“Terrorism is a confession that the Revolutionary mentality has not penetrated down into the masses. It is thus a confession of our failure. In the initial stages it had its use. It shook the torpor out of body politic, enkindled the imagination of young intelligentia, fired their spirit of self-sacrifice and demonstrated before the world and before our enemies the truth and the strength of the movement. But by itself it is not enough. Its history is a history of failure in every land-------------. It bears the germ of defeat within itself. The imperialists know that to rule 300 millions he must sacrifice 30 of his men annually. The pleasure of ruling may be bombed out or pistolled down, but the practical gain from exploitation will make him stick to his post”. This was written by Bhagat Singh in his address “To young political workers”, dated 2nd February, 1931. He, the branded “Terrorist” was then an young man of just 23 and half years of age. Next month, on 23rd March, 1931, he was hanged to death. (Sukhdev and Rajguru were also killed along with him).
1. But the judicial murder was not the final thing that was meted out to Bhagat Singh and two others by the “Civilized” rulers. Three bodies were cut into pieces, put in gunny sacks and secretly taken out through the back-door of the jail to the banks of river Sutlej (Called as Shatadru in Bengali). Then kerosene oil was poured on those dismembered parts of the bodies and burnt away so hurriedly that few parts were yet to be burnt properly.
2. Could their lives be saved? Might be, was the answer. Gandhiji was going to sign the well-known Gandhi-Arwin pact when Bhagat Singh was two others were waiting to be hanged. From various quarters pressure was mounting on Gandhiji, to put the question of commuting the sentence of Bhagat Singh and others as a precondition of signing the pact. The founding president of Najawan Bharat Sava & other important persons met personnaly Gandhiji with this request. Apparently, Gandhi did not disheartened them. The pact was signed on 4th March, 1931. Within three weeks, on 23rd March, 1931, Bhagat Singh-Sukhdev-Rajguru were hanged. Of course there was an agreement on the release of political prisoners in that pact itself but, only for the prisoners of Non-violence.
3. One may say that it was naivety on their part who both from within and outside of the Congress, hoped that Gandhiji would do something to save Bhagat Singh and others. The attitude and policy of the leaders, the decisive ones for the congress, was very clear at least before two years by then. Some intersting facts from our history can be reviewed :
4. After their conviction of transportation for life for throwing bombs inside the central Assembly, Bhagat Singh and his ‘Brother’ Butakeshwar Dutta were transferred to two different jails of Punjab. Because other cases were pending, Saunders murder case being the most important one. Inside the Jails they were active in various forms of struggles for the rights and dignity of the political prisoners. The most famous of these struggles was that long hunger-strike and no-one can forget the self sacrifice of Jatin Das. Both Bhagat Singh and Batukeshawar’s health condition was awfully bad. Around the time, in last week of July, 1929 the All India Congress Committee meeting with Pandit Motilal Nehru as president, was held in Allahabad. At least two resolutions were moved, one by Ghatwal of Maharasthra Pradesh Congress and the other by Hariharnath Shastri (U.P.), praising the bravery and patriotism of Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutta and also for their struggles in Jail and ‘Sympathies for the hardship they were forced to undergo’. Everything was rejected by Pandit Motilal Nehru, since ‘Congress could not appreciate or recognize any act which was done in violent manner’ :
A voice was heard from the participants – can the president rule the resolution out of order?
Pt. Motilal – then who can give a ruling? (Laughter)
Pirumal Rao (Andhra) – The AICC once passed a resolution sympathizing with the bravery and courage of Gopinath Saha.
Pt. Motilal – I was unfortunately not in the chair then (Laughter).
It will not be out of context to note here the Gopinath Saha episode, vis-à-vis Congress and Gandhiji. Gopinath Saha tried to kill Charles Tegart, the most torturous I.G. of police of Bengal. Saha was hanged for that. Bengal Provincial Congress, in its Sirajgunj (Now in Bangladesh) conference, presided over by Chittaranjan Das, passed a resolution praising Gopinath Saha. Gandhiji was annoyed and took steps to annual the Sirajgunj resolution in the very next meeting of the AICC.
To come back to Bhagat Singh-Sukdev-Rajguru episode. The facts regarding the way their dead bodies were dismembered and cremated become known very soon to the public at large. Congress appointed a “fact finding committee” to prepare and publish a report. 2007 was the birth centenary year of Bhagat Singh. Another five years have passed since then. That report has not seen daylight yet.
Bhagat Singh did not just rejected terrorism disdainfully, rather he critically analyzed and repudiated terrorism. He made a very sharp comment – “The devil of terrorism needs, however, no compliments” But, he never failed to point out that terror as tactics of restrictive use and terrorism as principle or strategy are completely different things. He never adhered to the theory and practice of so-called Non-Violence. And anyone would be astonished to realize what a brilliant and mature brain the young man had possessed who could write like this - “In a sense Gandhism with its counter-revolutionary creed of quietism makes a nearer approach to the revolutionary ideas. For it counts on mass action, though not for the masses alone. They have paved the way for the proletarian revolution by trying to harness them, however crudely and selfishly to its political programme. The Revolutionary must give to the angle of nonviolence his due.” And, just before this paragraph he summarized - “Terrorism thus hope to wring out what Gandhism bids fair to attain – a compromise and an installment of reforms – a replacement of white rule at Delhi by a brown rule.” He didn’t just stopped here. He proceeded in a positive manner to state his understanding about the Revolution, its aims and means to achieve the same. He drafted a programme for the revolutionary party that he envisaged. His letter or address ‘To Young Political Workers’ and the draft programme reached to the hands of none other than Subhash Chandra Bose also.
Bhagat Singh was well ahead of his time. His thirst and hunger for knowledge and his enormous reading habit can spell bound anyone. Still, he never lost his modest, polite, self –critical approach.
This small write-up is not intended to outline his biography. This is a humble attempt to instill interest to know about Shaheed Bhagat Singh in details and go through his writings thoroughly.
You may please connect to the site hosted by Prof. Jagmohan Singh, nephew (i.e. sister Amrita Kaur’s son ) of Shaheed Bhagat Sing.
Written on February 2,1931, this document is a sort of behest to young political workers of India. Even while waiting for death penalty he was thinking with all clarity about the future of India. He wanted to equip his compatriots with a clear vision and emphasized the principles of achieving the goal of complete Independence. His assessment of the national movement at that time is so correct. This document consist of two parts on in the form of a letter and followed by notes under the titles our opportunity, Gandhism, Terrorism, Revolution, Programme and Revolutionary Party.
For some time it has been a puzzle that how it landed in Bengal. Now we have a first hand evidence as recorded by Comrade Ram Chandera the President of Naujawan Bharat Sabha in his memoires “ Naujawan Bharat Sabha and Hindustan Socialist Republican Association / Army published by author in 1986 page 173.” Comrade Ram Chandra records that “ Bhagt Singh had written a letter dealing with political situation as it had developed upto that time. This was brought by late Jaswant Singh a silent and noble revolutionary comrade to me…. ….. I handed over this letter to Subash in order to get his total commitment to Naujawan Bharat Sabha. Subash promised to return the letter to me after the Naujawan Session at Karachi (25th March, 1931 along with Session of National Indian Congress :ed). To keep his word he searched for me. But as I had been detained at Karachi he could not return the letter to me. And then it was lost.” So this explains how it reached Calcutta and must have been read by all type of political workers, and was subsequently found in Calcutta.
For complete text click on the following link: http://www.shahidbhagatsingh.org/index.asp?link=political_workers