In a country dominated by the word Gandhi, there are innumerable other unsung heroes of the freedom movement of this country.
One such hero is Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
Bhagat Singh (born on September 28, 1907) was one of the most famous youth revolutionaries of the Indian Independence Movement, who at the very young age of 13 was a part of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement against the British. Bhagat Singh was deeply affected by the 1919 Jallian Walla Bagh Massacre and believed that violence should be replied back only by violence. He was also disappointed when Gandhi called back the non-coppoeration movement following the Chauri Chaura incident.
Bhagat Singh’s freedom movement reached a turning point when the British killed the veteran activist Lala Lajpat Rai in a police lathi charge while he was leading a peaceful protest against the Simon’s commission for not including any Indian representatives in the commission. Lala Lajpat Rai succumbed to the injuries of the lathi charge within a month after the incident.
Bhagat Singh was deeply hurt by the death of Lala Lajpat Rai and in a bid to take revenge he and other revolutionaries (Shivaram Rajguru, Sukhdev and Jai Gopal) plotted a bid to kill Scott, the police chief. However in a case of mistaken identity, they killed Saunder, a deputy superintendent of police.
After that when the British Govt brought the Defence of India Act, giving more power to the police inspite of the act being voted down in the council by one vote, Bhagat Singh’s organization decided to protest against this act by exploding non-lethal bomb in the corridors of the assembly and by throwing leaflets containing the message It takes a loud voice to make the deaf hear. Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt executed these actions.
Following the explosions, Singh and Dutt, who were still in the corridors of the assembly chanting Inquilab Zindabad were arrested. British also came to know about the assassination of Scott by him, and as a result the British Government hanged Bhagat Singh to death.
Unfortunately, no real attempts were made by the non-violent movement led by Gandhi to get Bhagat Singh and his associates released. Sukhdev who was also hanged along with Bhagat, had written a letter to Gandhi just before their hanging, protesting against Gandhi’s disapproval of their revolutionary tactics.
The same year/month (1931 March) in which Bhagat and his fellow comrades (Rajguru and Sukhdev) were hanged, Gandhi signed a pact with Lord Irwin, the then viceroy of India and got all his followers released, who were arrested by the British earlier for participating in Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement.