Attention – Due To Allegations of Plagiarism, This Article Is Highly Suspect 

Later this year the nation will celebrate the birth centenary of Sardar Bhagat Singh and as a curtain raise, the revolutionary hero is getting a great deal more attention that he would otherwise get. It is also a good time to study his ideology. But even though, I started off trying to read up about a man of who I had read about only in history books, I ended up admiring the man. I am learning to admire Bhagat Singh not necessarily for his ideological convictions which I do not agree with but for the sheer amount of content that hi short life of only 23 years produced. Bhagat Singh, born in 1907 was hanged on , 1931 having avenged the lathi charge on his hero ands mentor, Lala Lajpat Rai who died shortly after the lathi charge.

Bollywood has of course done well to capture the influence his life had through Rang De Basanti as well as through at least 5 other biopics on his life. They might or might not have done him justice. But it is amazing as to how what we would think to be a callow youth developed strong convictions, lived by them and died for them. Bhagat singh was an atheist, considered to be one of the earliest Marxist in and in line with hi thinking, he renamed the Hindustan Republican Party and called it the Hindustan Socialist Revolutionary Party. Bhagat Finally, awaiting his own execution for the murder of Saunders, Bhagat Singh at the young age of 24 studied Marxism thoroughly and wrote a profound pamphlet “Why I am an Atheist. ” which is an ideological statement in itself.

The circumstances of his death and execution are worth recounting. Although, Bhagat Singh had assassinated Saunders, the Assistant Superintendent of Police at as a means of avenging Lala Lajpat Rai’s death, he was not arrested then. It was later, when he along with his co patriots threw a bomb in ’s Central Legislative Assembly, that he was captured though escape could have been possible as he wanted to embrace martyrdom. Consequent to that, once sentenced to death, he made no further appeals to the higher courts or the Privy Council in the House of Lords.

There is some controversy about the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the attempts that were otherwise made to save him from the gallows. The Gandhi – Irwin talks were going on at the time and it was felt that a word from Gandhi could have made a difference. Other leaders like Motilal Nehru made public appeals , but it seems that Gandhiji kept away , ostensibly because he believed in non violence but according to some historians, because he perceived Bhagat Singh to be a threat like Netaji to his own stranglehold over the Nationalist movement.

As I said in the beginning, I set out to debate it out whether Bhagat Singh was an terrorist or a freedom fighter but like the actors in Aamir Khan’s Rang De Basanti who are happy go lucky folks whose lives are transformed as they read about the characters they play, I find myself challenged. When we all see and read about are Vikas Yadav , Anand Jon , Amardeep Singh Gill, and the many politically active Bahu Balis  of Uttar Pradesh is it really possible that a man like Bhagat Singh achieved all that he did and left behind a lasting revolutionary legacy that lasts till this day and all that in a short span of 24 years? Well may be Bhagat singh was a terrorist and may be he wasn’t. But he surely lived a full life in the short span of time he was alive. And that by itself is no mean thing!

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