The point is, he was born in a family of freedom fighters so he inherited the sentiment against the British. His uncle Sardar Ajit Singh was a revolutionary of the Ghadar party. He organised a large number of farmers before he went into exile. Later he spent all his life outside India mobilising support against the British, travelling around the world.
He came back to die on August 15, , the day India got Independence.
Bhagat Singh and the Revolutionary Movement
He died in Calcutta. His father Sardar Kishan Singh was a Congress worker. Another uncle, Swaran Singh, was also behind bars for several years, fighting the British.
He died of tuberculosis very early in life. So there was this background which he inherited. It was not just a sudden incident that prompted him to join the freedom struggle. How would he react if he were around today and saw how this generation looks at him? These are very hypothetical questions. History is not decided on them but I say that had he been around, he would have been a pensioner of the government like so many other freedom fighters and his colleagues Shiv Verma, Batukeshwar Dutt, Jaidev Kapoor.
They lived till the 70s, 80s. They engaged themselves in many social political activities. They became party members. Most joined the Communist Party and some the Congress. So they became politically involved but nothing more than that. Bhagat Singh is remembered today because he achieved martyrdom at a very young age. He was the one who actually wrote extensively. If you remember somebody, it is not just as someone who was hanged by the British. That leads you nowhere but with Bhagat Singh that is not true. If we want to remember him today, which we should, it is because he has left behind a corpus of writing.
But what, would you say as a historian, was the quality of his writing and what did he stress? Most of his writings were about establishing an egalitarian society, fighting inequality, untouchability, global imperialism.
He was equally bothered about other oppressed societies. For example, he spoke about subjugation in Africa, European imperialism all over the world. So, he wanted all oppressed societies to rise against these oppressors. After the Bolshevik revolution, Bolshevism inspired him because it was seen as a great success in the fight against oppression. That was one example he and others in those times wanted to emulate. That was his inspiration. One may find these ideologies irrelevant today but in his time they were inspiring ideologies. What sort of find connection would he have made with the present generation in this environment?
He stood for certain things which are relevant even now, his fight against untouchability and for egalitarian society, his fight against communalism. He was passionate on this issue of secularism. He wanted a society that lived in harmony and religion had no place in that. He declared himself an atheist but he knew that religion was central to most people. He wanted them to keep it to their personal lives. All these issues are relevant. If we want to remember him, remember him on these issues.
On their martyrdom day, India remembers Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru
We are still coping with them. How influential were socialist thought and Lenin on early Indian revolutionaries?
Socialism did make an impact on the early 20th century revolutionaries. The Hindustan Republican Army, a predecessor of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, expressed socialist republican sentiments in its manifestos but they were not as articulate or committed as Bhagat Singh and his associates. Most of them actually evolved as socialist thinkers as they studied, because one should understand that they were living in a society which was colonised. British colonialism did not allow access to most of this literature. It reached them clandestinely.
It was imported. It came from abroad and was quietly circulated among them. So it was not easy to access. He used to gather the literature they wanted quietly and supplied to them even in prison. There was a bookshop called Ramkrishna and Sons in Lahore which was again very useful for them. He used to gather all sorts of books for them. They had access to the writings of Marx and Lenin. The earliest translations in English were accessible to them? Look at his prison diary. The books he read in prison, the notes he took clearly brings out what books he was reading.
For example, he was not only reading political writings, he read Engels, Marx, he read Rabindra Nath Tagore, he read Rumi. His reading list is very diverse. Rumi in Persian or in English? He read in English and Urdu. And Tagore he read in Hindi and English. He noted all sorts of things which he liked in his diary. At the age of At the age of 23 he died. Just in years. He wrote a detailed pamphlet for young Indians in February , his last before he was hanged. These two writings clearly show the impact of his reading.
It is not just a pamphlet that abuses god. He is engaging with this whole idea or philosophy of god, whether we really need him. These are issues which he philosophically engaged with after reading about them. What was his view on the caste system within Punjab? He was extremely critical of the caste system as a whole. He was very critical of political leaders, one of whom was Madan Mohan Malviya. How was his understanding of the British as imperialists?
He knew imperialism was a political belief, part of the exploitative ideology aimed at oppression of the poor, the marginalised, the weak. He looked at imperialism as an ideology to suppress, oppress and exploit the poor. The British were doing exactly the same. People who saw virtue in imperialism were mistaken.
Bhagat Singh Is Not the Man the Right Wants You to Think He Is
One needs to keep in mind that the Congress was a mainstream political party. For years it dominated the politics in the country. It had nationwide presence. It began with the support of the British in the beginning because it was established as a safety valve by them. Congress continued to be part of a political sentiment, raising demands about what Indians want, so that imperialism continued peacefully, the government could run peacefully.
This was the idea for several years. We need to be aggressive. So there were groups of activists within the Congress and the moderates from onward, Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal and many others—they came up with aggressive ideas. During all this, groups outside Congress, too, were active but they were all regional groups in different parts of India. That was its advantage from day one. It spread all over India. No other party could do that till The Civil Disobedience movement of Mahatma Gandhi in when it was being planned, the Congress was scared because this movement was not gathering support in north India.
Most of the young had joined Naujawan Bharat Sabha. That is how much they were enthused by this new platform. If you look at the archival file you will see that most of the political meetings organised in this region were joint meetings of Congress and Naujawan Bharat Sabha in Punjab, Western UP and Rajasthan. This clearly indicates how popular they were.
Of course, they added to the strength of Mahatma Gandhi by joining the Congress meetings. It was a joint struggle where each group had their role. This is only one example; you can find others all over India. What made Civil Disobedience the way of protest against the British rather than armed rebellion? First of all, armed rebellion is not an easy choice to make. If people have an easy alternative, and an alternative which convinces them that it will achieve something good then they join it. A leader like Mahatma Gandhi from onward engaged people and identified himself with their sentiments generally.
Salt was costly though it was like air and water—essential things. Gandhi knew the salt tax would bring poor and rich together on one platform. And he used that very effectively. Look at the 78 people he chose; most were from Sabarmati Ashram. They were not normal Congressmen. They were people trained by Gandhi to pursue non-violence, satyagraha. He knew that Chauri Chaura had set a bad example for the non-cooperation movement because there was violence. He was not really prepared for one more round like that. So these 78 people, who later became 80, walked for miles from Ahmedabad to Dandi.
Why did he go on foot? Because he wanted people to connect with him. As a politician he knew the most effective way and time was on his side. There was no hurry.
Politics and Nation
He connected with people, mobilising them on the way. There was no woman among the Again, people raised this question. Later, women like Sarojini Naidu joined and led this protest. The British used violence against protesters and they stood facing the lathis. Every Indian is proud that these three great men belong to our land. Bhagat Singh developed a Marxist approach in the white heat of the struggle and his intense study of the great Marxist teachers during his incarceration.
We want to snatch and handle it to utilise it for the consummation of our ideal, i. Already by , Bhagat Singh had become a steadfast fighter for revolutionary socialism. We are striving for an independence that would transform this cruel system through a socialist revolution. Bhagat Singh then read the text of the telegram in the court and asked the magistrate to send it to the Third International.
The orders of his execution by the Viceroy of India at the time, Lord Irving had a tacit approval of Gandhi.
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In Pakistan the Islamicist fundamentalists and conservative right condemn Bhagat Singh as a kaafir infidel and a terrorist. His Sikh ancestry is abused and ideological convictions deprecated to undermine his inspirational struggle for successive generations. The accusations of him being a terrorist do not stand up to the facts of history. No more mysticism, no more blind faith. At times of terrible necessity, we can resort to extreme methods, but violence produces opposite results in mass movements.
The capitalist democracy and its socioeconomic systems have devastated society and pulverised the masses. There is a seething revolt in the wombs of these societies despite the reaction that dominates the region at the present time. The youth from the toiling classes are yearning for a way-out from this agony and destitution. From reformism to religious bigotry, every turn and twist in politics have only made the situation worse for the ordinary people.
senjouin-renkai.com/wp-content/tracker/rtl-spionage-app.php No less than a revolution can resolve even the basic of the issues. Sooner rather than later the youth will spearhead a movement that will inspire hundreds of millions of the workers and the oppressed masses into a revolutionary class struggle. Be prepared to face the facts. Revolution is a very difficult task. It is beyond the power of any man to make a revolution.
Neither can it be brought about on any appointed date.