celebrated as Shaheed Diwas or Martyrs’ Day, to share the letter with everyone. This was the day when Bhagat Singh, a mere 23-year-old, along with Sukhdev and Rajguru, laid down their lives for their nation.
As the date of his execution drew closer, Bhagat Singh’s comrades were mulling a plan to break him out of prison. But Bhagat Singh was not interested. Read this letter to find out why. This was written on March 22, 1931, a day before his execution.
It is natural that the desire to live should be in me as well, I don’t want to hide it. But I can stay alive on one condition that I don’t wish to live in imprisonment or with any binding.
My name has become a symbol of Hindustani revolution, and the ideals and sacrifices of the revolutionary party have lifted me very high — so high that I can certainly not be higher in the condition of being alive.
Today my weaknesses are not visible to the people. If I escape the noose, they will become evident and the symbol of revolution will be tarnished, or possibly be obliterated. But to go to the gallows with courage will make Hindustani mothers aspire to have children who are like Bhagat Singh and the number of those who will sacrifice their lives for the country will go up so much that it will not be possible for imperialistic powers or all the demoniac powers to contain the revolution.
And yes, one thought occurs to me even today — that I have not been able to fulfil even one thousandth parts of the aspirations that were in my heart to do something for my country and humanity. If I could have stayed alive and free, then I may have got the opportunity to accomplish those and I would have fulfilled my desires. Apart from this, no temptation to escape the noose has ever come to me. Who can be more fortunate than me? These days, I feel very proud of myself. Now I await the final test with great eagerness. I pray that it should draw closer.