He was born on Sep 28, 1907, to a Sikh family in village Banga, Punjab.(now in Pakistan) He was one of the most influential revolutionaries of Indian Independence movement and he gave his life for this cause. Bhagat Singh was the 2nd son of Kishan Singh and Vidya Vati. The family was steeped in nationalism and involved in movements for independence. At the time of his birth, his father was in jail. By the time he was 13, he was well aware of his family’s revolutionary activities. His father was a supporter of Mahatma Gandhi.
After Mahatma Gandhi called for boycotting Govt-aided Institutions, he left school and enrolled in the National College at Lahore, where he studied European revolutionary movements. He became disenchanted with Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent crusade, believing that armed conflict was the only way to political freedom. In 1926, he founded the ‘Naujavan Bharat Sabha (Youth Society of India) and joined the Hindustan Republican Association. A year later, his parents planned to have him married, a move he vehemently rejected, and he left school. By this time, Bhagat Singh had become a person of interest to the police and in May 1927, he was arrested for allegedly being involved in a bombing. He was released several weeks later and began to write for various newspapers. After receiving reassurances from his parents that they wouldn’t force him to marry, he returned to Lahore. In 1928, British Govt held the Simon Commission to discuss autonomy for the Indian people. Several Indian political organizations boycotted the event because the Commission had no Indian representatives. In October, Lala Lajpat Rai led a march in protest against the Commission. Police attempted to disburse the large crowd. Rai was injured by the superintendent of police, James A. Scott. He died two weeks later. The British Govt denied any wrongdoing. To avenge Lajpat Rai’s death, Bhagat Singh decided to kill the British official, Deputy Inspector General Scott. But he accidentally shot Assistant Superintendent Saunders instead, mistaking him for Scott. Bhagat Singh and his fellow associates escaped. In April 1929, he and an associate bombed the Central Legislative Assembly in Delhi to protest implementation of the Public Safety Bill. The bombs they carried were not intended to kill but to scare. They planned to get arrested and stand trial so they could further promote their cause. The actions of the young revolutionaries were condemned by followers of Mahatma Gandhi. Bhagat Singh offered no defense during the trial. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Through further investigation, the police discovered the connection between him and the murder of Officer Saunders. While awaiting trial, he led a hunger strike in prison. Eventually, on March 23, 1931, Bhagat Singh was hanged in Lahore along with Rajguru and Sukhdev. Bhagat Singh was cremated at Hussainiwala on the banks of Sutlej River. It is said that he kissed the hangman’s noose before it was placed around his neck. During that period, his death brought mixed emotions. Mainly because of Mahatma Gandhi’s followers who felt that he was too radical and hurt the quest for freedom while his supporters considered him a martyr. “AZAADI MERI DULHAN HAI”, this immortal statement by Bhagat Singh always strikes a sense of patriotism in every Indian. He’s still a role model for the young. His sense of sacrifice, patriotism and courage are something that will be revered and looked upon by generations to come.
(As Published by @VandanaJayrajan)