Shaheed Bhagat Singh

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    In news

    • Recently, the Prime Minister paid tribute to Shaheed Bhagat Singh on his 114th birth anniversary.

    About Shaheed Bhagat Singh

    1907

    • Born as Bhaganwala on the 27th September 1907, Bhagat Singh grew up in a petty-bourgeois family of Sandhu Jats settled in the Jullundur Doab district of Punjab.
    • He belonged to a generation that was to intervene between two decisive phases of the Indian national movement – the phase of the ‘Extremism’ of Lal-Bal-Pal and the Gandhian phase of nonviolent mass action.

    1923

    • Bhagat Singh joined the National College, Lahore which was founded and managed by Lala Lajpat Rai and Bhai Parmanand.
    • The College was set up as an alternative to the institutions run by the Government, bringing to the field of education the idea of Swadeshi.

    1924

    • He became a member of the Hindustan Republican Association, started by Sachindranath Sanyal. The main organiser of the Association was Chandra Shekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh became very close to him.
    • It was as a member of the HRA that Bhagat Singh began to take seriously the philosophy of the Bomb.
    • Armed revolution was understood to be the only weapon with which to fight British imperialism.

    1925

    • Bhagat Singh returned to Lahore and he and his colleagues started a militant youth organisation called the Naujawan Bharat Sabha.

    1926

    • Bhagat Singh established contact with Sohan Singh Josh and through him the ‘Workers and Peasants Party’ which brought out the monthly magazine Kirti in Punjabi.
    • For the next year, Bhagat Singh worked with Josh and joined the editorial board of Kirti.

    1927

    • He was first arrested on charges of association with the Kakori Case, accused of an article written under the pseudonym Vidrohi (Rebel). 
    • He was also accused of being responsible for a bomb explosion in Lahore.

    1928

    • Bhagat Singh changed the name of the Hindustan Republican Association to the Hindustan Socialist Republic Association (HSRA).

    1929

    • He along with Batukeshwar Dutt, set off two explosive devices inside the Central Legislative Assembly in Delhi, and then allowed themselves to be arrested, while shouting the famous slogan: “Inquilab Zindabad“, or “Long live the revolution”.

    1930

    • In 1930, when Azad was shot, the HSRA collapsed. Naujawan Bharat Sabha replaced HSRA in Punjab.
    • His time in the prison was spent protesting, seeking better living conditions for inmates. During this time, he gained the sympathy of the public, especially when he joined fellow defendant Jatin Das in a hunger strike. The strike ended with Das’ death from starvation in September 1929.

    1931

    • Bhagat Singh was arrested and charged in the Saunders murder case, along with Rajguru, Sukhdev and others. The trio was ordered to be hanged on 24 March 1931 but the sentence was carried out a day earlier at the Lahore Jail. He was executed at the age of 23.

    Gandhi’s Influence

    • Initially, he supported Mahatma Gandhi and the Non-Cooperation Movement
    • However, when Gandhi withdrew the movement in the wake of the Chauri Chaura incident, Bhagat Singh turned to revolutionary nationalism.

    Political Ideology

    • His “azaadi” freedom was not limited to the expelling of the British; instead, he desired azaadi from poverty, azaadi from untouchability, azaadi from communal strife, and azaadi from every form of discrimination and exploitation.
    • He regarded Kartar Singh Sarabha, the founding member of the Ghadar Party as his hero. 
    • Bhagat was also inspired by Bhai Parmanand, another founding member of the Ghadar Party.
    • He was attracted to anarchism and communism. He was an avid reader of the teachings of Mikhail Bakunin and also read Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky.
    •  ‘Why I am an Atheist’ is an essay written by Bhagat Singh in 1930 while he was imprisoned in the Lahore Central Jail. 

    Shaheed Diwas

    • 23rd March is observed as ‘Martyrs’ Day’ or ‘Shaheed Diwas’ or ‘Sarvodaya Day’ in honour of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.

    Legacy and memorials

    • On 15 August 2008, an 18-foot tall bronze statue of Singh was installed in the Parliament of India, next to the statues of Indira Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose.
    • The National Martyrs Memorial, built at Hussainiwala in memory of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru
    • The Shaheedi Mela (Punjabi: Martyrdom Fair) is an event held annually on 23 March when people pay homage at the National Martyrs Memorial
    • The Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh Museum opened on the 50th anniversary of his death at his ancestral village, Khatkar Kalan. 

    Source: PIB