India remembers its firebrand freedom martyrs on Amar Shaheed Divas
New Delhi, March23:Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and Shivaram Rajguru – some of the most revered figures of the Indian freedom struggle – were hanged on March 23, 1931 in Punjab’s Hussainwala (now in Pakistan). Their execution spurred many youth to take up the revolutionary path, playing a vital role in energizing the fight against the British empire. On Martyrs’ Day, also knowns as Shaheed Diwas or Sarvodaya Day, Indians pay homage to the martyrs who infused fresh blood in the fight for India’s independence. Here’s what you should know about India’s beloved sons:
At the age of 23, if anyone was smiling just before he was being hanged, he was Bhagat Singh. Born on September 27, 1907 in Punjab’s Banga village near Jaranwala (now in Pakistan), Bhagat Singh grew up in a freedom fighters family. His uncle, Sardar Ajit Singh, as well as his father (Kishan Singh), were great freedom fighters. At an early age, Bhagat Singh started dreaming of growing guns in the fields so that he could fight against the colonial rule. The Ghadar Movement left a deep imprint on his mind. Kartar Sing Sarabha, hanged at the age of 19, became his hero. The massacre at Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919 drove him to go to Amritsar. He was preparing fof his B.A. examination when his parents planned to have him married. He vehemently rejected the suggestion and said that, if his marriage was to take place in Slave-India, my bride shall be only death.
Born on May 15, 1907, Sukhdev Thapar had witnessed the brutal atrocities that the Imperial British Raj had inflicted on India, which then led him to join the revolutionaries, vowing to set India free from the shackles of British dominion. As a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA), Sukhdev Thapar organised revolutionary cells in Punjab and other areas of North India. He even went on to educate the youth at the National College in Lahore, greatly inspiring them about India’s glorious past. He along with other renowned revolutionaries started the ‘Naujawan Bharat Sabha’ at Lahore that was an organisation involved in various activities, mainly gearing the youth for the freedom struggle and putting an end to communalism. He also took active part in several revolutionary activities like the ‘Prison hunger strike’ in 1929; however, he is best remembered for his courageous attack in the Lahore Conspiracy Case.
Shivaram Rajguru, born on August 24, 1908, had witnessed British’s atrocities on India and its people. This instilled within him a strong urge to join hands with the revolutionaries in a bid for India’s freedom struggle. He joined HSRA with a motive to strike fear into the heart of the British empire. Rajguru made British to take notice of the growing domestic uprising when they dealt crucial blows with attacks like in the Lahore Conspiracy Case and the bombing of the Central Assembly Hall in New Delhi.
On March 23, 1931, 7:30 am, Bhagat Singh along with his comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged in Lahore Jail. It is said that the trio proceeded quite cheerfully towards the gallows while chanting their favourite slogans like “Inquilab Zindabad” and “Down with British Imperialism”. India’s beloved sons were cremated at Hussainiwala on the banks of Sutlej River.