He is the symbol of the heroism of the youth of
One evening a boy of three was out for a walk with his father. There was also an elderly man with the father. Chatting they walked on and went beyond the village. Green crop delighted the eyes. The elders were walking along the edge of a field. Not hearing the footsteps of the boy, the father looked back. The boy was sitting on the ground and seemed to be planting some thing. The father became curious.
"What are you doing?" said he.
"Look, father, I shall grow guns all over the field" was the innocent reply of the boy. His eyes shone with the strong faith that guns would grow in the field. Both the elders were struck with wonder at the little boy's words.
The boy was Bhagat Singh who later fought like a hero for
BirthBanga was a village in Layalpura district of Punjab province. A brave man, Sardar Kishan Singh by name, lived there. Vidya vati was his wife. Kishan Singh's family was noted for bravery and love of adventure. Many heroes of his family had fought to free
In those days such a revolution hadspread all over the country. People were full of determination to win freedom. It was at such a time that Bhagat Singh was born (on September 28, 1907). He was the third son of Sardar Kishan Singh and Vidyavati. At the same time, Kishan Singh and the Uncle Swaran Singh were freed from the jail. It was learnt that another uncle of his, Ajit Singh, too, would be freed. As he thus brought good fortune to his family the child was named Bhagat Singh. 'Bhagat Singh' means 'the fortunate'.
A Friend to All
Bhagat was a lovely child. His smile was charming. People used to say that he would become very famous.
His mother Vidyavati's life had been full of sorrow right from the beginning. The revolutionary husband would always be away. Always lurking in Vidyavati's mind was the fear that he might at any time be sent to jail. It was a family of fighters for freedom and one or the other would always be in jail. Vidyavati herself had to look after the affairs of the family. At such anxious times, her children were her only comfort. They were intelligent and brave and this made her forget her misery. Bhagat Singh was her favorite.
Bhagat Singh was admitted to the primary school. From his childhood he was highly interested in studies. He was ahead of the others in his class. He used to write a beautiful hand. He was the favorite pupil of his teachers. Very much liked by his class- mates, he was their leader. Big boys used to carry Bhagat Singh on their shoulders to the school and back home. His childhood itself indicated that later he would become a leader of revolutionaries.
Bhagat Singh easily made friends with one and all. His companions were naturally his friends. But cartmen and coolies, and the very men who swept the streets were his friends.
Once clothes had to be stitched Bhagat Singh. The old tailors who stitched clothes delivered them at the house and went away. "Who is that who brought the clothes?" asked mother, Vidyavati."My friend," replied Bhagat Singh.
"What! Is the tailor, too, your friend?"
Vidyavati asked, surprised.
"Yes, every one in the village is my friend" was Bhagat Singh's reply.
Thus the ability to win the hearts of men grew in Bhagat Singh right from his childhood.
The Lion's Cub
Bhagat Singh had two uncles. Of them, Swaran Singh had again been sent to prison by the British. Life in prison was wretched and he fell ill. His health did not improve even after his release and he died. When Ajit Singh came out of the jail, he left the country. Bhagat Singh's aunts would often recall their husbands' misery, and lament over it. Seeing this, Bhagat
Singh would bravely say, "Don't weep, aunt. When I grow up, I will drive out the British and bring back my uncle. I will take revenge upon the British who are the cause for my uncle's illness." On hearing the heroic words of the little boy, the weeping women would burst into laughter. At least for the moment they would forget their sorrow.
When he was in the fourth class, Bhagat Singh asked his classmates, "What do you wish to become when you grow up?"
Each boy gave a different answer. "I intend becoming a doctor," said one. Another said, "I will be a government officer." Still another would become a merchant; while another 'would marry'. Bhagat Singh remarked, "is marriage a big achievement? Anybody can marry. On the other hand, I will drive the British out of
Thus patriotism flowed in his veins from the days of his childhood.
By the time he completed his secondary education, Bhagat Singh knew everything about the revolutionaries of his family. He had read all the records about them at home. And the desire to fight for the country's freedom grew strong in him.
Bhagat Singh finished his primary education at Banga. Next he went to
Bhagat Singh was a village boy. His father was afraid he would lag behind in his studies. So he engaged a teacher to teach him at home. But within two days the teacher saw how intelligent the boy was. "What can I teach this boy?He has already learnt everything," said the teacher to Kishan Singh.
Bhagat Singh took to his studies with great zeal. His teachers wondered at his intelligence. He scored good marks in subjects like history, geography and arithmetic. But he had a bad score in English - 68 out of 150! It must have been because he had always hated the British! His words in his letter to his grandfather are really interesting: "My score in English is 68 out of 150. A score of 50 is enough for a pass.Thus I have passed with credit." That was how the clever boy stated his low score in a round about manner.
A Spark of Revolution
It was the year 1919. A very tragic event happened in
people. Countless persons -grown-up men, women and little children -fell down dead. Blood flowed like a stream. The event caused terror and anger in the minds of people all over the country. The tragedy drew the attention of the entire world.
Bhagat Singh was then twelve years old; his mind was deeply disturbed by this event. The next day he did not return home after the school hours. His people at home waited and waited and grew anxious.
Instead of going to school, Bhagat Singh went straight to the place of the tragedy. Somehow managing to push through the police on guard, he went in. He collected a bottle of mud wet with the blood of Indians and returned home. Seeing that he was late, his younger sister said, "Where were you all this time? Mother has been waiting to give you something to eat." But Bhagat Singh was not at all thinking of food. Showing the bottle in his hand, he said, "Look here. This is the blood of ourpeople killed by the British. Salute this."
Then he put the bottle in a niche a worshipped it with flowers.
The people who had assembled in Jallianwala Bagh carried no weapons. Nor was there a way to escape from the place. And these people were killed by the British bullets! Such were the thoughts working in the mind of Bhagat Singh. The feeling that somehow the British must be driven out of
" That was the time when the Indian National Congress was fighting for the country's freedom. It awakened the people's love for their country and was uniting the people. Even before entering the ninth class, Bhagat Singh decided to take up this work. He was only thirteen.Bhagat Singh told his father of his decision and asked for his permission. Himself a revolutionary, Kishan Singh willingly gave his consent. Bhagat Singh left the school and joined the movement.
At that time, there was a powerful anti- foreign cloth movement in the country. If foreign cloth is bought, other countries are benefited. In order to end this, we have to wear cloth made in our country. Foreign cloth must be burnt - so the leaders taught. Bhagat Singh took part in this movement with zeal. Right from his early days, he used to wear only Khadi. With what zeal he helped the cause of homemade cloth and burnt foreign cloth! Every week he would collect foreign clothes, heap them up and burn them.
The First Step
In 1922, the Congress organized a procession in the town of
He made a deep study of the lives of the revolutionaries of
To continue his studies, Bhagat Singh joined the
During the day he would listen to the lessons in the class. In the evening he would collect several friends and discuss the coming revolution. This became his daily routine.
At college, Bhagat Singh took part in several plays.A teacher who saw him in the leading roles in 'RanaPratap', 'Samrat Chandragupta' and 'Bharata-durdasha' remarked, "This boy will become a great man."
'No Marriage for Me'
Bhagat Singh did not confine himself to the study of books. The more he learnt about revolution, the greater grew his desire to participate in it.
The day was fast approaching. But just then the leader of the revolution called him. Bhagat Singh left home and went to
Before leaving home, Bhagat Singh wrote a letter; he said, "The aim of my life is to fight for
Bhagat Singh reached
At home Bhagat Singh's parents were much worried about their son. His grand- mother, then seriously ill, was very eager to see her grandson. His people searched for him and brought him back.
In The Stream of Revolution
Even at home, Bhagat Singh could not sit idle. At that time the Akali Dal arranged a procession. But in order to prevent it, the District Collector Dil Bagh Singh issued an order: Nobody should supply either food or drink to the members of the Akali Dal.
Even at home, Bhagat Singh could not sit idle. At that time the Akali Dal arranged a procession. But in order'-to prevent it, the District Collector Dil Bagh Singh issued an order: Nobody should supply either food
or drink to the members of the Akali Dal.
The Collector who issued the order belonged to Bhagat Singh's family. But being a government officer, he hated the revolutionaries.
Bhagat Singh thought of helping the Akali Dal people visiting his village. Heexplained the situation to the villagers and arranged to supply food secretly to the Akali Dal people at night. Thus a week passed. The Dal's program went on continuously and successfully. Throughout the day, there used to be talks on the country's freedom and the duty of the people. Bhagat Singh also used to speak.
The Collector grew angry that the people had helped the Dal against his orders, He issued a warrant to arrest Bhagat Singh. Then Bhagat Singh was only seventeen. So he was a minor and could not be arrested.
The Collector grew angrier. "Bhagat Singh may be too young but his brain is not too young!" he grumbled.
Arrest and Release
Bhagat Singh was a fountain of zeal. His village was too small for his activities. He went to
Like the Kranti Dal in Bengal, the new union started teaching lessons of revolution to the people of
Within a few days, it started branches in different places. The celebration of the birthdays of revolutionaries became an important part of the program of the union. The members would take out pictures of revolutionaries, decorated with Khadi garlands, in processions. They would cut their fingers and put a mark of blood on the foreheads of the heroes in thepictures. They would lecture about them. It was in these days that Bhagat Singh gained good practice in public speaking. Within a few days he became a good speaker. He got into touch with the students' unions of colleges. He spread the message of revolution everywhere.By this time, Bhaaat Singh had caught the eye of the police. His movements were carefully watched by spies.
Once, as he was just leaving the train at
Bhagat Singh did not know why he was arrested. A few days earlier some rogues had thrown a bomb on procession during the Dussara Festival.It killed some people. The police suspected the hand of revolutionaries in it. That was why they arrested Bhagat Singh and pushed him into jail. To find out the secrets of other revolutionaries, they tortured him in many ways. They flogged him with a knot and gored with a spear. But Bhagat Singh did not open his mouth.
Finally, a Magistrate decided that Bhagat Singh could be released only on a bail of sixty thousand rupees who would be prepared to bear such a responsibility? Yet, out of sheer affection for Bhagat Singh, two rich persons came forward. They were Duneechand and Daulatram. On their surety, Bhagat Singh was set free.
If Bhagat Singh participated inrevolutionary activities during the period of bail, the two wealthy men would have to pay sixty thousand rupees to the Government. Bhagat Singh did not wish that others should be troubled on his account. That was why he decided to keep quiet during the period of bail. At this time his father built a cowshed in his native place, so that Bhagat Singh could run a small diary. Bhagat Singh took up that work in earnest.
Every day he got up at four. Then he fed the cows, removed the cowdung and cleaned the shed. Next he milked the cows and sold the milk. It was all systematic, and tidily done. Whatever he undertook Bhagat Singh did a good job.
The entire day he was busy with his dairy, but the night brought thoughts ofrevolution. He joined his friends for discussions. At the same time, he got into touch with the newspapers, 'Kirtee' and 'Akalee'. He wrote articles for them. A journal brought out a special issue to honor fighters who had been hanged; Bhagat Singh himself introduced some of the revolutionaries.
The Dussara Bomb case involving Bhagat Singh was still going on. ' At last he was released. He was not even on bail. At once Bhagat Singh closed the milk center. He returned to work for the revolution. After
attending a meeting of revolutionaries in
In Delhi, Chandrasekhar Azad, a young revolutionary, was introduced to Bhagat Singh. It was as if fire and wind were united. The activities of the revolutionaries gained new strength. Bhagat Singh removed his beard and had a closer crop, so that the police might not recognize him. All these days he had been a hero of the Sikhs; he now became a national hero.
There was a revolutionary party called the 'Hindustan Prajatantra Sangha' (The Indian Republic Party). The name was changed to 'Hindustan Samajvadi Prajatantra Sangha' (The Indian Socialist Republican Party). Its aim was to establish a republic in
When a bomb is thrown to the ground, it explodes causing a deafening sound, and destroys everything near-by. The revolutionaries needed any number of bombs to drive out the British. But where could they get them? Bhagat Singh went to
bought as many bombs as he needed. He also learnt from Jatindranath Das, a revolutionary, how to make bombs.
The revolutionaries set up a factory secretly at
At last they could make bombs. The bombs were tested at Jhansi Fort. The test was a success.
In February 1928, a committee from
impossible for the Commission to work. They decided to drive it back to
When the Simon Commission reached
rushed forward and hit Lajpat Ray on the chest. It was a powerful blow. Lajpat Ray was old and he was ill. The blow brought him death. He suffered for a month and died.
In his death, the revolutionaries suffered a heavy loss. They decided that they should take revenge and that they should kill Scott who ordered the lathi-charge. They thought of a plan. A revolutionary by name Jaya- gopal was to observe Scott's movements. Bhagat Singh and Rajguru were to shoot him. They had to plan carefully their escape. So much was planned under the leadership of Chandrasekhara Azad.
But in the beginning itself, a small mistake was committed. Jayagopal mistook Saunders for Scott.
The appointed day came. That evening Saunders came out of the police station and got on his motor bicycle. Jayagopal who was behind made a sign. Bhagat Singh and Rajguru were waiting on the way. As the motor bicycle neared Rajguru shot at Saunders from his pistol. At once Bhagat Singh also fired. A bullet struck the
chest of the man who had struck Lajpat Ray's chest with a heavy stick; Saunders fell down dead. Bhagat Singh and Rajguru ran away. The police chased them. Both of them rushed into a lodge near-by. Then they escaped from the place.
The whole city was filled with the news of Saunders' murder. The police spies began a search for the murderers all over the city.
Next day posters appeared on the walls in all the streets of
Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Chandra sekhara Azad all three escaped from
Bhagavaticharan, and their child followed Bhagat Singh, so that people would think they were Bhagat Singh's wife and child. These three traveled by train in a first class compartment. Rajguru left the place disguised as an ordinary worker. Azad traveled as a pundit (scholar). The railway station was filled with eagle-eyed spies; but all the three went away.
A Bomb Bursts
The police searched and searched for Bhagat Singh and Rajguru, but could not find them. Three months passed. In April 1929, the Central Legislative Assembly met in
A Welcome to Death
The trial of the accused commenced. In those days political prisoners were not treated properly in the jail. They were not given proper food. They were made to suffer in every possible way. Bhagat Singh and his companions decided to fight against the wretched conditions. Bhagat Singh was sure of being hanged. But he thought at least the other political. Prisoners could benefit. All the revolu- tionaries went on fast. They fasted for two months. Then the Government said it would consider their demands. Some gave up the fast. But Jatin Das did not. He did not listen to anybody. On the 64th day of his fast, he died. Bhagat Singh fasted for thirty-two days thereafter. The trial of Bhagat Singh and hiscompanions began; it drew the attention of the whole world. The court was heavily guarded by the police. No spectators were allowed inside the court. The prisoners were brought to the court in chains. They used to shout 'Long Live Revolution I' and only then enter the court hall. Bhagat Singh and BatukeshwarDutt stated, "If the deaf are to hear, the sound has to be very loud. When we dropped thebomb, it was not our intention to kill anybody. We have bombed the British Government. The
British must quit
Bhagat Singh was to be hanged! When the news spread, the people all over the country were mad with rage. Thousands of appeals were sent to the Government, pleading that he should be saved. Several leaders of public life joined in the appeal. But all attempts failed. It was decided to hang them on the 24th of March 1931. Even the members of the prisoners' families were hot allowed to meet them. Moreover, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged a day before the appointed day, that is, on March 23rd. Even on the day of their hanging they were fearless. They were cheerful. They com- peted with one another to be hanged first. It was decided that first Sukhdev would be hanged and then Bhagat Singh and finally Rajguru. All the three climbed the platform. Kissing the rope, they themselves put it round their neck. They died with the name of Bharat Mata on their lips. Such was the end of the three champions of freedom. That day no one in the jail touched food. Everyone was in tears. The next day, not knowing that the three prisoners had already been hanged, their relatives came to meet them. But it was all over with them. The dead bodies of the martyrs had been secretly burnt on the bank of the river