Let us not forget our brave martyrs

Last year on 23rd of March, we wrote about the death anniversary of our martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. They lost their lives and made a valuable fraction of contribution towards the freedom we enjoy today.

Today is 23rd of March again and this post is a conscious reminder to our readers of this contribution and its importance.

Read the detailed post we did last time here.

Here is a poem dedicated to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, which I wrote:

Iss Daur ko Bhagat Singh ki talash hai
Bhagat Singh ki talash hai–

Talash hai ek aise shakhs ki
Jo hamein need se utha sake
Jo hamari aatma ko jhakjhor sake
Jo hamein Bharat ka matlab bata sake
Jo hamein Azaadi ke maayne sikha sake
Jo hamein swabhimaani bana sake

Muft mein mili thi Swatantrata
isiliye hamne uski ahmiyat ko bhula diya hai
Amar Krantikaariyon ko Lajjit kar diya hai
Unke khoon ko paani kar diya hai
Mar Gaya hai Jazba-Junoon watan ke liye kuch bhi kar jaane ka
Swaarth ke is jeevan mein apne ko bhi apmaanit kar diya hai

Kabhi gaur karna ki kahan jaaoge
Agar apne adhikaaron ke liye awaaz nahi uthaoge
Chahte ho ki desh ki soorat badle par khud uske liye kuch karna nahi chahoge
Kaun badlega halaat jab tum hi aage nahi aaoge

Yeh watan karaah raha hai
Tum to kuch karoge nahi isiliye
Cheekh Cheekh kar Bhagat Singh ko pukar raha hai
Kya uski yeh pukar koi sunega
Kya fir se woh gulaami ki bediyon mein jakda jaayega

Is Daur ko Bhagat Singh ki talash hai

Shaheed Bhagat Singh to ab na aayenge

Is Daur ko apne hi daur ke Bhagat Singh ki talash hai
Intezaar karo uske paida hone ka ya fir ban jaao tum ek aur Bhagat Singh
Nirnay Tumhara Hai, Waqt tumhara hai, Abhimaan Tumhara hai
Aakhir yeh Mulq Tumhara hai……

Jai Hind!

Inquilaab Zindabad!!

Has the Indian Youth forgotten our first war of independence?

A survey carried out in various cities of India has revealed that today’s youths have forgotten its history and have no idea about what happened in the year 1857. For some, it signifies a car’s number plate. While for others, it’s a year when riots took place. There are those for whom dates don’t matter at all, only personalities like Mahatma Gandhi do. Then comes the ones who, in their wide embrace of history, attribute the events of 1857 to Bhagat Singh and Shivaji.Many historians called this First War of Independence as a ‘Sepoy Mutiny’ of 1857. For them, it was just a bunch of Indian sepoys (soldiers) who had mutinied. They largely failed to recognise the involvement of a vast section of Indian society that took part in this struggle. Peasants and nobles all were involved.

The Revolt of 1857It may be the First War of Independence, but it is a mutiny the nation seems to be in a hurry to forget. Several political parties and the government talked a lot about the year-long celebrations planned (starting May 10, last year) to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1857 revolt, but in the time of Indian Premiere League (IPL) and other more mundane things, the ‘1857 struggle’ appears to have failed to stir the imagination of the country. The struggle, which is an example of the unity, in which people from various sections of the society participated unitedly.

But our political parties are just not interested in the ‘unity’ aspect of the struggle and all of them individually carried out few events and processions suiting their ideology. The government flagged off Azadi Express, a train showcasing the events of the struggle, ‘freedom movement chair’, event in Meerut last year and some processions in New Delhi. But our political parties used this occasion to direct their guns at the rivals. Sitaram Yechury took his usual dig at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for having stayed away from the freedom struggle, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), obviously, cannot be part of any observations and celebrations of that glorious history of Indian people’s struggle. If that is the case then let me tell you that neither did communist took part in the freedom struggle, nor did the Congress in the current shape.(Congress has been divided so many times that the Congress, which was there during the freedom struggle is not the one that we have today). Neither you nor me participated in the movement, but then can’t we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the struggle?

I strongly feel that we should keep politics aside in the matter of national interest. Why blame only Communist Part of India (Marxists) (CPM), even BJP and Congress are also no saint in this. Uttar Pradesh holds a key place in the First War of Independence, but the chief minister seems to have forgotten the occasion. On May 13, the Mayawati government celebrates the completion of its one year in office. But while the state gears up for a round of pomp and pageantry to celebrate the achievement of the state’s first woman chief minister, Uttar Pradesh has forgotten another woman’s sacrifice – Rani Laxmi Bai. In the entire anniversary year, the state government organised only one rally in Lucknow in May 2007. People in cities like Meerut, Lucknow, Kanpur and Jhansi, which were focal points of the revolt , does not even know about the significance of May 10. A senior culture department official told a leading newspaper in an interview that out of the rupees three crore sanctioned for the 1857 anniversary programmes in 2007-08, only Rs50 lakh had been utilised. There is no prize for guessing where the rest of amount must have been utilised.
India’s First War of Independence carried on as late as 1859, while in some instances before it was finally over. A number of heroes and heroines of the India’s First War of Independence have been immortalised for their fight against the British rule.

But we have forgotten them. There is a common saying, “History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are.”

“Shaheedon ki chitaaon par lagenge har baras mele. Watan pe mitne waalon ka yahi baaki nishaan hoga.” Isn’t it true?

If you are interested in reading more about the First War of Independence, refer-

Bhagat Singh-Sukhdev-Rajguru: 77th Anniversary of Martyrdom

Bhagat SinghMarch 23 is the death anniversary of one of the most heroic figures of the Indian freedom movement. Few people remember it, though. Forget the rest of India, even the children of the village where he was born, do not know anything about him. The Free Press Journal in its issue of 24th March 1931 wrote: “S. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev live no longer. In their death lies their victory let there be no mistaking it. The bureaucracy has annihilated the mortal frame. The nation has assimilated the immortal spirit.  Thus shall Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev live eternally to the dismay of the bureaucracy. . . . To the nation, Bhagat Singh and colleagues will ever remain the symbols of martyrdom in the cause of freedom.”
Bhagat Singh’s ideological world and political perspectives were shaped by his deep study of radical literature, which enabled him to develop an egalitarian view of society. From this literature he imbibed the ideas of democracy, socialism and rationalism, which eventually became the guiding principles of his political and social philosophy. He envisioned a system in which there was “no exploitation of man by man and nation by nation”. He realised that a qualitative change in the existing social relations was necessary for ushering in such a condition.
RajguruMany aspects of the life and work of Bhagat Singh have been written about. While Bhagat Singh continues to remain an icon for modern-day Indian youth, the fact that needs to be underlined is that he and his associates acquired the status of living legends even in their brief life time. This is confirmed by the fact that the British clandestinely advanced the hanging of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev fearing a public outrage. In an unprecedented manner, these legendary heroes of the Indian freedom movement were hanged until death at dusk on March 23, 1931 instead of the 24th morning. The British tried to surreptitiously dispose the bodies at Hussainwallah on the banks of the Sutlej.
There are various elements of Bhagat Singh’s life that have contributed to his immortal legend, heroism, sacrifice, the political clarity and the ability to catch the imagination of the people. The Hindi film industry has now converted this legend into an icon. During the first few years of this century, at least six films have been made on this revolutionary. The last in this series being the very creative effort, Rang De Basanti. The title of the film comes from the immortal song which Bhagat Singh and his associates supposedly sang as they were marching to the gallows. Though the film was come under severe criticism for its alleged projection of nihilism, the essential thrust is being missed. In actual life, many individuals may associate passionately with a political project due to various reasons and under varied circumstances. The moot question, however, is, when it comes to the crunch, whether these individuals stand up to their political convictions, or, not. This is the acid test. The protagonists in this film (including one who vacillates) embrace a sure death out of conviction and not being pushed into that position by circumstances. The option to opt out was always there. But, they choose not to do so.
SukhdevThis is exactly what Bhagat Singh and his associates did. They marched to death with a smile. When the hangman offers him to pray before death, he says, “I have neither fear of death nor belief in God”. In terms of political belief, while firmly abjuring “the cult of the bomb and the pistol”, as Bhagat Singh himself notes, they chose to throw the bomb at the Delhi assembly and murder Saunders with pistol under the firm belief that these actions would galvanise the youth to seek freedom.
Bipan Chandra has rightly concluded in the 1970s book on Bhagat Singh—- Why i am an atheist, that “it is one of the greatest tragedies of our people that this giant of a brain was brought to a stop so early by the colonial authorities.”  It is the nature of colonialism and imperialism to cause such tragedies, be it in India or Vietnam, in Iraq, Palestine, or Latin America.  But the people do avenge these crimes by yet more ferocious struggles against imperialism, if not today, then tomorrow.  Our task is to keep the memory of our martyrs fresh, and by doing so we prepare the victories of tomorrow.

 I have found this document in the book edited by Sh. Shiv Verma, close associate of Bhagat Singh and a life convict in the same Lahore Conspiracy Case in which Bhagat Singh was hanged. Shiv Verma was also co-prisoner of Bhagat Singh in jail and he has included in his book both the Execution warrant issued by the special tribunal  on 7th October 1930,as well as the certificate issued by the Superintendent of the Jail on26th March 1931, which reads as followed by:

“ I hereby certify that the sentence of death passed on Bhagat Singh(name of the martyr is handwritten in otherwise typed certificate) has been duly executed, and that the said Bhagat Singh(again handwritten) was accordingly hanged by the neck till he was dead, at Lahore C. Jail(handwritten) on Monday(handwritten) the 23rd(handwritten) day of march(handwritten 1931 at 7.p.m.(inserted handwritten) that the body remained suspended for a full hour, and was not taken down until life was ascertained by a medical officer to be extinct, error or other misadventure occurred.


Superintendent of the Jail