This year on 23rd March the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev could not be observed in any meaningful way because of the state and self-imposed restrictions on public gatherings introduced as a precaution against the coronavirus epidemic.
March 23rd “the Saheed diwas”:
- The Day is observed to commemorate the courage and heroism of three great young leaders Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru.
- It was on March 23, 1931 that the colonial administration executed Singh and his comrades in the Lahore conspiracy case.
Lahore Conspiracy case
- The incident: John P Saunders was killed mistakenly as the real target was another police officer, James Scott, who was responsible for the lathi charge that killed Lala Lajpat Rai.
- People involved in the case: Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru and Chandrashekhar Azad.
- After the trial, all three were sentenced and executed by hanging in March 1931.
- Azad was martyred the same year in February in a gun battle with the police in a park in Allahabad.
About Bhagat singh:
- Singh was born on September 28, 1907.
- The beginning of revolutionary thoughts: The Ghadar Movement left a deep imprint on his mind. Kartar Singh Sarabha, hanged at the age of 19, became his hero.
- The massacre at Jallianwala Bagh on 13th April, 1919 drove him to Amritsar, where he kissed the earth sanctified by the martyrs' blood and brought back home a little of the soaked soil.
- In 1923, Bhagat Singh joined the National College, Lahore which was founded and managed by Lala Lajpat Rai and Bhai Parmanand.
- In 1924 in Kanpur, he became a member of the Hindustan Republican Association, started by Sachindranath Sanyal a year earlier.
- He founded the Naujawan Bharat Sabha and Hindustan Socialist Republican Association in the 1920s.
- Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) was a revolutionary organisation, also known as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army, established in 1928 at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi by Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee.
- According to Ajoy Ghosh, a co-prisoner of Singh who later became the general secretary of the Communist Party of India, Bhagat singh appeared like a meteor for a brief period in the political sky of India.
- To protest against the passing of the trade disputes bill and Public safety Bill, he threw bombs in the Central Assembly Hall (now our Loksabha) while the Assembly was in session.
- The bombs did not hurt anyone, but the noise made was loud enough to wake up an enslaved Nation from a long sleep.
- Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar (15 May 1907 – 23 March 1931) was an Indian revolutionary.
- Sukhdev was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA), and organised revolutionary cells in Punjab and other areas of North India.
- He was the chief of Punjab unit of HSRA.
- Sukhdev was the prime accused in the Lahore Conspiracy Case of 1930, whose official title was "Crown versus Sukhdev and others.
- Shivaram Rajguru (1908-1931) was a great Indian freedom fighter who played a major role in India's struggle for Independence.
- He was amongst those great Indian revolutionaries who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of country.
- His full name was Hari Shivaram Rajguru and he was born into a Deshastha Brahmin family.
- Rajguru became a colleague of Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev, and took part in the assassination of a British police officer, J. P. Saunders, at Lahore in 1928.
What was the Komagata Maru?
- The Komagata Maru was a coal-transport steamship that had been converted into a passenger ship by a Hong Kong-based businessman.
- It set off from Hong Kong in April 1914, reaching Vancouver’s harbour a month later with 376 people on board, most of them Sikhs like Singh.
- More than 350 people were denied entry to Canada and sent back across the Pacific Ocean — some of them to their deaths — because they weren’t the right colour or religion.
- This incident made the Ghadar Party proclaim an armed rebellion against Britishers which was eventually crushed.
About the Ghadar Party
- It was initially called the Pacific Coast Hindustan Association
- It was formed in 1913 in the United States under the leadership of Har Dayal, with Sohan Singh Bhakna as its president. It drew members from Indian immigrants, largely from Punjab.
Image Source: The quint