“राख का हर एक कण मेरी गर्मी से गतिमान है मैं एक ऐसा पागल हूँ जो जेल में भी आज़ाद है – Every tiny molecule of ash is in motion with my heat. I am such a lunatic that I am free even jail”.
I get Goosebumps when I hear these statements! Just imagine, it’s been 85 years since Bhagat Singh made this statement. We have reached a stage where the sacrifices of these 3 people are forgotten today! So here is my article to revive back their dedication to attain freedom for our country.
1600 AD when British stepped into India with a motto to trade. It took them 165 years to step down deep into the system and start ruling here. Starting from Bengal then to Bihar, Orissa, Bombay, Madras, Hyderabad and fixing their capital at Delhi, they conquered the entire country by torturing people with their ideologies. As we all know, they ruled from 1773 AD to 1947 AD for a brief period of 174 years, literally destroying India’s culture, tradition and system. The struggle by Indian’s to let go of these was one of the worst phases of India’s history. Stand still and stagnant economy of the British Raj was a plunder and catastrophe to the traditional Mughal Economy.
At the age of 20, how many of us dare to go against someone who has held a high position in the society? Forget this. How many of us dare to stand up for our leader who’s working for a good cause? 90 years ago they did it! You might know them; in fact you would have heard about them and are definitely proud! Yes! Bhagat Singh along with Sukhdev Thapar, Shivram Rajguru and Chandrashekar Azad decided to stand for their leader and role model Sri. Lala Lajpat Rai’s death. They in fact killed Assistant Superintendent of police John P. Saunders mistaking him for James Scott (One who ordered for lathi charge during Lala ji’s protest). At that point of time though Gandhi and Nehru condemned this act, yet Nehru made a statement “This isn’t an act of terrorism but a symbol of honor to Lala Lajpat Rai.” To keep themselves away from the eyes of C.I.D, Bhagat Singh and Rajguru left Lahore and reached Howrah and Benaras respectively. They stayed away from British close to a year.
Remembering those events that Bhagat Singh witnessed at Jallianwala Bagh (1919) where thousands of them were killed and the 1922’s Chauri-Chaura incident, Bhagat Singh wanted to revolt against British in a way they would never forget. Auguste Villiante, a famous French anarchist had bombed the ‘Chamber of Deputies’ in Paris., inspired by him Bhagat Singh’s plan was to explode a bomb inside Central Legislative Assembly. In 1929 he and Batukeshwar Dutt threw 2 bombs at C.L.A while at session. Though the bombs were designed not to kill, a couple of them were injured. Both of them could have escaped but stayed there shouting “INQUILAB ZINDABAD” (long live the revolution). They were arrested! Gandhiji yet again did not support this act.
While at trail, Bhagat Singh exclaimed these beautiful words “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”.
After all he did what he felt was moral and right! When James Scott was responsible for Lala Lajpat Rai’s death, when Colonel Dyer was responsible for Jallianwala Bagh massacre and these were left free unquestioned without any punishment; was protesting against them wrong? Never!
A few days later, the British got hold of Rajguru, Sukhdev and 21 others, who were arrested for setting up bomb factories at Lahore and Saharanpur and also for Saunder’s killing and assembly bombing case.
Bhagat Singh was arrested and sentenced to life. When he was shifted from Delhi jail to Mainwali Jail, he witnessed discrimination between Indian and European prisoners. He started a hunger strike which rose to gather national attention and massive public support. Nehru and Jinnah met him and extended their support to the strike. As Bhagat Singh’s name was spreading across the country day by day, Lord Irwin set up a special tribunal to pace up the trial, as Bhagat Singh was using trails as a mode to publicise his views. On 7thOctober 1930,during the final judgement Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were sentenced to death by hanging in Saunders murder case or famously called the Lahore Conspiracy Case. On March 23rd 1931, these 3 great heroes were hanged.
This day is seen as “Shaheed Divas”. Every time I read about these freedom fighters, my blood boils in vain. They gave up their life to see our future secure and today we are sitting here and debating as to “letting India go”. What has gotten to our country? What is happening to our people? Why are we hailing terrorists like Afzal Guru? Answers to all these questions are within us, I hope we all work towards protecting our country and our rights!
With lots of love,
Ganesh Datta Lakkur
Original Article Published on 23rd March 2016.