Understanding and Celebrating Shaheed Bhagat Singh

Guest blogged by resistsingh

March 23rd, 2011 marked the Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

Bhagat Singh is a legend in many circles, a man who gave his life to secure the freedom of India from Colonial Rule. Today, many celebrate his bravery and he has become somewhat of an icon. Unfortunately, like other popular revolutionaries, such as Che Guevera the content of his revolution is lost.

Like the many oppressive systems we face everyday, our identity is consistently a target a means to keep our community impotent, by robbing us of our history, our motivation and association to revolution and social justice. With that in mind, we should always be aware of the ideologies, the motivations and the history behind those we celebrate. Bhagat Singh is no different.

So today, we share a quote with you all, from the Final Petition of Bhagat Singh before his death, one that eloquently describes his resistance to Imperialist and Capitalist ideology and one that we should hold to our hearts as we celebrate his life. As injustice continues to prevail, the greatest honour to the shaheedi of our ancestors is to understand their struggle, today.

Let us declare that the state of war does exist and shall exist so long as the Indian toiling masses and the natural resources are being exploited by a handful of parasites. They may be purely British Capitalist or mixed British and Indian or even purely Indian. ” Bhagat Singh


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16 Responses to “Understanding and Celebrating Shaheed Bhagat Singh”

  1. The best way to drown out his voice is to raise the volume so high and talk ABOUT him so loud, generate so much noise that the so called 'aam aadmi' cannot listen to what Bhagat Singh actually said. We did it with many before, are so good in doing this, we can do it again!!!

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  3. Mei kise vstr kise pushaak da nindk nhin,
    Mein sgon kehina ke vstr pehen ke nngey rho
    Ih na hove ke tuhanu isht mnn baitthe sma-n
    Te tusin sari umr deewar te tngey rho

  4. Rajinder Singh says:

    Bhagat Singh is a legend only in peoples minds,created by media.One should not forget he was convicted along with others,for the murder of two police officers,for his political views and actions he was sentenced to life alongwith BKDutt.In idolising him are we sending a message to our youth that it is all right to commit murder of law enforcement perssonel.Only in sikhism such murderers are put on pedestal.

  5. Harinder says:

    Bhagat Singh was a socialist and so landed into a confrontaion with an empire (BRITISH ).

    Socialism and Capatalism are two dimensions on which societies can be built today .

    Both though appear contradictory at first glance

    but most if not all societies are a healthy mix of both philosophies (mixed economies).

    Socialism provides market on which Capitalism can grow.

    However today the capitalist system is the world’s most dominant form of economic model.

    The Weakened however need socialist model to fight battles against unbridled greed of cpaitalists.

    To this socialist catogery

    “SAHEED BHAGAT SINGH ” belonged

  6. Harinder says:

    Bhagat Singh was a socialist and so landed into a confrontaion with an empire (BRITISH ).
    Socialism and Capatalism are two dimensions on which societies can be built today .
    Both though appear contradictory at first glance
    but most if not all societies are a healthy mix of both philosophies (mixed economies).
    Socialism provides market on which Capitalism can grow.
    However today the capitalist system is the world's most dominant form of economic model.

    The Weakened however need socialist model to fight battles against unbridled greed of cpaitalists.
    To this socialist catogery
    "SAHEED BHAGAT SINGH " belonged

  7. You have a point Rajinder Ji. Like you I personally don't condone violence and I believe so did Bhagat Singh. But one has to take into consideration the context and the nation's struggle and psyche at that time when their innocent unarmed brothers and sisters were ruthlessly gunned down protesting peacefully for their legitimate right for freedom at Jallianwala and elsewhere by the same law enforcement machine meant to protect them. Atleast those law enforcement personnel were not unarmed or innocent about the ongoing ! Remember also there were more than 80/% Sikhs amongst the total freedom fighters according to some references who were convicted of similar or not so similar crimes against the same colonial law enforcement macinery of the state who were sentenced by various ways but equally harshly. Also remember they made that choice as a last resort!

  8. Harinder Singh says:

    Please keep in mind Bhagat Singh was 23 when he was hanged; remember your college days and volatility in emotions and beliefs – how much time am I able to devote to causes of freedom in any context? Monday morning quarterbacking is relatively easy. While Sikhs and Panjabis are not owning their son of the soil, Arya samajis, communists, and Indian politicians keep hijacking him. It is pathetic to witness how today's Panjabi electoral politics used Bhagat Singh anniversary last week for entertainment only by having Satinder Sartaj and Gurdas Mann in opposite camps to lure attendees. We must look into why there were 4 films in a year about Bhagat Singh (and none depicting him as a real Panjabi hero with Sikh values – he wrote that himself in an article that his values came from a tolerant religious father). I also invite fellow langarhallers to also take the langar of sabad (first reference to langar in Gurbani is to wisdom, then to food). Few recommendations: S. Gurtej Singh co-authored a book on Bhagat Singh few years back which located him in history and a brief analysis by Harinder Singh Mehboob in an article. And of course, Bhai Randhir Singh's "Letters from the Jail" is critical in establishing Bhagat Singh's journey back home to Sikhi.

  9. As I read about his life, Bhagat Singh was no ordinary college boy. He is a legend not in the peoples minds of a certain geographic area only, but the whole Indian nation. Age is not a factor here, his achievements are. Politicians using his anniversary for entertainment is entirely a different matter. The legend has no control over this!

  10. Anu Kaloti says:

    Mr Pashaura Singh has summed up Bhagat Singh's philosophy very well. Most people seem to forget Bhagat Singh's and his saathi's philosophy. The key message that we should be absorbing is:"appropriation of man by man must end forever". It breaks my heart to see people squabbling over Bhagat Singh's religion, appearance, age etc. etc. The entire team of Naujawan Bharat Sabha, subsequently Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, actually fought for humanity.
    I would like to request Mr Harinder Singh to read more of Bhagat Singh's own works and also the works of other revolutionaries world wide. As for the age concern, Che Guevera is a case in point. How about the child guru in Sikh religion? Age does not neccessarily equate to wisdom.
    Please also remember Rajguru and Sukhdev, there shahaadat was no less than Bhagat Singh's.
    We are all human beings before anything else.
    Anu Kaloti
    Shaheed Bhagat Singh Charitable Trust New Zealand

  11. Anu Kaloti said it all. It is these revolutionaries philosophy and thorough understanding of the human condition in our society and then standing up and be counted trying to level the playing field against all odds for us all, which makes THEM the 'Shaheeds and Shaheed-e-azms' and not those, who still squabble over their religion, appearance or age etc!!

  12. Rajinder Singh says:

    If I understand PSDhillon and ANUKAloti right then all these so called revolutionaries of post independence India,like naxalites,kashmiris,khalistanis,maoits,and other fringe groups that are supposidily levelling the playing field of indias downtrodden should be considered shaheeds/saheed-e-azams.Then why do the indian polity need any structural institutions,why not pickup arms and start hacking at the perpetartors of so called percieved injustices.Well this is known as anarchy and Bhagat Singh and his cohorts were nothing but anarchists.BTW PSDhillon u live in fresno,ca and i live in merced,ca we can always discuss this point here's my phone#775-686-9840.

  13. Harinder says:

    So were revolutionaries of

    1) French revolution in 1848 Anarchist ?
    2) Russian revolution in 1917 Anarchist ?
    3) Boston tea party in 1773 Anarchist ?
    4) Chineserevolution in 1911 Anarchist ?

    History is littered with examples of
    Oppressors and rebellion by Oppressed (to be called “OPP PAIRS”)

    Each era shall give birth to its “OPP PAIRS”
    This phenomenon will be called some day
    “LAW OF OPP PAIRS”

  14. You did not understand PSDhillon right ! Apples have always been different from oranges. Definition of Bhagat Singh as a revolutioary case in point, is not that loose as you have suggested. If it was how you think Indian nation would have delibrated and accepted Bhagat Singh as Shaheed-E-Azm and installed his giant statue at the Parliament premises? You must have watched the race to Khatkar Kalan on March 23 also. Right?

  15. Educational environment is very important for the people of the society without the good educational environment the people cannot able to become successful. The people should work hard in their education.