March 23, 1931 three young patriots were hanged to death by the then colonial masters of Bharat. The day is remembered as Shaheed Diwas or Martyr’s Day. The three young patriots were Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, 23, 23 and 22 respectively.
23 years old and hanged to death for being a patriot??!!!. That’s the untold story of India’s freedom struggle. Gandhiji was already on the way to being a Mahatma… Whenever I read about Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev’s hanging I would question why Gandhiji never tried to stop the Brits from doing it.
In his own words – “You must know that it is against my creed to punish even a murderer, thief or a dacoit. There can be no excuse for suspicion that I did not want to save Bhagat Singh. But I want you to realise Bhagat Singh’s error. The way they pursued was wrong and futile. I wish to tell these young men with all the authority with which a father can speak to his children that the way of violence can only lead to perdition.”
It still doesn’t make it easier to accept that three young men were cut down in their prime .. and none of the stalwarts could do a thing.
Lala Lajpat Rai and Bhagat Singh
Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were sentenced to death because on December 17, 1927, they shot dead JP Saunders, assistant superintendent of police in Lahore. The original plan was to shoot the Superintendent of Police James Scott, as a way to avenge the death of freedom fighter and Bhagat Singh’s mentor Lala Lajpat Rai.
Lala Lajpat Rai had died exactly a month ago, succumbing to the injuries he sustained after a severe lathi charge by the colonial police led by James Scott during the protests against the Simon Commission. The British had set up the commission to report on the progress in constitutional reforms in India, but it was criticised for not including a single Indian member.
Then there was a bomb thrown in the legislative assembly as a way of telling the colonial powers that they needed to leave.
Gandhiji and many others in the Congress did not support these actions …. Bhagat Singh and his fellow patriots went on a hunger strike in jail. The public started demanding that Gandhiji, Mr. Nehru and other senior Congress leaders should do something, but nothing worked.
The news about the hanging of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev was published on March 25, 1931.
Some things to note – Bhagat Singh was a communist and didn’t agree with Lala Lajpat Rai’s views. He still wanted to avenge his death because he considered Lala Lajpat Rai’s death due to lathi charge as a blow to the honour of the people of India. That’s the kind of men who fought for India’s independence.
Inquilab Zindabad ! Long live the revolution. … especially the one happening in India now. Looking forward to a “Atmanirbhar” Bharat that’s truly attained “Poorna Swaraj” as Bhagat Singh hoped for.