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Bhagat Singh

Bhagat Singh

During the British Raj in subcontinent, many revolutionary movements were held for the independence of India, many revolutionaries became the member of these movements, and among these revolutionaries Bhagat Singh an Indian socialist is the revolutionary that is considered the most influential member of the Indian Independence Movement. He belonged to a Sikh family that was involved in the revolutionary activities against British Raj. He was attracted to anarchism and Marxist ideologies as he studied European revolutionary movements as teenager. He contributed in many revolutionary organizations and soon became the one of the main leaders of Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) that later was named as Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in 1928.

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Bhagat Singh was born on 28 September 1907 in a Sandhu Jat, Sikh family to Kishan Singh at Chak number 105, GB, in Banga village of Tehsil Jaranwala in the Lyallpur (Faisalabad) district of Punjab Province. His father and two uncles coincidently, at the time of his birth released from the jail who were active in the Indian independence movement. Young Bhgat Singh was also influenced by the Arya Samaj movement that was followed by his grandfather. Bhagat Singh could not attend the Khalisa High School at Lahore because of the disapproval of the school officials’ loyalism to the British Raj by his grandfather.

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He was then enrolled in an Arya Samaji institute, Dayanand Anglo Vedic High School. Bhagat Singh visited the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in the year of 1919 at the age of twelve. This was the place where thousands of unarmed people including women, children and elderly were killed on the order of a British Officer without any warning a few days ago. He was welcomed in his village at the age of 14 where protested against the Gurdwara Nankana Sahab firing that killed a huge number of unarmed protestors. He joined the Young Revolutionary Movement and advocated the violent overthrow of the British in India.

Bhagat Singh in 1923 joined the National College in Lahore. He was fluent in five languages and he not only in the studies but excelled in the extracurricular activities as well. In March 1926, He joined the Indian nationalist youth organization Naujawan Bharat Sabha. He also became a prominent member of Hindustan Republican Association that had leaders as Ram Parashad Bismal and Ashfaqulah Khan. On the insistence of Bhagat Singh, the name of this association was changed to Hindustan Socialist Republican Association.

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A year later, the family of Bhagat Singh wanted him to get married and to avoid that he ran from his house to Kanpur leaving a letter behind him for his family.

His visit to Kanpur is also associated with the attempt to free the Kakori train robbery convicts from jail but for unknown reasons he came back to Lahore. In October 1926, a bomb was exploded in Lahore at the day of Dussehra. He was arrested on 29 May 1927 for his alleged involvement in bomb blasts. After the five weeks of his arrest, he was released against a steep fine of 60,000 and showing a good behavior. He was also a member of Kirti Kisan Party. The party called an all India meeting of revolutionaries in September 1928 at Delhi and Bhagat Singh joined the meeting as its secretary and later became the leader of this association.

A commission under the supervision of Sir John Simon was set up by the British Government in 1928 to report the political situation in India. This commission was boycotted by the all Indian political parties as not even a single member of this party was Indian. This commission faced the country wide protests. Lala Lajpat Rai led a non violence protest against this commission when on 30 October 1928 it visited the Lahore. This was a non violent silence march against the commission but police responded in a violent way and on the order of superintendent police James A. Scott protestors faced the lathi charge and Lajpat Rai faced the personal physical assault and was seriously injured and could not recover from the injuries and on 17 November 1928 he died.

Bhagat Singh did not witness the event but after the denial of British Government role in the Rai’s death by the British Parliament, Bhagat Singh vowed to take revenge. With some other revolutionaries like Shivram Rajguru, Chandarshekhar Azad and Sukhdev Thaper he planned to kill the Scott. Bhagat Singh shoots the John P. Saunders after receiving a signal to shoot on a mistaken identity.

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The group escaped after killing the Saunders through D.A.V College entrance. A massive search by police was launched to catch them by blocking all the exits and entrances of city. They hide for two days and after that Durgavati Devi who was known as Durga Bhabhi was called by Sukhdev for help that he agreed. Durga Bhabhi was wife of another HSRA member. They caught the train early in next morning departing from Lahore for Calcutta. Bhagat Singh shaved off his beard and cut his hair short to avoid the recognition as a Sikh, while police was searching for Sikh. Next morning they left the house carrying Durga Bhabhi’s sleeping child and Bhagat Singh along with Durga Bhabhi passed as young couple and Rajguru pretended to be their servant by carrying their luggage. Rajguru separately left for Benares at Lucknaw and Bhagat Singh with Durga Bhabhi and her child moved to Lucknow.

 (continued in the second part named “Death of Bhagat Singh”)

About Syeda Masooma

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