The team of Jan Ki Baat pays tribute to our real superheroes on the occasion of Shaheed Diwas. 86 years ago, on March 23 in 1931, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Hari Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar were hanged by the British for their alleged involvement in the killing of John Saunders. The day is also celebrated as Shaheed Diwas or Martyr’s Day.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute on Shaheed Diwas of their martyrdom. Modi took to Twitter and wrote that India will never forget their courage and sacrifice.
Let’s have a look at the story of these famous three who are honoured on Martyrs Day every year:
1 .Bhagat Singh (September 27 or 28, 1907 March 23, 1931)
Bhagat Singh is already considered to be a legend. However, the legend left the world a series of inspiring actions even though he died at a relatively younger age. Some of these actions are well-known while others are not so.
-One thing which Bhagat Singh often spoke about as a child was about wanting to grow guns in the fields using which the British can be fought against.
-It was right after the Jalianwala Bagh massacre. Bhagat Singh was only 12 years old at the time but he bunked school and went to the tragic venue from where he collected a bottle of mud that was wet with Indian blood. It is said that he worshiped the bottle every day.
-Bhagat Singh, along with his associates, threw bombs in the Central assembly, Delhi. The bombs were made of low grade explosives since they were meant to startle and not to injure anyone. Later, a British investigation about the incident confirmed this.
– Inquilab Zindabad; though the phrase has lost its sheen, thanks to the modern political parties abusing it by over-using it, this was a powerful slogan that was coined by Bhagat Singh in his armed struggle against the British.
-Bhagat Singh was hanged an hour ahead of when his death sentence was supposed to have been executed. He was cremated by the prison authorities secretly at the banks of the river, Sutlej. But, upon hearing the news thousands gathered there and took out a procession with the martyrs ashes.
2. Sukhdev Thapar (May 15, 1907 March 23, 1931)
Though lesser Known, but a great Patriot: Sukhdev, though less popular and less written about than his best friend Bhagat Singh, was a fearless man of exceptional integrity, who cared about the smallest needs of his party and its members.
Sukhdev was an active member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, being one of its most senior leaders. He is known to have started study circles at National College, (Lahore) in order to delve into India’s past as well as to scrutinize the finer aspects of world revolutionary literature and the Russian Revolution. Along with Bhagat Singh, Comrade Ram Chandra and Bhagwati Charan Vohra, he started Naujawan Bharat Sabha at Lahore. The main aims of this organisation were to activate youth for freedom struggle, inculcate a rational scientific attitude, fight communalism and end the practice of untouchability. Sukhdev was deeply impressed by Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, and Chandrashekhar Azad. Sukhdev also participated in the 1929 Prison hunger strike to protest against the inhuman treatment of inmates. He was involved with Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Shivaram Rajguru in the killing of a British police officer J.P. Saunders in 1928 in order to take revenge for the death of veteran leader Lala Lajpat Rai due to excessive police beating. All three were hanged in Lahore Central Jail on March 23, 1931 in the evening at 7.33 pm. The dead bodies were secretly taken away by breaking the back walls of the jail and were secretly burnt on the banks of River Sutlej at Hussainiwala about 50 miles away from Lahore. The bodies were cut into pieces to make the burial quick.
3. Shivaram Rajguru (August 24,1908 -March 23, 1931)
He was known for his participation in the butchery of a British Raj police officer. He was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, his aim was to get India free from the British rule. He had faith that brutality against maltreatment was much effective against British rule rather than the nonviolent civil disobedience favoured by Mahatma Gandhi. He became a fellow worker of Bhagat Singh and Shukdev, and participated in the assassination of a British police officer, J.P. Saunders, at Lahore in 1928. He participated in the Indian Independence Movement before joining politics. He was one of those freedom fighters who sacrificed their life for Independence.
They sacrificed their lives for the independence of India but their inspiring actions continued to stir the desire for freedom until it was achieved in 1947 and they continue to inspire us even now.