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Hasan0404

Tribute To Bhagat Singh, The Freedom Fighter

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Death anniversary: Civil society remembers Bhagat Singh

LAHORE:

Civil society representatives gathered at Shadman Chowk on Saturday, March 23, to commemorate the 82nd death anniversary of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.

525484-BhagatSingh-1364104644-665-640x480.jpg

The participants paid tribute to him for services rendered during the independence movement. Bhagat Singh was born in Banga Jaranwala village in what was then Lyallpur, now Faisalabad. “He was educated in Lahore and visited many towns in Punjab inspiring others youngsters to fight for freedom,” said a press release from the Bhagat Singh Foundation. He was later hanged at what is now Shadman Chowk by the British. Bhagat Singh Foundation President Abdullah Malik demanded that the Indian and Pakistani governments declare all freedom fighters to be national heroes. The participants lighted candles in front of a portrait of Bhagat Singh and demanded that Shadman Chowk be officially renamed after him. The event was also attended by Saeeda Diep, Idrees Tabassum, Farooq Tariq, Iftikhar Butt, Amna Malik and Madeeha Gauhar.

They were also confronted by a simultaneous protest by a religious group denouncing the idea of renaming the chowk after Bhagat Singh.

The Institute of Peace and Secular Studies said that “religious extremists” had assaulted some of the protesters. It said that the local SHO had urged them to abandon their protest within half an hour because of the threat of escalating violence.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/525484/death-anniversary-civil-society-remembers-bhagat-singh/

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Bhagat Singh was awesome, I wish there was some good literature on him that I could read.

There is.

Kuldip Nayar has a very good biography of him in the market:

withoutfear_zps4381db15.jpg

And this one is his own writing explaining his (ir)religious and political views:

bhagatsingh_zps8e9e6be3.jpg

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There is.

Kuldip Nayar has a very good biography of him in the market:

withoutfear_zps4381db15.jpg

And this one is his own writing explaining his (ir)religious and political views:

bhagatsingh_zps8e9e6be3.jpg

He was an atheist? I never knew that. I guess that's why the people were protesting against him. I thought it was just because he was Sikh or Hindu or something.

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He was an atheist? I never knew that. I guess that's why the people were protesting against him. I thought it was just because he was Sikh or Hindu or something.

The irony is loaded in the fact that most of those beards going gaga over Bhagat Singh memorial jalsa wouldn't have a faintest clue about his atheism; it's the Hindu/Sikh hate that's talking.

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So surprised Pak remembers shaheed Singh but not Gandhi Ji. He took the bullet for doing justice to muslims. Most hindu leaders had opposed division of India and its treasure. It was only bc of Gandhi that Pakistan became reality; wasnt just left as a dream.

The father of two nations is Gandhi. Nehru and Jennah, both played politics. Gandhi was only after justice therefore none of his kids or grandkids are part of indian political parties. Unlike others... .Also Not just Singh but his companions, Sukhdev/Rajguru should also be remembered and Martyrs from the start of 1857 revolution- the first war of indepence. We gave our blood fought, fought and fought. Turning large palaces of north into graveyards of the Britishers. When today i visit these sites. I spit on their graves and remind them that we have buried them and their Company, alive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Rebellion_of_1857

"Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were sentenced to death in the Lahore conspiracy case and ordered to be hanged on 24 March 1931.[68] That schedule was moved forward by 11 hours to 23 March, although Singh was not informed of this until the day arrived.[59][69] Singh was hanged on 23 March 1931 at 7:30 pm[70] in Lahore jail with his comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev. It is reported that no magistrate of the time was willing to supervise his hanging as was required by law. The execution was supervised by an honorary judge, who also signed the three death warrants as their original warrants had expired.[71] The jail authorities then broke the rear wall of the jail and secretly cremated the three martyrs under cover of darkness outside Ganda Singh Wala village, and then threw the ashes into the Sutlej river, about 10 km from Ferozepore (and about 60 km from Lahore)"

salam

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A couple of good articles about Bhagat, one is here.

Is Bhagat Singh relevant today?

by S Irfan Habib — March 22, 2013 5:01 pm

On his 82nd Martyrdom day, Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s ideology contrasts with the trajectory of independent India’s growth.

We remember Bhagat Singh as a brave-heart, who killed Saunders to avenge Lala Lajpat Rai’s death and later dared the British by bombing the Assembly in 1929. His martyrdom is venerated, and rightly so. But we seldom ponder over his intellectual legacy- something which sets him apart from most other martyrs. He has left behind a legacy that everyone wants to appropriate, yet most fail to look beyond the romantic image of a young gun-toting nationalist. Perhaps the reason is that this is the image created in the official colonial records, an image we inherited and accepted as truth.

Colonial records told the common people that revolutionary activities were dastardly crimes, committed for the gratification of money and blood lust. In fact, this is clearly reflected in the contemporary consciousness, particularly of the youth, who visualise Bhagat Singh as someone who terrorised the British through his violent deeds.Today he is an icon. His daring spirit lauded; his posters sold on the pavements and his stickers dot windscreens. It may be heartening to see that he is still loved and venerated but the question is: do we have an understanding of his politics and ideas? Even his early faith in violence and terrorism was qualitatively different from the contemporary terrorist violence and he transcended that, to eventually espouse a revolutionary vision to transform independent India into a secular, socialist and an egalitarian society.

Bhagat Singh evokes boundless approbation from people who already have a surfeit of heroes, for reasons that are far from simple. When most senior leaders of the country had only one immediate goal — the attainment of freedom, Bhagat Singh, hardly out of his teens, had the prescience to look beyond the immediate. He was no ordinary revolutionary with a passion to die or kill for the cause of freedom. His vision was to establish a classless society and his short life was dedicated to the pursuit of this ideal.

However, most of his ideals remain elusive. Today, we have moved away from the commitments of Bhagat Singh and his revolutionary organisations – Naujawan Bharat Sabha and the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. What would Bhagat Singh look like today if he had been alive? In a world where Marxism and socialism look obsolete and discredited, Bhagat Singh’s passionate commitment to the above ideals would appear redundant. He was martyred much before independence in 1931, yet many of his comrades lived through the post independent India and continued with their struggle to bring in a political, social and economic order where every one (and not just the privileged few) would have an equal opportunity.

Bhagat Singh has left behind a significant intellectual legacy, which we need to engage with. Had he been alive and lived through independent India, he would have been disappointed with the way we built our new nation. For him Inquilab Zindabad was not merely an emotional war cry but was a lofty ideal to end class distinctions and which would give birth to a new state and a new social order. One of his last messages from prison on March 3rd, 1931 was quite explicit saying,”The struggle in India would continue so long as a handful of exploiters go on exploiting the labour of the common people for their own ends. It matters little whether these exploiters are purely British capitalists, or British and Indians in alliance, or even purely Indian”. A young man with this vision for his country would surely be disenchanted to see some paths on the trajectory of India’s progress.

On the societal front we are still trying to make sense and grapple with the issues of caste and religious discriminations. Bhagat Singh had definitive views on both casteism and communalism in the 1920s. In his journalistic writings and court statements, he mocked the political leadership for its hypocrisy in dealing with these crucial issues, expressing surprise that we are still debating who should be allowed into a temple and who should have access to the Vedas. “A dog can sit in our lap”, he wrote, “can walk around freely in our kitchen while mere touch of a human being will lead to a religious outrage”. He went on to say that “Malaviyaji, (Madan Mohan Malaviya) our great social reformer and sympathiser of untouchables, gets himself garlanded by a sweeper but bathes with his clothes on to cleanse himself of defilement… we worship animals but can’t sit with human beings”.

Bhagat Singh categorically said that we need to be inclusive without emphasising on shuddhi or recitation of the kalma. According to him, religion should not matter at all, and if otherwise, then it was a social evil. Such an unequivocal position on caste and untouchability is rare to find, even amongst radical social reformers today.

He was equally blunt on the issue of communalism and saw communal amity as an important part of his political programme. However, unlike the Congress, he did not believe in the appeasement of religious faiths or in raising slogans such as Allah-o-Akbar, Sat Sri Akal and Bande Mataram as a means of demonstrating secular faith. On the contrary, he raised two slogans, Inquilab Zindabadand Hindustan Zindabad, hailing the revolution and the country. Bhagat Singh was acutely conscious of the growing menace of communalism in the 1920s — the decade that saw the emergence of the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh and the Tableeghi Jamaat. Today, both organisations are multi-pronged with several political and cultural fronts posing a serious threat to the socio-political fabric of the Indian society. Bhagat Singh questioned the policy of encouraging competing communalism, which ultimately led to the partition of the country in 1947. He thus stands out in bold relief as a modern national leader and thinker, emphasising the separation of religion from politics and state as true secularism.

Without undermining the achievements of our Republic over the last six decades, it can be observed that socio-political and economic disparities continue and have increased to a great extent. Bhagat Singh’s vision of social and political justice continues to be relevant and his ideals should inspire us to take the struggle forward.

http://pragati.nationalinterest.in/2013/03/is-bhagat-singh-relevant-today/

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Here is the second one, a bit length, but good.

The revolutionary Bhagat

Muhammad Hassan Miraj | 1 day ago

The sentence was to be executed on 24th of March. But due to inevitable reasons, the sentence had to be advanced for almost 16 hours. Jail administration had worked hard to ensure that the word should not reach inside the jail so the trio kept waiting for the next day. Punjab was blooming under late spring. When the twilight began to fade and Dadi Jai Kaur covered the earthen pot, something broke down inside her. This was 7.30, in the evening and the year was 1931.

Away from the village, when the sounds of the azaan from Data Durbar, in Lahore, began to fade out, panic engulfed Lahore Jail. The duty magistrate had refused to show up and the superintendent managed an honorary magistrate, Nawab Muhammad Ahmed from Qasur (not knowing that after another 48 years, the Nawab would send another leader to the gallows i.e. Mr. Bhutto). At about time, all three walked up to gallows with pride. One of them addressed the English surgeon, “Saheb, this is how we deal with death”. The executioner elbowed him and his victorious smile was hidden by a black mask. The big hand of the clock was on the heels of the small one, when an arm waved in the air and the three bodies slung on the rope. This was 7.30, in the evening and the year was 1931.

After a dark hour, the rear wall of prison was razed. An ambulance carried the dead bodies to Ganda Singh Wala, where they were cremated and the ashes were immersed in Sutlej. The day Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev were hanged, was the first day, when somebody raised a slogan against Gandhi in India.

The train now runs wild in Doaba. It inherits the happy-go-lucky mood of a farmer. Putting aside the rains, the Shylock, the yield and the cattle, his indifference is purely rural. The train, now, whistles for Tandlian Wala but a village, away from the track, hooks it up. This is 105 Gogera Branch, Banga, the village of Bhagat Singh. It was here that this dervish revolutionary was born.

Baba replied, “The one who averts the beaten track is a revolutionary and the one who cares the least is a dervish. In hindsight, there aren’t any differences”.I asked Baba, “How do you differentiate between a dervish and a revolutionary?”

Revolution was a common creed in this family. Arjun Singh, Bhagat Singh’s grandfather had three sons. Kishen Singh, the father, had been to prison many times and so was uncle Ajit Singh, who introduced Lala Lajpat Rai to Indian politics and was instrumental in many anti-imperialism movements. Uncle Sowran Singh, however, was special. Dadi Jai Kaur often told Bhagat that the day, Sowran Singh was tortured to death in prison was the day when he was born.

On his way to college, Bhagat had read almost every leftist book available, be it from the National College or the Dwarka Das Library. Revolution was in the air, the world had just seen a Great War and India had started her affair with nationalism.

Famous for its dusehri mangoes and embroidery work, the Kakori station gained prominence because of a train robbery. The revolutionaries had looted “8-Down” en-route Lucknow. The British wanted to set an example, while eliminating any trace of a political awakening in India. Scores of raids brought Ram Prasad Bismal, Ashfaq Ullah Khan, Thakur Roshan Singh and Rainder Nath Lahiri to court, which sentenced them to death.

Once in Lahore, he was arrested for suspected involvement in a bomb blast during the Ram Leela festival. After days of solitary confinement, he was informed about the charges against him and was released for a bail of 60,000 rupees. Kishan Singh sold a prized piece of land and brought the son home. Dadi Jai Kaur hurriedly had him engaged and the preparations for marriage kicked off. In their heart, everyone knew that he would never stay long. The insults at the hand of the police had fanned his anti-imperialism. The Hindustan Republic Association and the annexation of socialists to its title was a reflection of this thought process.

The Simon Commission toured India in 1928 and was greeted with angry Indians wherever they went. In Lahore, the peaceful protest under Lala Lajpat Rai, turned violent when Mr Scott, the superintendent police ordered baton charge. A blow to Lala Lajpat Rai proved fatal and he passed away after few days. On 17th December 1928, somebody shot Saunders, the assistant superintendent in front of the headquarters and the walls of Lahore carried posters by the Indian Republic Association Army ,who said that death of Saunders was Lala Lajpat avenged. The murder was originally planned by Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh and Raj Guru and aimed at taking out Scott, but Saunders came out instead and was wrongly shot at.

An English murder in India could not go down easily, so the complete police machinery was set in motion. The entrances and exits of Lahore were sealed but Bhagat Singh and his fellows managed to escape (thanks to Durga Bhabhi, a female lead in the freedom movement).

On 8th of April 1929, two men, dressed in western attire, entered the chambers. When the session was in process, they slung two bombs at the empty benches. The bombs exploded but no one was hurt. After the blast, they walked down the hall, raised the slogans, “Down with Imperialism”, “Long live revolution” and showered leaflets containing the same material. On the arrival of the police, they turned themselves in.

The proceedings started on 7th May and with this, Bhagat Singh took his famous approach of saying-it-all in the court. It did not take long when every word spoken in the courtroom was published across India. The establishment tried to control the damage and handed down a 14-year sentence. During the course of investigations, some evidence implied his involvement in Saunder’s murder. After substantial proof was collected, the 14-year sentence was deferred and a murder trial started afresh.

During the proceedings, he was shifted to the Mianwali Jail, where he observed the discrimination of European prisoners. He put up the demand for political prisoner status and that too equivalent of British prisoners but nobody paid heed. Finally, he resorted to hunger strike. Jail authorities tried their best to break his resolve but nothing succeeded. His popularity grew day by day and transcended beyond India. When things started spinning out of control, the case was advanced and other than Saunder’s murder, fresh charges for the attempted murder of Scott and the declaration of war against King Emperor were also included. Singh continued with the hunger strike and was moved to Borstal Jail, Lahore, where after 116 days, he ended his hunger strike on the insistence of his father and a congressional resolution.

What followed next was a textbook imperial solution. A special tribunal, carved from vice regal prerogatives, set aside the legal procedures and delivered its verdict. The 300-page long judgment sentenced Raj Guru, Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev to be hanged, till death. The sentence was to be executed on 24th of March.

The place near Ganda Singh Wala where the three were cremated has now been turned into a memorial, and hosts a Shaheedi mela every year. Across the border, their legend is kept alive through statues, roads, villages and trusts. While on this side, the place where Bhagat Singh was hanged is now the roundabout of Shadman. A few mad men decided to follow the course and demanded to rename the roundabout after Bhagat Singh. Initially, the state maintained her calm but then had to drag Islam in and eventually got rid of the issue.

The 404-paged diary of Bhagat Singh had flipped open. I wondered about the “who was who” in the Indian independence movement; were the real heroes the men who passed endless resolutions in political meetings or the men who gave up the comforts of their homes and meditated for a greater cause in the loneliness of prison dungeons? The 100-year-old fakir at the Shadman roundabout whispered, revolution is a mere transition from one status quo to another.

While France bled in revolution, it could only affect a face change. Activists like Robespierre faced the guillotine and Napoleon was crowned “the emperor” once again. The erstwhile Indians and Pakistanis won their sovereignty from British colonialism and lost it to their neo-con brethren. A system of discrimination was merely replaced by a system of nepotism. Revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh went to the gallows for the cause, while Muslim League and Congress decide the public fate in their glorious parliaments.

My spirits induce motion to the dust

I am a lunatic, free in prison

(An excerpt from the diary of Bhagat Singh)

http://dawn.com/2013/03/25/the-revolutionary-bhagat/

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