History of Bhagat Singh
Bhagat Singh was born on 27th September 1907. So this year is his 114th birthday. Bhagat Singh was born in the village of Banga in the Lyallpur district of Punjab. But that area now resides in Pakistan after the partition. He was the second of seven children—four sons, and three daughters—born to mother Vidyavati and his father Kishan Singh Sandhu. Bhagat Singh’s father and his uncle Ajit Singh were active in progressive politics. They frequently took part in the agitation around the Canal Colonization Bill in 1907, and later the Ghadar movement of 1914–1915.
The early life of Bhagat
He enrolled himself in the Dayanand Anglo Vedic School in Lahore. In 1923, he joined the National College there. It urged Indian students to boycott schools and colleges subsidized by the British Indian government. The police became very concerned with Singh’s influence on the youths. So, they arrested him in May 1927. They gave the excuse that he was involved in a bombing incident that has taken place in Lahore in October 1926. He was released on a bail of Rs. 60,000 five weeks after his arrest. He wrote for Urdu and Punjabi newspapers. He also wrote for Kirti, the journal of the Kirti Kisan Party (Workers and Peasants party), and briefly for the Veer Arjun newspaper. The publishing of this paper was in Delhi. There were a lot of pseudonyms in his practice like Balwant, Ranjit, and Vidhrohi.
What were Singh’s beliefs?
He was concerned that the public misunderstood anarchism. He believed that: “The ultimate goal of Anarchism is complete independence, according to which no one will be obsessed with God or religion, nor will anybody be crazy for money or otherworldly desires. There will be no chains on the body or control by the state. This means that they want to eliminate: the Church, God, and Religion; the state; Private Property.”
Towards the end of his essay on atheism, he said, “Let us see how steadfast I am. One of my friends asked me to pray. When informed of my atheism, he said that I would learn to believe when my last days arrived. To this, I said that nothing of such would happen. I consider it to be an act of degradation and demoralization. For such petty, selfish motives, I shall never pray. Readers and friends, is it vanity? If it is, I stand for it.”
How was Singh a folk hero?
Bhagat Singh was a charismatic Indian revolutionary, professing socialism and atheism. His two acts of violence against the British government shook the nation. His hunger strike in jail and execution made him a folk hero in India. This person’s martyrdom electrified an underlying militancy in India. It also prompted urgent action within the Indian National Congress’s eventually successful non-violent campaign for India’s independence. He died on 23rd March 1931 at the age of 23.