Today is the 113th birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh, a young courageous freedom fighter


Patriot/Shaheed Bhagat Singh,/

Today is the 113th birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh, a revolutionary freedom fighter, well-known for his gusto an courage despite his very young age. He  upon seeing the tragedy at Jalliawalla Bagh, Punjab - 13 April 1919, where Brig. Gen  crazy Reginald Dyer of British India military massacred  and mercilessly wounded scores of innocent unarmed people icluding women and children (many of them bled to death, no medical aid was allowed) became an avowed hater of  foreign rule on the soil of India. His acts of violence against the British Raj worried them  a lot and were waiting for a right opportunity to apprehend him. When at last, caught with ample evidence  Bhagat  was imprisoned and later hanged to death at a very young age of 23 along with his accomplices. . By that age,  a college student would have completed a post graduate or an engineering degree, but Bhagat  took a different path  His early death in the prime of youth and his daring exploits against the British   won the heart of tens of thousands of people across  India.  His  sacrifice  for India's freedom  not only made him become a martyr and a hero  but also  inspired lots of Indians  who wanted  India to be freed from the vice-like grip of the British  as early as possible. 

To get freedom. Bhagat Singh chose a  violent  path, of course, not an acceptable one. Yes,  his choice was to commit  acts of violence against the British to threaten them. He. was quite disillusioned with Gandhiji's formula of non-violence and  Satayagraha - non-cooperation which  did not get the attention of the British. To them, he was more a curious personality than a freedom fighter. On the other hand, the British rulers had an eye on Subbash Chandra Bose, a fiery freedom fighter  whose idea was to turn the Indian soldiers in the British army  against them. Bose was a good administrator and a highly spirited patriot.   Bhagat Singh's accomplices on his violent campaigns were  Raj Guru and Sukhdev guided by yet another freedom fighter Chandra Shekar Azad. Bhagat  coined the catchy slogan ''inquilaab zindabad''  which became popular among the people.

What prompted Bhagat  and his associates to  commit the crime?  Lala  Laiput Rai, a front line  freedom fighter, while participating in a protest, was lathi-charged by the police  that left the aged leader severely injured. Two weeks later he died, apparently, of heart attack.   In December 1928, Bhagat Singh and his associate, Shivaram Rajguru, fatally shot a 21-year-old British India police officer, John Saunders in Lahore, mistaking  him for James Scott who had been  still on probation; Scott was their intended, target and, but  the plan went wrong  They, by mistake, strongly  believed Scott was responsible for the death of  Lala Lajpat Rai, by ordering  a lathi charge on the crowd. In the melee Raj Guru was injured.  Subsequently, Saunders was shot dead by Raj Guru who fired just a single  shot, but Bhagat shot him several times; the postmortem report showing eight bullet wounds. Another associate of Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, shot dead an Indian police constable, Chanan Singh. Reason; He went after both Singh and Rajguru as they fled from the scene of crime. A few  violent  incidents in Delhi and else proved the complicity of Bhagat's involvement in the death of officer Saunders.

Bhagat Singh's statue at the  Parliament house,

Bhagat and his associate Raj were at large for a while and finally  both were caught by the police along with 21 others  after a long search. They were charged with the murder of officer Saunders. Singh was transported to Borstal Jail, Lahore (in Pakistan) and the trial began there on 10 July 1929. During his prison term he was unhappy about the poor condition of the prisoners So he  had fasted for 116 days in jail. He never failed to complete his routine work inside the prison that included reading and writing books, visiting court every day and even singing. The impending death never bothered him or his accomplices.

Bhagat Singh's fasting gets support.

The Viceroy, Lord Irwin, declared an emergency on 1 May 1930 and  a special tribunal composed of three high court judges was formed to speed up the case. After the trial,  a 300-page judgement based on all the evidence  concluded that the participation of Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru in Saunder's murder was proven beyond any doubt and they were sentenced to death by hanging.  Others involved in the case received various terms of imprisonment. The three were hanged on 23 March 1931 at 7:30 pm in the Lahore jail.

So India got the freedom in a very hard way and in the process innumerable people laid their lives to see Free India. Thus Bhagat Singh and his associates made history in their fight for free India. Let us salute them for their sacrifice and courage.