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Indian Freedom Fighter Bhagat Singh Biography
Bhagat Singh, the epitome of heroism was a revolutionist during the colonial period of India. Bhagat Singh was well-known for his admiration of martyrdom.
Bhagat Singh was a freedom fighter and one of the most famous revolutionaries of Indian Independence Movement. It is also believed that he was one of the earliest Marxists in India. Bhagat Singh was born in a family that was actively involved in revolutionary activities against the British rule in the country.
The name given to Bhagat Singh meant `devotee`. `Arya Samaj` had a huge impact on the life of Bhagat Singh`s father Sardar Kishan Singh Sandhu. His uncles as well as his father were all part of the `Ghadar Party` that was led by Kartar Singh Sarabha. Bhagat Singh`s mentor was Kartar Singh Sarabha, who was a freedom fighter of the country.
Early Life of Bhagat Singh
Bhagat Singh was born on 27th September, 1907 into a Sandhu family in Khatkar Kalan village in Lyallpur district of Punjab. The Jalianwalabagh Massacre, which took place in Punjab in 1919, had a deep impact on the mind of young Bhagat Singh.
In the year 1920, Mahatma Gandhi started the Non Cooperation Movement. Bhagat Singh at that time was of 13 years and he became an active participant with a great hope that this movement would bring freedom to the country.
But he was really disappointed with Gandhiji`s decision to call off this movement following the `Chauri Chaura` riot in the year 1922. Further, Bhagat Singh challenged the British rule and followed the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi by burning his government-school books and imported clothes.
Bhagat Singh in his early age read a lot of literature and poetries especially written by Punjabi writers. Allama Iqbal from Sialkot, who was also a freedom fighter, was Bhagat Singh`s favourite poet.
By winning an essay competition that was organised by Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan in 1923, young Bhagat Singh attracted the attention of the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan. Initially, Bhagat Singh studied at the National College in Lahore. But after some time, he ran away from his home in order to escape early marriage.
Contribution of Bhagat Singh in the Freedom Struggle of India
Bhagat Singh became an active member of `Naujawan Bharat Sabha` and also joined Hindustan Republican Association, which was headed by Ashfaqulla Khan and Ram Prasad Bismil.
He was also involved in writing and editing some Punjabi and Urdu newspapers that were published from Amritsar. Later on, he became the leader of the association. On 30th of October, 1928, a protest was led by Lala Lajpat Rai against Simon Commission but that too in a non violent way.
During his protest, the police resorted to `lathi` charge and Lala Lajpat Rai was severely beaten. After this incident, Bhagat Singh with other revolutionaries, planed to kill the police chief. But because of a mistaken identity, J. P. Saunders, a Deputy Superintendent of Police was shot instead of Scott. Immediately after that, Bhagat Singh left Lahore and he also shaved his beard and cut his hair to avoid recognition.
After this incident, the Defence of India Act was enacted by the British government in order to give more power to the police. The main motive behind enacting this Act was to combat the country`s revolutionaries.
On the other hand, in response to this act, `Hindustan Socialist Republican Association` planned to blast a bomb particularly in the assembly, where the decree was supposed to be passed. According to their plan, it was decided that Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt would throw the bombs. On April 8, 1929, they threw the bombs however it neither killed nor injured anyone. Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt surrendered themselves for arrest.
They were sentenced to `Transportation for Life` for the incident. It was after their arrest that the British rulers came to know that Bhagat Singh was involved in the murder case of J.P.Saunders. Bhagat Singh admitted his crime and made statements in the court against the British as a tool to publicise their cause of freedom struggle.
Bhagat Singh along with other prisoners launched hunger strike in the jail. The main reason behind this was that the British thieves and murderers were given better treatment than the Indian prisoners. According to law the Indian political prisoners were supposed to be given better rights. Bhagat also demanded that the Indian political prisoners should not be forced to do any sort of undignified work. This hunger strike lasted for 63 days and ended with the submission of British power. With this he gained tremendous popularity.
Ideology of Bhagat Singh
Bhagat Singh used to maintain diary while in jail. Eventually he made to fill 404 pages. The diary was a precious one as he made numerous notes relating to the quotations and popular sayings of various people whose vies he supported, prominent were of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
Political thought of Bhagat Singh`s evolved gradually from Gandhian nationalism to revolutionary Marxism. By the end of 1928, he and his comrades renamed their organisation the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association.
After going through the teachings of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin he came to believe that, India with such a large and diverse population could only survive properly under a socialist regime. He was of the opinion that India should re-enact Russian revolution.
Bhagat Singh believed that the rich would only get richer and the poor would only get poorer in the case if India did not adopt the socialistic approach. Bhagat Singh became the first socialist leader of the country.
To him “The aim of life is no more to control mind, but to develop it harmoniously, not to achieve salvation here after, but to make the best use of it here below, and not to realise truth, beauty and good only in contemplation, but also in-the actual experience of daily life; social progress depends not upon the ennoblement of the few but on the enrichment democracy or universal brotherhood can be achieved only when there is an equality of opportunity in the social, political and individual life”.
The comments written his diary indicated the philosophical thinking of Bhagat Singh. He also wrote a pamphlet entitled “Why I am an Atheist”, where he discusses and promotes atheism philosophy. He wrote this as a result of criticism on his failure to accept religion and God.
Bhagat Singh was also being accused of vanity by not accepting God in the face of death. He supported his own beliefs and claimed that he used to be a firm believer in The Almighty, but could not bring himself to believe the myths and beliefs that others held close to their hearts.
After studying on Russian Revolution, Bhagat Singh aspired to die as he felt it would inspire the youth of country to fight against the British Empire. Bhagat Singh also wrote a letter to the Viceroy when he was in prison asking him to execute them not by hanging but by firing squad.
Bhagat Singh was hanged on 23rd March, 1931 with fellow revolutionaries Sukhdev and Rajguru. After his execution, youths in the country rioted in protest. Thus Bhagat Singh`s desire to inspire thousands of youths to assist the Indian independence movement took a serious turn.