|Bhagat Singh Shaheed
was hanged to death in the Lahore central jail along with Shivram
Rajguru and Sukhdeo.
==> Shaheed BHAGAT SINGH: was one of the leader Sikh revolutionaries
of the early 20th century who earned the fame of causing explosion
in the Legislative Assembly in Delhi and of committing daring acts
of killing British Police Officers. He and his associates were hanged
on March 23rd of 1931. Their bodies were secretly cremated on the
bank of the Satluj river near Ferozpur. The associated secrecy was
to avoid public outcry and any subsequent outburst of violence.
Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh met Bhagat Singh on October 4, 1930 in
the Lahore jail. Both were being kept in the same jail and on this
day Bhai Sahib was being released. This meeting was secretly arranged
after great difficulty. Bhagat Singh wanted to see Bhai Sahib for
a long time, but couldn't because of Bhai Sahib's refusal to see
him in clean-shaven form. He was instructed by Bhai Sahib to keep
long hair as demanded of GurSikhs. Bhagat Singh did exactly that.
Further he apologized stating he was mistakenly misled by some people
to believe that he could do certain things only if he was clean-shaven.
Bhagat Singh also stated that if he had been a Sikh with flowing
beard and long hair, the Hindu press would not have talked about
his sacrifice. He further clarified that he did not actually kill
Saunders. However, he admitted to the crime when accused, simply
to take the credit.
Bhai Sahib reiterated the story of Bhai Nidhan Singh Chughewale,
a well-known patriot, who had recruited people from many different
islands and places to fight the British. The government knew of
him had circulated posters throughout India with his picture. Bhai
Nidhan Singh's brother once suggested that he color his beard to
disguise his identity. Bhai Nidhan Singh flatly refused this suggestion
saying whatever he would do will be carried out without any disguise.
He advised them not to instill any fear in him, as a GurSikh is
always fearless. True to his principles, Bhai Nidhan Singh accomplished
many remarkable things without changing the color of his hair or
employing any other disguise.
Bhagat Singh declared his awareness that he was going to die anyway
and promised to adhere by GurSikh living. Bhagat Singh died as a
According to the Granthi of Kasur, Bhai Natha Singh, when Bhagat
Singh's body was cremated, his hair were about six inches long.
By looking at the photo, the hair actually look lot longer. The
newspapers discussed in their columns that he was in fact a believer
in Sikhism. His last photograph was taken only a few minutes before
he was hanged which showed his hair tied in a knot over his head
and beard on his face. He is sitting on a cot in the central jail
of Lahore at that time. That is where he was hanged. The photograph
was taken by a gentleman named Sohan Lal from Delhi. The government
also declared that his body was cremated according to the Sikh tradition.
-Ref. Jehal Chitthian (Jail letters) by Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh
April 8, 1929, two representatives of the Hindustan Socialist Republican
Army, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt, entered unnoticed the assembly
chamber and threw two bombs towards the seats occupied by government
officials and supporters. With deafening sound the bombs exploded
and covered the hall with dense smoke. The benches near which the
bombs fail were broken to pieces, and a portion of the floor was
also hollowed out. But except for minor scratches to a few no one
received any injury. On 23 march, 1931 Bhagat Singh along with Shivram
Rajguru and Sukhdeo was hanged to death in the Lahore central jail.
Bhagat Singh's faith was in mass action for the masses. In Bhagat
Singh's own words we attach great sanctity to human life, we regard
human life as sacred as any one else could. We would sooner lay
down our lives in the service of humanity than injure any one else
. revolution doesn't necessarily involve a sanguinary strife,
nor is there any place in it for individual vendetta.
Bhagat Singh believed that the Congress consisted as it was of
landlords, capitalists and rich lawyers could never launch that
action which would lead to complete economic freedom for the masses.
Gandhiji is kind hearted philanthropists, he used to say, and
it is not philanthrophy that is needed, but a dynamic scientific
social force. According to him what was needed most was a band
of selfless young men who would organize and work for that social
revolution. He further believed that in order to initiate the young
men in the gospel of this mission, an appeal would have force only
when it was delivered from the platform of the gallows and he himself
undertook to deliver that appeal.
There was ample opportunity for both of them to make good their
escape from the assembly. It was part of a deliberate plan to surrender
themselves to the police so that they might be able to expand the
revolutionary creed and philosophy by means of a statement in the
court. Again to quote Bhagat Singh We then deliberately offered
ourselves to bear the penalty for what we had done and to let the
Imperialist exploiters know that by crushing individuals they cannot
kill ideas. By crushing two insignificant units the nation cannot
be crushed. The occasion was also judiciously chosen. By throwing
the bombs when the British government was trying to pass the much
hated Trade dispute bill, Bhagat Singh and his colleagues also declared
their solidarity with the labor class. Bhagat Singh was an avid
reader of politics and history and this also shows up in his speech.
Below are excerpts from his statement given in the court.
From Bhagat Singh
April 8, 1929
reply to the next half of the first question we are constrained
to go into some detail to offer a full and frank explanation of
our motive and circumstances leading up to what has now become
an historic event. When we were told by some of the Police Officers
who visited us in Jail that Lord Irwin in his address to a joint
session of the two houses after the event in question described
it as an attack directed against no individual but against the
institution itself, we readily recognized that the true significance
of the incident had been correctly appreciated. We are next to
none in our love of humanity and so, far from having any malice
against any individual, we hold human life sacred beyond words.
We are neither the perpetrators of dastardly outrage and therefore
a disgrace to the country as the pseudo-socialist Diwan Chaman
Lal is reported to have described us, nor are we 'lunatic' as
the Tribune of Lahore and some others have it believe. We humbly
claim to be no more than serious students of the history and conditions
of our country and human aspirations, and we despise hypocrisy.
Our practical protest was against the institution which since
its birth has eminently helped to display not only its worthlessness
but its far reaching power for mischief. The more we have pondered
the more deeply we have been convinced that that it exists only
to demonstrate to the world India's humiliation and helplessness
and it symbolizes the over riding domination of an irresponsible
and autocratic rule. Time and again in the national demand has
been pressed by the People's representatives' only to find the
waste-paper basket as its final destination. Solemn resolution
passed by the House have been contemptuously trampled under foot
on the floor of the so called indian Parliament. Resolutions regarding
the repeal of repressive and arbitrary Government measures have
been treated with sublime contempt and proposals rejected as unacceptable
by the elected members have been restored by stroke of the pen.
In brief, in spite of earnest endeavor we have utterly failed
to find any justification for the existence of an institution
which despite all the pomp and splendor organized with the hard
earned money of the sweating millions of India is only a hollow
show and a mischievous make believe. And alike have we failed
to comprehend the mentality of the public leaders who help to
squander public time and money on so manifestly stage managed
an exhibition of India's helpless subjection. We had been ruminating
upon all this, as also upon the wholesole arrests of the leaders
of the labor movement when the introduction of the Trade Disputes
Bill brought us into the Assembly to watch its progress and the
course of the debate only served to confirm our conviction that
the laboring millions of India had nothing to expect from an institution
that stood as a menacing monument to the strangling power of exploiters
to suck the blood of the helpless laborers. Finally the insult
of what we considered an inhuman and barbarous measure was hurled
on the devoted heads of the representatives of the entire country
and the starving and struggling millions were deprived of their
primary right and sole means of improving their economic welfare.
None who has felt like us for the dumb driven drudges of laborers
could possibly witness this spectacle with equanimity. None whose
heart bleeds for those who have given their life-blood in silence
to the building up of the economic structures of the exploiters
of whom the government happens to be the biggest in this country
could repress the cry of soul agonizing anguish which so ruthless
a blow wrung out of our hearts. Consequently bearing in mind the
words of the late Mr. S. R. Dass, once the Law Member of the Governor
Generals Executive Council, which appeared in the famous letter
he addressed to his son that a bomb was necessary to awaken England
from her dreams. We dropped the bombs on the floors of the Assembly
Chamber to register our protest on behalf of those who had no
other means left to give expression to their heart-rending agony.
Our sole purpose was to make the deaf hear, and to give the
heedless a timely warning. Others have as keenly felt as we have
done and from under the seeming stillness of the sea of the Indian
humanity a veritable storm is about to break out. We have only
marked the end of the era of Utopian non-violence of whose fulfilty
the rising generation has been convinced beyond the shadow of
doubt. Out of our sincerest good-will and love of humanity have
we adopted this method of warning to prevent the untold sufferings
which we like millions of others clearly foresee.
used the expression Utopian non-violence in the foregoing para,
which requires some explanation. Force when aggressively applied
is violence and therefore is morally unjustifiable; but when
it is used in the furtherance of a legitimate cause it has moral
justification. The elimination of force at all costs is Utopian
and the new movement which has arisen in the country and of which
we have given the warning, is inspired by the ideals which guided
Guru Govind Singh and Shivaji, Kamal Pasha and Ringa Khan, Washington,
Garibaldi, Lafayetter and Lenin. As both the alien government
and the Indian public leaders have appeared to have shut their
eyes and closed their ears against the existence and voice of
this movement, we felt it our duty to sound the warning where
it could not go unheard.
so far dealt with the motive behind the incident in question and
now we must define the extent of our intention.
again be said that we bore no personal grudge or malice against
any one of those who received slight injuries or against any other
person in the Assembly. On the contrary we repeat that we hold
human lives sacred beyond words and would sooner lay down ourselves
in the service of humanity than injure anyone else. Unlike the
mercenary soldiers of Imperialist Armies who are disciplined to
kill without compunction we respect and in so far as it lies in
us attempt to save human life. And still we admit deliberately
dropped the bombs into the Assembly Chambers. Facts, however speak
for themselves and our intention should be judged from the result
of our action without drawing upon hypothetical circumstances
and presumptions. Despite the evidence of the Government experts
the bombs that were thrown in the Assembly Chamber resulted in
some damage of furniture and a few slight bruises and less than
half a dozen cases. While the government's scientist ascribed
the result to a miracle we see nothing but a precisely scientific
process in it all. First the two bombs exploded in vacant spaces
within wooden barriers of desks and benches. Secondly, even those
who were within even two feet of the explosion (for instance Mr.
P.R. Rau, Mr. Shankar Rao and Sir George Schuster) were either
not hurt or only slightly scratched. Bombs of the capacity disposed
to by the Government Expert (though his estimate being imaginary
is exaggerated) loaded with an effective charge of Potassium Chlorate
and a sensitive picrate would have smashed the barriers and laid
many low within some yards of the explosion. Again had they been
loaded with some other high explosive with a charge of destructive
pellets or darts they would have sufficed to wipe out the majority
of the members of the legislative Assembly. Still again we could
have flung them into the official-box chokefull of people of note.
And finally we could have ambushed Sir John Simon whose luckless
Commission was loathed by all the responsible people and who was
sitting in the President's gallery at the time. All this however,
was beyond our intention and the bombs did more than they were
designed to do and the miracle consisted of no more than the deliberate
aim which landed them in safe places. Similarly, the pistol was
fired in the air but by neither of us.
deliberately offered ourselves to bear the penalty for what we
had done and to let the imperialist exploiters know that by crushing
individuals they cannot kill ideas. By crushing two insignificant
units the Nation cannot be crushed. We wanted to emphasize the
historical lesson that de Cachets and Bastilles could not crush
the Revolutionary movement in France. Gallows and Siberian mines
could not extinguish the Russian revolution. The bloody Sundays
and Black Mondays failed to strangle the movement of Iris freedom.
Can ordinances and safety bills snuffs out the flame of freedom
in India. Conspiracy cases trumped up or discovered and incarceration
of all the young men who cherish the vision of a greater ideal
cannot check the march of the Revolution. But timely warning if
not unheeded can help to prevent loss of life and general sufferings.
We took it upon ourselves to provide this warning and our duty
Singh, was asked in the Lower Court as what we meant by the word
'Revolution'. In answer to that question, I would say that Revolution
doesn't necessarily involve a sanguinary strife, nor is there
any places in it for individual vendetta. It is not the cult of
the bomb and pistol. By revolution we mean that the present order
of things which is based on the manifest injustice must change.
the producers or the laborers, in spite of being the most necessary
element of society are robbed by their exploiters of the fruits
of their labor and deprived of their elementary right. On the
one hand the peasant who grows corn for all starves with his family;
the weaver who supplies world markets with textile fabrics cannot
find enough to cover his own children's bodies; the masons, smiths
and carpenters who rear magnificent places live end perish in
slums; and on the other capitalist exploiters, the parasite of
society squander millions on their whims. These terrible inequalities
and forced disparity of chances are heading towards chaos. This
state of affairs cannot last and is obvious that the present order
of society is merry making on the brink of a volcano and the innocent
children of exploiters no less than millions of the exploited
are walking on the edge of a dangerous precipice. The whole edifice
of this civilization, if not saved in time, shall crumble. A radical
change, therefore, is necessary; and is the duty of those who
realize this to recognize society on the Socialistic basis. Unless
this is done and the exploitation of man by man and of nations
by nations which goes as Imperialism, is brought to an end, the
sufferings and carnage with which humanity is threatened today
cannot be prevented and all talks of ending wars and ushering
in an era of universal peace is undisguised hypocrisy. By revolution
we mean the ultimate establishment of an order of society which
may not be threatened by such brake down, and in which the sovereignty
of Proletariat should be recognized and as the result of which
a world federation should redeem humanity from the bondage of
capitalism and the misery of Imperial wars.
our ideal; and with this ideology for our inspiration we have
given a fair and loud enough warning. If, however, it goes unheeded
and the present system of Government continues to be an impediment
in the way of the natural forces that are welling up, a grim struggle
must ensue involving the overthrow of all obstacles, and the establishment
of the Directorship of the Proleatist to pave the way for the
consummation of the ideal of the Revolution.
is the unalienable right of the mankind. freedom is the impregnable
birth right of all. the laborer is the real sustainer of society.
The sovereignty of the people is the ultimate destiny of the workers.
ideals and for this faith, we shall welcome any sufferings to
which we may be condemned. To the alter of this revolution we
have brought our youth an incense, for no sacrifice is too great
for so magnificent a cause.