Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Lt Col Shanti Swarup Rana

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Lieutenant Colonel Shanti Swarup Rana was commissioned on 11 June 1977 in the Bihar Regiment. On 02 November 1996, Lt Col Swarup Rana while serving with 13 RR was entrusted with the task of destroying two terrorist camps in the Hephrude forest of Kupwara District in Jammu & Kashmir. He spotted four well fortified hideouts stocked heavily with arms and ammunition including tonnes of explosives. In a gallant and swift strike, he destroyed these hideouts. One more well concealed hideout came to his notice. During the action that followed, the terrorists resorted to heavy firing from their well fortified bunker. Lt Col Rana organised his troops, crawled towards the bunker and threw hand grenades inside. Two foreign mercenaries came out firing heavily. He killed both of them instantaneously.

Meanwhile, the terrorists seriously injured Lt Col Rana in heavy firing from another location. In spite of this, the gallant officer kept on boosting the morale of his soldiers. When one more terrorist advanced towards the soldiers, Lt Col Rana without caring for this own life, charged and killed him in a hand-to-hand encounter. In this action, this gallant officer sustained fatal bullet injuries and made the supreme sacrifice. Lt Col Rana displayed indomitable courage, patriotism and gallantry of the highest order. For this act of indomitable courage, Lt Col SS Rana was awarded the ASHOKA CHAKRA posthumously

Biodata

1. Rank & Name - Lt Col Shanti Swarup Rana, AC (Posthumously)

2. Unit/Regt - 13 RR Bn/BIHAR REGT

3. Name of Award - Ashok Chakra

4. Theatre of Ops - OP RAKSHAK

5. Year of Awards - 26 Jan 1997

6. City/ State of which belonged - Panchkula / Haryana
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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Lt. Navdeep Singh - foiled a major infiltration bid from LOC

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SRINAGAR: In first of its kind this year, army foiled a major infiltration bid from across along Line of Control (LoC) in Gurez sector of Bandipora district in north Kashmir on Saturday morning.

Twelve militants and an Army officer, Lieutenant Navdeep Singh, were killed and two jawans sustained injuries during the encounter, a Srinagar based defence spokesman Lt Col JS Brar said.

He said large group of heavily-armed militants was trying to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir from Gurez Valley from across Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in last night but the alert troops challenged the armed terrorists who opened fire and in the ensuing gun-battle five terrorists were killed while others fled back, Lt Col Brar added.

Lt Col Brar said, “Today morning, in the wee hours, at around 1am, our alert troops deployed on the LoC near Bagtor village in Gurez Sector of Bandipora district in north Kashmir intercepted a group of militants trying to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The group was intercepted when they were trying to cross the Kishanganga River in a Pneumatic boat. Kishanganga River at many places is the de-facto Line of Control between the two sides.”

“This is certainly a new development. The militants were also carrying an inflatable five-man dinghy. When contacted while crossing, a heavy exchange of gunfire ensued. While they tried to come ashore, six terrorists were killed and they fell into the river. Six more terrorists were killed near the shore in a fierce encounter. Five AK rifles, one pistol, two boats, 50 assorted grenades, two radio sets, two compasses and one global positioning system besides a large quantity of war like stores were recovered till reports last came in,” he added.

“In this operation, we lost a gallant officer, Lieutenant Navdeep Singh, besides injury to two of our jawans. A lively 26 year old officer, Navdeep was commissioned in March this year into the Army Ordnance Corps and was serving in 15th Battalion of the Maratha Light Infantry.
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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Chandrasekhar Azad | india independence martyrs

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Chandra Shekhar Tiwari popularly known as Azad, was born on 23 July 1906 at Alirajpur, Madhya Pradesh, India at and died while battling against the British on 27 February 1931 at the age of 24 in Alfred Bagh of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Azad is one of the most important and leading Indian revolutionaries, who reorganised the Hindustan Republican Association after the death of its founder Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil and three other party pillars (Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqulla Khan) with the support of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Bhagwati Charan Vohra under the new name of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). He was the mentor of Bhagat Singh and chief strategist of the HSRA.

Early Life

Chandra Shekhar Azad, the most powerful man rendered his life for the sake of India and its freedom, he is most often called Pandit Ji by his partymen after the death of Bismil as a token of regard, was an armed revolutionary. After the first Indian Rebellion of 1857, he was one amongst the many Indian revolutionaries to use arms in their fight for independence against the British rulers. He was born to an impoverished Brahmin family. He believed that it was his prime duty (Dharm in Hindustani) to fight for the right of others. It was also his belief that a soldier never relinquishes his weapon.
Chandra Shekhar Azad was born on July 23,1906 in Bhabra,dist. Alirajpur Madhya Pradesh,India . His father, Pandit Sita Ram Tiwari, was serving in Alirajpur State- former princessly state of Madhya Pradesh in British India and stayed there at Bhavra village where this child, whose nick name was Chandu used to play with the orphans of Bhil tribes. He learnt from them the natural archery and shooting of birds and forest animals. His mother Jagrani Devi wanted to make her son a great Sanskrit scholar, so she pressurised his father to send him to Kashi Vidyapeeth, Benaras for studying Sanskrit. In December 1921, when Mohandas K. Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation Movement, many students came out of their schools and colleges to join the movement. Chandra Shekhar was also one of them, who not only actively participated in the protest movement, but also faced the brutal conflict with the police. As a result he was arrested and received his first punishment at the teen age of fifteen and a half years. For this act of civil disobedience, when the magistrate asked his name, he immediately replied- "Azad" meaning bondless. When he was asked to tell his father's name, he told- "Swatantra" meaning self-esteemed. The magistrate became annoyed and asked in a rough tone- "Where is thy abode?" Without any hesitation he answered- "Jailkhana" meaning prison. Then the magistrate tried to teach him a lesson for his nonsense replies. He immediately ordered him for a fifteen days' imprisonment. Over the punishment he again commented- "Sir! I had correctly mentioned my abode because I knew you will certainly keep me there." The people present in the court laughed very loudly over the reply of Chandra Shekhar. The magistrate, who had totally lost his temper asked the policemen to punish him with the strong strokes of fifteen lashes. With each stroke of the whip he shouted boldly- "Bharat Mata Ki Jai !" (en.hail my motherland). From that point onwards, Chandra Shekhar assumed the title of 'Azad' and came to be known as Chandra Shekhar 'Azad'.

Revolutionary life
After suspension of the non-cooperation movement in 1922 by Gandhi, Azad became more aggressive and violent. He committed himself to achieve complete independence by any means. To fulfil his commitment he was in search of an organisation. He met a young revolutionary Pranvesh Chatterji who introduced him to Ram Prasad who had till then formed the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), a revolutionary organisation. In the very first introduction Bismil was impressed by Azad, when he put his hand over the lighing lamp and did not remove till the smell of burning the skin did not spread all over the atmosphere. Bismil extinguished the lamp by firing a bullet from his pistol and embraced Azad. This is a true incidence of Shahjahanpur. He became active member of HRA and started participating in the actions of party to collect the funds for HRA These actions were nothing but the dacoities (en.robberies) in the party's code words. The ultimate aim of HRA was full Indian independence where there be equal right and equal opportunity to every one without caste, creed, religion or social status and Azad liked it since very beginning. He also wanted to build a new India based on socialist principles. Azad and his compatriots also planned and executed several acts of violence against the British. Most of his revolutionary activities were planned executed from Shahjahanpur which was the home town of Ram Prasad. He was physically involved in the famous Kakori Train Robbery of 1925. Later on in the attempt to blow up the Viceroy's train in 1926, and at last the shooting of J.P. Saunders at Lahore in 1928 to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpat Rai.

Daredevil's Death

In the last week of Feb, 1931 Azad went to Sitapur Jail and met Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi. He had a hope in his mind that Vidyarthiji would do something in the case of Bhagat Singh and others as he had previously done in the Kakori conspiracy case. Vidyarthi suggested him to go to Allahabad and meet Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru because he would be more useful than any body else. If he is convinced he can persuade [Gandhi to talk to the Viceroy Lord Irwin in reaching an agreement with the British Government in the forthcoming Gandhi-Irwin Pact. Azad met Pandit Nehru in the early morning of 27 February 1931 at his residence Anand Bhawan in Allahabad. He tried to convince Nehru but the result was not fruitful. In stead of getting convinced by arguments Nehru asked Azad to leave his place go away from there. Azad could not tolerate it at all and moved away murmuring something in his mouth.

From Anand Bhawan he reached straightforward to the Alfred Park on his bicycle. He sat under a tree of Jamun (in. Hindi) after standing his bicycle behind the tree. He was discussing some confidential matter with Sukhdev Raj who was a man of his party. In the meantime a police jeep arrived there. Deputy Superintendent of Police Bisheshwar Singh alongwith S.S.P.(C.I.D.) John Nott-Bower got down from the jeep. Nott-Bower, by pointing his finger towards Azad, wanted to tell Bisheshwar Singh that this corpulent man is the exact person to whom he was informed just now by some reliable sources. Seeing a policeman pointing out his finger towards him, Azad immediately dragged out his Colt pistol from pocket and fired at the right wrist of S.S.P. John Nott-Bower. "What a wonderful shot!"- cried Sukhdev Raj and took the shelter of a tree at once. Looking his senior officer soaked in blood, Bisheshwar Singh abused Azad and called him with bad names. Immediately another bullet from Azad's pistol hit his mouth breaking the jaw of Bisheshwar Singh. Within a few minutes a huge number of policemen surrounded the whole ground of Alfred Park. During the initial encounter, Azad suffered a severe bullet wound in his right thigh, making it difficult for him to escape. But even than he made it possible for Sukhdev Raj to escape away by providing him a cover fire. After Sukhdev Raj escaped, Azad managed to keep the police at bay for a long time.

Finally, with only one bullet left in his pistol after being completely surrounded and outnumbered, Chandra Shekhar Azad shot himself, keeping his pledge to never be captured alive. However, British managed to fabricate the story in the police report as well as in Post Mortem record and stated that he was killed in the police encounter by a troop leaded by John Reginald Hornby Nott-Bower. This police officer was also awarded by King's Police Medal (KPM Award) in 1949 for encountering Chandra Shekhar Azad. According to the reliable sources a C.I.D. Inspector Ram Vadan Singh had given this information to Chowdhury Vishal Singh, the Officer-In-Charge of Colonelganj Police Station Allahabad that his S.S.P. alongwith one Dy.S.P. have been seriously injured from a severe attack by some Indian revolutionary. The police officers who came after the death of Azad did not approach his dead body for about half an hours. When a buckshot gun was fired into his tibia bone and no movement was noticed in the body only then the police could touch his dead body.[1] The secret file related to Azad is preserved in C.I.D. Headquarters, 1, Gokhale Marg, Lucknow. The Colt pistol of Chandra Shekhar Azad shown hereinabove on left hand side is displayed at the Azad Museum Allahabad alongwith a rare photo of his dead body, sketch of which is also given here on left hand side.

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Sukhdev Thapar | india independence martyrs

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Sukhdev Thapar was born in Ludhiana, Punjab. He was an Indian freedom fighter who lived from 15 May 1907 to March 23, 1931) who 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 seceretly burnt on the banks of River Satluj at Hussainiwala about 50 miles away from Lahore. The bodies were cut into pieces to make the burial quick.
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.
His letter to Mahatma Gandhi written just prior to his hanging, protesting against the latter's disapproval of revolutionary tactics, throws light on the disparities between the two major schools of thought among Indian freedom fighers.


Nevertheless, this relatively baseless contention does not detract from the tremendous courage, patriotism and self-sacrifice that Sukhdev Thapar embodifies, as is evident in the naming of College of Business Studies,Delhi University (Ranked 2nd in Asia for Undergraduate Management Studies) & a school after him, in his native Ludhiana (city in Punjab)


Legacy He was the principal accused in the Lahore Conspiracy Case of 1930, whose title reads "Crown versus Sukhdev and others".
Born to Ralli Devi and Ram Lal Thapar at Mohalla Arya Samaj, Lyallpur on May 15, 1907, Sukhdev rose to fame along with comrades Bhagat Singh and Rajguru. Together, the trio shook the foundations of the British Empire.
Historical records show that Sukhdev was particularly content with the death sentence awarded to him. In a letter to Mahatma Gandhi, written some days prior to the hanging on March 23, 1931, he says, "The three prisoners of the Lahore conspiracy case who have been awarded capital punishment and who have incidentally gained greatest popularity in the country are not everything in the revolutionary party. In fact, the country will not gain as much by the change of their sentences as it would by their being hanged."


Arrested when the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army’s (HSRA) bomb factory was accidentally discovered in Lahore, Sukhdev was very happy with the revelation of their secret activities. He rejoiced at the stir it would create. When arrested, he had said, "It was a good thing that everything came to light. I consider my arrest a good luck for this reason." 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. Comrade Shiv Verma, who was awarded life imprisonment in the Lahore Conspiracy Case, writes of Sukhdev’s character in his memoirs, Sansmrityiaan, preserved with the National Archives, Delhi: "In reality, Bhagat was the political mentor of the Punjab party; Sukhdev was the organiser – one who built its edifice brick by brick..."
"Not much has been written about him. Despite the availability of original documents pertaining to that age, no one has seriously undertaken their writing. Truth has been a casualty and many details about the lives of revolutionaries like Sukhdev continue to be unknown. Sukhdev was, in fact, the prime accused in the Lahore Conspiracy Case. Being the Punjab chief of HSRA, he was the man behind Saunders’ murder and assembly bomb drop plot."


The first information report (FIR) of the Lahore Conspiracy Case, filed by Hamilton Harding, senior superintendent of police, in the court of R.S. Pandit, special magistrate in April 1929, mentions Sukhdev as accused number 1. It describes him as Swami alias villager, son of Ram Lal, caste Thapar Khatri. In a list of 25 accused, Bhagat is on the 12th position, while Rajguru is on the 20th position. It’s Sukhdev who leads the pack.
Another hardly known truth about the martyr is revealed through the judgment of the Lahore Conspiracy Case, 1930. Its title reads "In the court of The Lahore Conspiracy Case Tribunal, Lahore, constituted under Ordinance no III of 1930: The Crown – Complainant versus Sukhdev and others". The fact that Sukhdev, despite his indirect involvement in the conspiracy, was tried as principal accused, confirms his importance in HSRA. He was the mover of all major decisions.


The Lahore Conspiracy Case judgment places him in a new league. After gathering dust in the National Archives for seven decades, the full judgment was published in 2005 by Waraich and Gurdev Sidhu. Part of the book, The Hanging of Bhagat Singh, the judgment beautifully sums up Sukhdev’s role in the conspiracy. It states: "Sukhdev may be said to be the brains to the conspiracy while Bhagat Singh was its right arm. Sukhdev was an organizer and zealous in recruiting members and finding work suitable to the capacity of each. He was backward in taking part himself in acts of violence but he must be nonetheless held responsible for those acts to the execution of which his brains and organizing power made important contribution."


Sukhdev was indeed singular in his focus of promoting the HSRA, of whose central committee he was a member. He was so driven by the party’s tenets that he didn’t hesitate to bet his best friend to achieve the party’s goals.
A little known fact about the plan to drop bombs in the Central Legislative Assembly in April 1929 is that HSRA’s central committee had first refused to send Bhagat for the job. Sukhdev was absent from the meeting where the decision was taken. The party feared sending Bhagat, as the Punjab police was after him for his involvement in Saunders murder. His arrest would have meant death.


But Sukhdev would not but send the best man for the job, says Shiv Verma in his memoirs: "Sukhdev came after three days and opposed the decision tooth and nail. He was sure no one could convey HSRA’s goal as well as Bhagat. He went to Bhagat and called him a coward, one who was afraid to die. The more Bhagat refuted Sukhdev, the harsher Sukhdev became. Finally, Bhagat told Sukhdev that he was insulting him. Sukhdev retorted saying he was only doing his duty towards his friend. Hearing this, Bhagat told Sukhdev not to talk to him, and went away."


Sukhdev had pushed his friend into jaws of death, writes Verma, adding: "The committee had to change its decision and Bhagat was chosen to drop the bombs. Sukhdev left for Lahore the same evening without saying a word. According to Durga Bhabhi, when he reached Lahore the next day, his eyes were swollen. He had wept bitterly all night over his decision. Such was Sukhdev – softer than a flower and harder than a stone. People only saw his harshness but he never complained. He always hid his feelings."


Much misunderstood, especially having broken the hunger strike twice without consulting his companions (as per Verma’s records), Sukhdev was rated over Bhagat in terms of his organisational and fellowship skills. Of him, his friends have said: "While Sukhdev was indifferent to his looks, he felt happy to dress his comrades. In this he was the reverse of Bhagat."


"He was equally stubborn and whimsical," states Waraich, pointing to the pen portrait of Sukhdev, written by an HSRA comrade. It states: Sukhdev once poured nitric acid over his left arm to remove "Om" tattooed thereon. This, he did to test his endurance. To remove the remaining marks, he hung his festering wounds over a candle flame."


Man of action
Fierce patriotism and pragmatic action came together in a magical weave in Sukhdev, a true revolutionary. In his last letter dated October 7, 1930 to comrades (the day the judgment was pronounced), Sukhdev criticised mindless acts of violence and justified HSRA’s actions as the ones that sought to fulfill people’s aspirations.
He wrote, "Take the case of Saunders murder. When Lala receive lathi blows, there was unrest in the country. This was a good opportunity to draw people’s attention towards the party. That’s how the murder was planned. To run away after the murder was not our plot. We wished to enlighten people that it was a political murder and its perpetrators were revolutionaries. Our actions were always in response to people’s grievances. We wanted to infuse revolutionary ideals in the public and the expression of such ideals looks more glorified from the mouth of one who stands on the gallows for the cause." A certified copy of this letter was sent by Punjab CID to the Home Department.


Sukhdev’s letter to Gandhi is also a fine reflection of his ideals. "The aim of revolutionaries is to establish a socialist republic in the country. There is no possibility of even a slight amendment to this goal. I think you believe the revolutionaries are irrational people who enjoy destructive actions. I want to tell you that the truth is quite the opposite. They know their responsibilities and they hold the constructive elements high in their revolutionary constitution even though in the present circumstances, they have to attend to their destructive side only," he wrote.


But for Sukhdev and his comrades, India’s dream of freedom would have remained distant. But for them, the poem of Jagdamba Prasad Mishr would have never come to life. Here are the verses Sukhdev and other revolutionaries died singing:


Watan ki aabru ka pas dekhen kaun karta hai,
Suna hai aaj matkal mein hamara imtihaan hoga;
Shaheedon ki chitaon par judenge har baras mele,
Watan par mitne waalon ka yehi baaki nishan hoga;
Kabhi yeh bhi din ayega jab apna raaj dekhenge,
Jab apni hi zameen hogi aur apna aasmaan hoga.
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Hutatma Rajguru | india independence martyrs

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Shiv Ram Hari Rajguru was born in an average middle-class Hindu Brahmin family at Khed in Poona district in 1906. He came to Varanasi at a very early age where he learnt Sanskrit and read the Hindu religious scriptures. He had a good memory and learnt by heart the �Laghu Siddhant Kaumudi�. He loved physical exercises and was associated with a number of such associations. He had great admiration for Shivaji and his guerilla tactics.
At Varanasi, he came in contact with revolutionaries. He joined the movement and became an active member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (H.S.R.A). He was known in the party under the pseudonym of Raghunath. Rajguru had fearless spirit and indomitable courage. The only object of his adoration and worship was his motherland for whose liberation he considered no sacrifice too great. He was a close associate of Chandra Shekhar Azad, Sardar Bhagat Singh and Jatin Das and his field of activity was U.P and Punjab, with Kanpur, Agra and Lahore as his headquarters. Rajguru was a good shot and was regarded as the gunman of the party. He took part in various activities of the revolutionary movement, the most important being Saunder�s murder. Lala Lajpat Rai, an eminent nationalist leader and popular amongst the revolutionaries, was fatally wounded in a police lathi- charge on 20 October 1928, while leading a procession against the Simon Commission, and died on 17 November 1928. The revolutionaries planned to avenge Lalaji�s death by killing the Police Superintendent, Scott and the Deputy Superitendent of Police, Saunders who were responsible for the lathi charge leading to the death of Lalaji. Chandra Shekhar Azad, Shiv Ram Rajguru, Bhagat Singh and Jai Gopal were deputed for the work. On 17 December 1928, while Saunders came out of his office and started his motor- cycle, he was shot dead in front of the police headquarters at Lahore by Rajguru. Azad shot dead Channan Singh, a Head Constable, who wanted to chase the three revolutionaries. All of them escaped through the D.A.V. College compound: The same night posters of the HSRA declaring �Saunders is dead. Lalaji is avenged� were put up throughout the city of Lahore. On 20 December, Rajguru left Lahore disguised as Bhagat Singh�s servant, who travelled in a first class compartment with the wife and the young son of the revolutionary Bhagawati Charan. He left Bhagat Singh at Lucknow and went underground.
Later Bhagat Singh was arrested in the Assembly Bomb Case and several other revolutionaries were arrested with the help of approvers (Jai Gopal, Phanindra Nath and Hansraj Vohra). Rajguru was arrested at Poon on 30 September 1929 and a revolver with fourteen cartridges was recovered from a box where he was sleeping. The Government started a case against sixteen persons (including Rajguru), known as the Lahore Conspiracy Case. Judgement was delivered on 7 October 1930, Sardar Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were sentenced to death and the other accused were awarded various terms of imprisonment. The whole nation was awakened and the names of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev became as popular as that of Mahatma Gandhi. Meetings, processions and representations were made for commutation of their death sentence. Mahatma Gandhi and the leaders of the Indian National Congress attempted to save their lives, but they failed. An appeal to the Privy Council was alos rejected. Rajguru along with his two comrades was hanged in the Lahore jail in the evening of 23 March 1931 and their bodies were burnt under police supervision. At the time of his martyrdom, Rajguru was hardly twenty- three years of age.
The execution of the young revolutionaries was regarded as a national disaster and national mourning was observed throughout the country. The A.I.C.C session at Karachi (1931) met under gloom and passed a resolution �placing on record its admiration of the bravery and sacrifice of the late Sardar Bhagat Singh and his comrades Sukhdev and Rajguru and mourning with the bereaved families the loss of these lives. The Congress is of opinion that the triple execution is an act of wanton vengeance and is a deliberate flounting of the unanmious demand of the nation for commutation.
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Monday, 1 August 2011

Bhagat Singh | india independence martyrs

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Bhagat Singh ;(28 September 1907 – 23 March 1931) was an Indian freedom fighter, considered to be one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement. He is often referred to as Shaheed Bhagat Singh (the word shaheed meaning "martyr").Born to a Jat Sikh family which had earlier been involved in revolutionary activities against the British Raj, Singh, as a teenager, became an atheist and had studied European revolutionary movements. He also became attracted to anarchism and marxist ideologies. He became involved in numerous revolutionary organizations. He quickly rose through the ranks of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) and became one of its leaders, converting it to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). Singh gained support when he underwent a 41-day fast in jail, demanding equal rights for Indian and
British political prisoners. He was hanged for shooting a police officer in response to a police lathi charge leading to the demise of veteran freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai. His legacy prompted youths in India to begin fighting for Indian independence and contributed to the rise of socialism in India.

Early life

Bhagat Singh was born into a Sandhu Jatt family to Sardar Kishan Singh Sandhu and Vidyavati in a village in the Lyallpur district of Punjab. His ancestral village is the Khatkar Kalan village near Banga in Nawanshahr District of Punjab.The District has recently been renamed as Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. Singh's given name of Bhagat means "devotee", and he was nicknamed "Bhaganwala" by his grandmother, meaning "The lucky one". He came from a patriotic Jatt Sikh family, some of whom had participated in movements supporting the independence of India and others who had served in Maharaja Ranjit Singh's army. His grandfather, Arjun Singh, was a follower of Swami Dayananda Saraswati's Hindu reformist movement, Arya Samaj, which would carry a heavy influence on Singh. His uncles, Ajit Singh and Swaran Singh, as well as his father were members of the Ghadar Party, led by Kartar Singh Sarabha Grewal and Har Dayal. Ajit Singh was forced to flee to Persia because of pending cases against him while Swaran Singh died in 1910 at his home after releasing from Borstle Jail, Lahore. Unlike many Sikhs his age, Singh did not attend Khalsa High School in Lahore, because his grandfather did not approve of the school officials' loyalism to the British authorities. Instead, his father enrolled him in Dayanand Anglo Vedic High School, an Arya Samajist school. At age 13, Singh began to follow Mahatma Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement. At this point he had openly defied the British and had followed Gandhi's wishes by burning his government-school books and any British-imported clothing. Following Gandhi's withdrawal of the movement after the violent murders of policemen by villagers from Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh, Singh, disgruntled with Gandhi's nonviolence action, joined the Young Revolutionary Movement and began advocating a violent movement against the British. In 1923, Bhagat famously won an essay competition set by the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan.This grabbed the attention of members of the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan including its General Secretary Professor Bhim Sen Vidyalankar. At this age, he quoted famous Punjabi literature and discussed the Problems of the Punjab. He read a lot of poetry and literature which was written by Punjabi writers and his favourite poet was Allama Iqbal from Sialkot. In his teenage years, Bhagat Singh started studying at the National College in Lahore, but ran away from home to escape early marriage, and became a member of the organisation Naujawan Bharat Sabha ("Youth Society of India"). In the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Singh and his fellow revolutionaries grew popular amongst the youth. He also joined the Hindustan Republican Association through introduction by history teacher, Professor Vidyalankar, which had prominent leaders like Ram Prasad Bismil, Chandrashekhar Azad and Ashfaqulla Khan.It is believed that he went to Kanpur to attempt free Kakori train robbery prisoners from the jail, but returned to Lahore for unknown reasons. On the day of Dasara in October 1926,a bomb was blasted in Lahore, and Bhagat Singh was arrested for his alleged involvement in this Dasara Bomb Case in 29 May 1927, and was released on a bail of Rs.60,000 after about five weeks of his arrest. He wrote for and edited Urdu and Punjabi newspapers published from Amritsar. In September 1928, a meeting of various revolutionaries from across India was called at Delhi under the banner of the Kirti Kissan Party. Bhagat Singh was the secretary of the meet. His later revolutionary activities were carried out as a leader of this association.

Lala Lajpat Rai's death and the Saunders murder


In the face of actions by the revolutionaries, the British government enacted the Defence of India Act to give more power to the police. The purpose of the Act was to combat revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh. However, the Act was then passed under the ordinance that claimed that it was in the best interest of the public. In response to this act, the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association planned to explode a bomb in the Central Legislative Assembly where the ordinance was going to be passed. This idea was originated by Bhagat Singh, who was influenced by a similar bombing by a martyr anarchist Auguste Vaillant in the French Assembly.It was decided that Bhagat Singh should go to Russia, while Batukeshwar Dutt should carry on the bombing with Sukhdev. Sukhdev then forced Bhagat Singh to call for another meeting and here it was decided, against the initial agreement, that Batukeshwar Dutt and Bhagat Singh would carry on the bombing. Bhagat Singh also disapproved that the two should be escorted after the bombing by the rest of the party.On 8 April 1929, Singh and Dutt threw a bomb onto the corridors of the assembly and shouted "Inquilab Zindabad!" ("Long Live the Revolution!"). This was followed by a shower of leaflets stating that it takes a loud voice to make the deaf hear. The bomb neither killed nor injured anyone; Singh and Dutt claimed that this was deliberate on their part, a claim substantiated both by British forensics investigators who found that the bomb was not powerful enough to cause injury, and by the fact that the bomb was thrown away from people. Singh and Dutt gave themselves up for arrest after the bomb. He and Dutt were sentenced to 'Transportation for Life' for the bombing on 12 June 1929.
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