‘Shaheed’ Bhagat Singh: Another Name of Courageous and Selfless Sacrifice

By G. L. Batra, ST Guest Columnist, Writer & formerly Addl. Secretary, Indian Parliament and Chairman, Public Service Commission of the Indian State of Haryana

Sardar Bhagat Singh (Shaheed Bhagat Singh), is a name every Indian takes with great reverence. He was born on September 28, 1907, in a village in Lyallpur district of Punjab (Now a part of Pakistan). He was born to Sardar Kishan Singh Sandhu and Smt. Vidyavati in a Jatt Sikh family. He was one of the greatest revolutionaries of the Indian Independence Movement. Bhagat Singh’s family was also involved in the independence struggle earlier. He gave a new direction to the revolutionary movement in India for India’s Independence. He formed the Navjeevan Sabha to spread the name of the movement and formed the Hindustan Samaj along with the revered revolutionary Chandra Shekhar Azad in Punjab to establish a republic in India.

To avenge the death of Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai, Bhagat Singh assassinated the tyrant British police officer J. P. Saunders. He rose in the ranks fast and converted the Hindustan Republic Association into the Hindustan Socialist Republic Association. His followers were mostly young people who began fighting for India’s Independence. At an early age, Bhagat Singh joined Mahatma Gandhi’s Non- Cooperation Movement. He was educated at the D.A.V Institute and later, joined other revolutionaries like Shivram Rajguru, Sukhdev Thapar and Jaigopal. Bhagat Singh undertook the historic 64 Days fast while in jail, to claim equal rights for Indian and British prisoners.

Such was the strength of his actions in the freedom movement that the British government was forced to enact the Defence of India Act to prevent the activities of revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh. In protest, the Hindustan Socialist Republic Association planned to explode a bomb in the Central Legislative Assembly when the ordinance was being passed there. On April 8, 1929, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw a bomb in the corridors of the Assembly with the shouts of “Inquilab Zindabad”. Leaflets were also thrown.

In this historical photograph of students and staff of National College, Lahore, Singh can be seen standing fourth from the right.

Even Muhammed Ali Jinnah who happened to be in the Central Legislative Assembly when it was bombed, spoke in favour of and supported the cause of the prisoners of Lahore.

Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things. – Jesse Jackson

On March 23, 19XX, Bhagat Singh was hanged for shooting police officer J. P. Saunders, who was responsible for killing Lala Lajpat Rai in a lathi charge. He was hanged in Lahore (Now in Pakistan), along with fellow revolutionaries Sukhdev and Rajguru. Bhagat Singh was declared Shaheed Bhagat Singh by his followers. He was cremated on the banks of river Satluj.