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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The 23-Year Old Visionary :Bhagat Singh

Posted by: danish Ahmed 8:48 PM

Despite a recent surge in popularity triggered partly  by Bollywood movies,Shaheed Bhagat Singh continues to be ignored, misunderstood, misrepresented by the vast majority. The very first thing that comes to our mind when we hear the name is that of a young revolutionary who fearlessly and happily faced the gallows for the sake of the nation. But then, he was accompanied by his friends,fellow-revolutionaries, Sukhdev and Rajguru,who were executed along with him for the same offence. In fact, the list of his co-martyrs would include Chandrasekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan and many more, why does Bhagat Singh's name stand out from the rest ?



Of course,one of the reasons for both is that Bhagat Singh was seen as an adversary of Mahatma Gandhi in terms of public support. Although Gandhi respected the patriotic spirits of  the revolutionaries,he openly criticised their violent ways. Bhagat Singh's differences with Gandhi was not only on the question of whether violence should be used  in national struggle for independence but also on much larger issues such as inclusion of peasants and labourers. According to Bhagat Singh, Gandhian struggle focused on seeking concessions from the British rulers instead of seeking independence and transforming the society as a whole. He disliked the idea of replacing white-skinned rulers with brown-skinned rulers without changing the discriminatory system.

Bhagat Singh was not just a revolutionary, he was a philosopher,writer and a brilliant strategist, he understood the power of idea and the importance of taking information to the people long before Julian Assange was born.Although he believed in armed struggle against the British, his acts of violence were seldom retributive only,they also served the purpose of amplifying his views. Even at the age of 23 his political philosophy was mature enough to counter that of Gandhi's and in some instances much ahead of his time. However, lack of established organization such as that of Congress prevented his views to reach the masses but ironically they did influence even Congress members. Here was a man who did not just issue statements but lived up to them even if it required immense sacrifice.

Bhagat Singh's words, "by crushing individuals they cannot kill ideas", which has seen much popularity recently, reflects the motivation behind much of his actions. The "assembly bombing" case in which Bhagat Singh and his comrade surrendered themselves was one such action where he sealed his own fate  so that the idea may live and propagate. The public support for Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru was the catalyst that weakened the foundation of the British India. Some of his ideas were adopted by the Congress though it is still not acknowledged, it was only after Bhagat Singh's demand for complete independence that the Congress passed a resolution on it.  Even Mahatma Gandhi's view of "ordered anarchy" being the ideal state reflects the profound influence Bhagat Singh's views and ideas may have had on the Congress. However, one of the two objectives of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, "social justice", remains unfulfilled.  

We believe that freedom is an undeniable birth-right of all people, that every man has the inalienable right of enjoying the fruits of his labour, and that every nation is indisputably the master of its resources. If any govt. deprives them of these primary rights, it is the right of the people - nay, it is their duty - to destroy that govt.  [source: Statement of the Undefended Accused]

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