Saturday, 13 April 2013

Passionate True Indian……

One evening a boy of three went out for a walk with his father. An elderly man had joined them on their way. Walking past green fields and enjoying cool evening breeze, the two adults were lost in conversation. Not hearing the footsteps of the boy, the father looked back. The boy was far behind and on a fertile soil seemed to be planting something.

On questioning he replied with spark in his eyes,” Look, father, I shall grow guns all over the field". Both the elders were struck with wonder at the little boy's words.

This innocent boy who at such young age had faith that guns would grow in the field grew up to become Bhagat Singh.


Today in the morning while having my breakfast I tuned on my TV to one news channel (I am supposed to work on my poor GK!!!). There was news of IPL 6 , they were flashing again and again that how there would be such an  interesting match between Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors today. Being least bothered about the IPL (you hear each mouth speaking about it) I started to read the news bulletins at the bottom of screen (you see I was determined!!). There was this news which held my attention. It was about 13th April 1919. I went in flashback mode and realised with heavy heart - On that day the gruesome act of inhumanity, the Jallianwala Massacre had taken place, taking more than 400 lives, injuring thousands in Amritsar, Punjab. It’s been 94 years, but still it gives goose bumps on imagining on how 90 British army soldiers led by Brigadier Reginald Dyer, opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children. The firing had lasted for 10 to 15 minutes, until they ran out of ammunition (May the history is never repeated).

One of the blacker than the blackest day of Indian history, it reminds us of the time when Bharat was not a free country, there was injustice, social backwardness, poor state of peasants and whole country was bleeding with the rule of foreigners (we must thank God we are born in much better times) . Many revolutionists fought for freeing mother India from the evil hands and one of the prominent freedom fighters was Sardar Bhagat Singh. He belonged to a family of freedom fighters, patriotism flowed in his veins. Jallianwala bagh (park) tragedy took seething toll on young Bhagat Singh, it is said that he collected soil from the park, sanctified by the blood of the innocent and kept it as a memento for life (I was told by my grandmother). After this incident this revolutionary was born who at the age of 23 became a symbol of bravery and ideology. 

I decided to write about Veer Bhagat as a tribute to those died.

Sardar Bhagat Singh has rightfully been given the title of Shaheed-E-Azam (The king of martyrs). He was a great thinker, revolutionist, scholar, ideologist, writer, visionary, journalist, reader and a true countryman. We all know the story of how he fought for freedom of our country. Thanks to our great Indian cinema, over the years we have seen several filmmakers who have portrayed the life of Bhagat Singh in films. To be exact 7 movies have been made, famous actors of each generation have lived his life on screen (what a proud feeling!!). We can see his influence was not just limited only to the Indian independence movement, but Bollywood as well!

At his time he was first among those revolutionaries who idealised Indian society post-independence.  Until then revolutionaries had no conception of post-independence society. Their immediate goal was destruction of the British Empire and they had no inclination to work out a political alternative. Bhagat Singh, because of his interest in studying and his keen sense of history gave revolutionary movement a goal beyond the elimination of the British.

A clarity of vision and determination of purpose distinguished Bhagat Singh from other leaders of the National Movement. He emerged as the only alternative to Gandhi and the Indian National Congress, especially for the youth).Who at the time of imprisonment fought for the basic right of political prisoners, went for hunger strike for almost 45 days with his fellow mates. Person of great determination and patriotism, he became youth icon, moved the foundations of British Empire.  After his victory he got the right of reading & writing, he maintained a note book of 404 pages and kept notes & quotes from the books he read.

To describe Bhagat Singh’s sacrifices in one line I can write- he gave up studies (At the age of thirteen, Bhagat Singh left school and joined the freedom movement), marriage (his only bride was death), family (left them for serving the wounded Bharat Mata and for the future generations), religion (he called himself an Atheist) and life for the brighter future of our country (I believe in descriptive line!!).

Bhagat Singh was known for his appreciation of martyrdom. His mentor as a young boy was Kartar Singh Sarabha (another patriotic Punjabi). Singh is himself considered a martyr for acting to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, also considered a martyr. In the leaflet he threw in the Central Assembly on 9 April 1929, he stated that it is easy to kill individuals but you cannot kill the ideas. Great empires crumbled while the ideas survived. After engaging in studies on the Russian Revolution, he wanted to die so that his death would inspire the youth of India which in turn will unite them to fight the British Empire. Such was his passion.

As a youth there is so much we can learn from this eminent, rock strong personality, one of them is the “Passion for country”.

While in prison, Bhagat Singh and two others had written a letter to the Viceroy asking him to treat them as prisoners of war and hence to execute them by firing squad and not by hanging. Prannath Mehta, Bhagat Singh's friend, visited him in the jail on March 20, four days before his execution, with a draft letter for clemency, but he declined to sign it. On March 23rd, 1931 he left us with further responsibilities in our hands.

I salute to Shaheed Bhagat Singh and feel proud that am also born out of the same soil. I even marvel at great mother Vidyavati, who gave our country real son who still enlightens and teaches us to love and die for the country and so much more…..

May "Long Live the Revolution!" ("Inquilab Zindabad!") started by him.


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