Monday, 23 March 2015

The Last Letter

Sardar Bhagat Singh, born in a family of revolutionaries and political activists, had seen a lot around him since his birth. Even, while he was in the womb of his mother, all the male members of his family ,excluding his grandfather, Sardar Arjun Singh were forced to stay away from the house. His father, Sardar Kishan Singh, was living in exile in Nepal whereas both of his uncles, Sardar Ajit Singh and Sardar Swarn Singh, were in jail due to their involvement in revolutionary activities. It was the day when  of Bhagat Singh was born on 28 September 1907 at Chak No. 105 in Lyallpur Banga, his father and uncles got relief from the prison. It was believed in the family that it was the fate of this new born that brought such a joyous moment for them hence he was named Bhaganwala. Later he was named Bhagat Singh, according to the family traditions. 

Bhagat Singh was growing up, but there was a chaos of revolutionary activities and the turmoil of socio-political events around him. India peasants were living under the extremity of poverty. Natural disasters like earthquakes and epidemics were hitting the poor hard, forcing him to the hollow of death. The whole nation was disturbed, Bhagat Singh was absorbing everything going around him, whether it was the death of uncle Swarn Singh, the exile of his Uncle Ajit or frequent arrests of his father. Gandhi after coming to India, became the central force of the political movement of independence that was led by Congress, the largest political party of that time. On the other hand, revolutionaries were active in Bengal, Maharashtra and some parts of Bihar and UP for the cause of freedom of enslaved nation. Gandhi put forward the Non - Cooperation Movement in 1920 and called all the revolutionaries to cease all their activities for his experiment with Non- Violent means of gaining freedom. All the revolutionaries accepted Gandhi's call and put all their activities on hold for one year. Bhagat Singh was blunt supporter of Gandhi in his early days. What disturbed him a lot was the withdrawal of Non - Cooperation Movement by Gandhi after the Chauri- Chaura incident. It was enough for him to assess the experiment that turned out to be an epic failure. He then chose the way which his family was trading. Bhagat Singh opened all the doors for becoming an active revolutionary. It was the year 1923 when he reached Kanpur, the centre of revolutionary trends in UP. There he came into contact with the comrades of Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) like BK Sinha, Shiv Verma, BK Dutt and Ajoy Ghosh. In order to carry out his financial requirements, he worked in Pratap, a Hindi paper of Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, a journalist and Congress leader. It was the days of Kanpur when Bhagat was moulded into a mature revolutionary.

The period between 1923- 27 is valued as the plot for the upcoming events in Bhagat's life was prepared during these years. Emergence of Naujawan Bharat Sabha, rebirth of active revolution in Punjab, reformation of HRA into Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) and other events. Bhagat Singh due to his "Ubiquitous" nature and involvement in all the incidents was in the eyes of the Government. To put his activism on hold, Lahore policed arrested him in a false case and charged with involvement in Dussehra Bomb Case in July 1927. He was later released on Bail due the influence of his father that he possessed and an extremely high amount Rs. 60,000. It was nothing to stop him from the way on which he was moving ahead. He had decided not the leave the struggle until the goal is reached and it was the freedom of the motherland from the clutches of British exploiters.

In the year 1928 Simon Commission came to India. It was unequivocally opposed by all the political and revolutionary parties of India. Lala Lajpat Rai was to lead a protest march in Lahore during the visit of the Simon Commission in Lahore. All the organisations acted hands in glove in this cause. The protesters lead by Lala ji, were shouting anti Simon slogans. Scott, SSP of Lahore Police, ordered a lathi charge on the crowd. Lali ji was brutally beaten by the police. He got severe injuries in his head and chest that lead him to death. The pride of the nation was shattered. An ordinary constable of police could have the courage to hit a man of Lala Ji's repute. Bhagat Singh and his comrades decided to avenge the death of Lala ji. Mozang House in Lahore was the party office in those days. A plan was proposed to kill Scott. It was on this day that of 17 December 1928 chosen for the execution of the plan; everything was fine for execution. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Azad ji and Jaigopal were involved in direct action. Bhagat and Rajguru were to shoot the cop while Azad was there to give them cover in order to their successful escape after the action. Jaigopal was to identify Scott. Jaigopal committed a last minute blunder, it was unknown till the day that he had never seen Scott before. Saunders was mistaken for Scott. It was too late to compensate for the mistake. Rajguru opened fire and put him to death. Saunders was killed and the death of Lala ji was avenged.

April 8, 1929, Government was all set to get the Trade Disputes Bill passed in the Central Assembly. Suddenly members of the House heard deafening sound and the hall was filled with dense smoke. Members were running to and fro to escape, some hiding under the benches whereas only a few remain intact in their respectable places and those were put. Motilal Nehru, Madan Mohan Malwiye and Mohammed Ali Jinnah. The hall was echoing the frequent shouts of “Long Live Revolution”, “Down with Imperialism”, “Workers of the World Unite” and pamphlets were scattered here and there. It was then, when Bhagat Singh and BK Dutt threw bombs in the Central Assembly to register their protest against the Trade Dispute Bill and “to make the deaf hear” their voice clearly. Though another bill named Public Safety Bill got defeated at the select committee meeting of Central Assembly. The Trade Dispute Bill was an open assault of the working Class. Bhagat Singh and his comrades decided to dismantle the approval of this Black Law to guard the rights of working Class. After throwing the bombs, both Bhagat and Dutt got arrested and a case was filed against them under section 3 and 4 of the “Explosives Act 1908”.  Bhagat Singh and BK Dutt were found guilty and sentenced to Life Imprisonment by the Sessions Judge Middelton on 12th June 1929and both were transferred to Lahore Central Jail and Mianwali Jail on 15th June. It was all happened when Bhagat Singh was in Lahore Central Jail, opening of Lahore Conspiracy Case, 63 days long hunger strike ensuing death of Jatin Das and finally the verdict on 7th October 1930. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were sentenced to death by Hanging. It was the evening of 23th March 1923 when this trinity mounted the gallows, smiling, shouting “Inquilab Zindabad”.

Just before 20 days of his execution, Bhagat Singh got a chance to meet his family. March 3 1931 was the day when he saw his dear ones last time, he met everyone, his father, mother, aunts, sisters, younger brothers and he was smiling as if nothing was happening. All parted, but the memories were haunting him. He was literally crying in his cell. On that very day, he wrote a letter in the name of his younger brother Kultar.And this was Bhagat Singh’s last letter (the letter was in Urdu and Roman transcript of the letter is being written).

Aziz Kultar,

Aaj tumhari aankhon mein aansu dekhker bohot ranj hua. Aaj tumhari baat mein bohot dard tha. Tumhare ansu mujhse bardasht nahin hue.
Barkhurdar himmat se taleem hasil karte jana aur sehat ka khayal rakhna. .
Hausla rakhna. Aur kya…. (likhun?)
Sher tumhe kya likhun.. suno

Usey ye fikr ki hardam naya tarz e jafa kya hai
Hamein ye shauq hai dekhen sitam ki inteha kya hai

Dair se kyun khafa rahein aur kya gila karen
Hamra jahan hai sahi aao muqabla karein

Koi dam ka mehman hun ai ahle mahfil
Charagh e sahar hun bujha chahta hun

Mere hawa mein rahegi khayal ki khushbu
Ye musht e khak hai fani rahe rahe na rahe

Achcha Rukhsat

“Khush raho ahle watan hum to dua karte hain”
Hausle se rahna

                                                                                                                                 Tumhara Bhai
                                                                                                                                  Bhagat Singh


1). Manmath Das Gupta, Bhagat Singh and his Times, 1977.

2) Ajay Kumar Ghosh, Bhagat Singh aur Uske Sathi, 1985.

3) A G Noorani, The Trial of Bhagat Singh, 1996.

4) S Irfan Habib, To make the Deaf Hear,  2010

5) Kuldeep Nayar, Without Fear – The life and trial of Bhagat Singh, 2012.

6) Chamal Lal, Understanding Bhagat Singh, 2013.

7) Virender Sandhu, Yugdrushta Bhagat Singh, 2014 Edition.

8) Malwinder Jit Singh Waraich, Bhagat Singh: The Eternal Rebel, 2007.

9). Bhagat Singh, Why I am an Atheist, 2006.

10). Chamal Lal, The Jail Notebook of Bhagat Singh,  2007.

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