One of the few historical heroes from India’s liberation ﬁght who is still honored by all political factions is Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
At the age of 23, Bhagat Singh, an Indian revolutionary and independence warrior, was put to death by British colonists. His enduring nickname is “Shaheed (martyr) Bhagat Singh,” and he is revered as a national hero of India’s battle for independence from colonial domination. Bhagat Singh popularised the term “Inquilab Zindabad” when he was still a youngster, and it eventually became the anthem of the Indian independence struggle.
Both the day of his birth (28 September 1907) and the day of his martyrdom (Shaheedi Diwas, 23 March 1931) are celebrated fervently every year throughout the nation, particularly in northern India.
The beginning of a revolution
Bhagat Singh was born in the Punjabi hamlet of Banga in the afﬂuent Sandhu Jatt family’s Lyallpur area (now Faisalabad district in Pakistan). The family was heavily inspired by Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s Arya Samaj, a Hindu reformist organization that rejects idol worship and disapproves of caste-based prejudice. The family initially came from Khatkar Kalan hamlet in Nawanshahr.
One of the select few who received the sacred thread directly from Swami Dayanand was his grandpa Arjun Singh. Bhagat Singh attended the Dayanand Anglo Vedic (DAV) high school in Lahore as a result, as opposed to other Sikh kids who attended a Khalsa school. He then continued his education at Lahore’s National College.
Bhagat Singh won an essay contest held by the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan when he was 16 years old. The prize was given for his article, “The Problem of Punjab’s Language and Script.” He later penned his renowned article “Why I Am An Atheist” while incarcerated in 1930.
When his father began pressuring him into marriage due to his revolutionary beliefs, Bhagat Singh ﬂed to Cawnpore (now Kanpur) at the age of 17.
The Naujawan Bharat Sabha was founded in 1926, and Bhagat Singh was appointed as its general secretary. The organization was founded on the principles of Italian revolutionaries Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi.
Bhagat Singh and his friends successfully renamed the Hindustan Republican Association to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association in 1928 because they believed that a revolutionary organization must have a socialist platform.
Despite thinking highly of Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, like the majority of other revolutionaries, was disappointed by his non-violent philosophy. Their split from the Gandhi-led movement was sparked by the Mahatma’s reversal of the non-cooperation movement following the Chauri Chaura event in 1922.
Saunders’s murder and the bombing of the Central Assembly
Lala Lajpat Rai suffered severe injuries in a lathi charge that Lahore’s superintendent of police James Scott authorized during a protest rally in 1928. Later, he died from his wounds.
Bhagat Singh, Jai Gopal, Rajguru, and Chandrashekhar Azad intended to kill Scott in retaliation for his death, but they instead accidentally killed his assistant, John Saunders. The revolutionaries displayed posters the following day admitting guilt for the crime.
Bhagat Singh was still able to remain undiscovered and support the revolutionary cause even after this. Then, on April 8, 1929, he and Batukeshwar Dutt detonated an unintentional bomb in Delhi’s Central Assembly Hall. For the explosives case, he was detained and sent to jail.
Even at the Central Jail, where he oversaw a hunger strike that shocked the staff, his revolutionary aspirations were evident. In response, the authorities sent Saunders to the Central Jail in Lahore, expedited the trial in the murder case against him (after known as the Lahore conspiracy case), and postponed his incarceration in the bombing case.
Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev received death sentences for the murder of Saunders on October 7, 1930, following a protracted series of hearings.
The trio was put to death at the Lahore Central Jail on March 23, 1931, 11 hours early.
On the outskirts of the villages of Hussainiwala and Ganga Singh Wala, which are situated along the Sutlej, their bodies were discreetly burnt. Their remains were likewise covertly dropped into the river. On August 15, 2008, a ceremony in New Delhi unveiled a statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh in his honor. In the ﬁfth courtyard of the Parliament House in New Delhi, the capital of India stands this statue.