“It is a sad state of affair that the body of Bhagat Singh was killed by the British and his thoughts by the entire Indian Politics, influenced by Brahmanism.”
During the National Freedom Movement, the social and economic conditions of the county were deteriorating. At one end, the country was tied to the chains of foreign rule, on the other hand there were prevailing social and economic conditions creating disaster at the lowest rung of society. Without the solutions of Social and economic problems, the term of Independence did not have any ground. In true sense, the Independence and honor of the country was directly connected with these social and economic issues, because of which during Indian National Movement our freedom fighters time and again rendered their diverse thoughts on these issues. The thought of a nation under which there is equality in social, economic, and judicial in true sense. Keeping the spirit of other national leaders Bhagat Singh also rendered his thoughts on these problems which electrified the environment.
Communal riots & its Solution
After the suspension on Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922, the entire country was in grip of communal riots. These communal riots were no less than any man-made disaster. To counter these communal riots Bhagat Singh forwarded his view through the “Kirti” newspaper in June 1928. Bhagat Singh held that if there are any solutions to these problems then it would be strengthening the economic condition of the people, and it becomes imperative to develop the current economic conditions. And the people would have to run behind the government in all the ways to get these economic developments done. There is a dire need for class consciousness to avoid strife among people. Poor, Labourers and peasants would have to understand this fact in a clear term that their real enemy is the capitalist class. So, they would have to be aware of the tactics of the capitalist class. The poor of the world should get united in spite of their caste, region, religion, race, color, nationalism, and nation and should make efforts to get the power of government in their own hands. These efforts would fetch no harm to you but your chains would be broken off and you will achieve economic liberation, Henceforth, you should make your clear understanding of Class consciousness and class benefits, because class consciousness is that beautiful way that can put a full stop to these communal riots.
Politics & Religion
Various political Organizations during Indian independence movement, their politics being influenced by religion wanted to give religious colors to the secular movement. At one end the Indian independence movement started losing ground on the other hand these communal powers were strengthened and became a threat to the peace and integrity of the nation. Bhagat Singh forwarded his views on the issue. As per the understanding of Bhagat Singh Religion was the personal matter of an individual and has no relevance in politics because it prohibits togetherness. The Ghadarites of 1914 made a clear distinction between religion and politics and did not allow politics to be merged with religion. Due to which a movement like Ghadar remains attached to the core of their objectives until the last of their existence. Sikhs were not alone who were executed by Britishers but Hindu and Muslims both have their equal contribution to the Ghadar Movement keeping religious sentiments backstage. Bhagat Singh further held that If religion is separated from politics then we all can become one, it hardly matters if we remain different in our personal religion. If we wish to make Indian Independence movement a success and wants to create a new society then Religion has been kept separate from politics.
On Ethical Journalism
The tinge of religious colors was clearly reflected in the then newspapers. Some of the newspapers were propagating the Hindu mindset while others were giving oxygen to Muslim fanaticism. All these were resulting in deterioration in communal harmony in toto. Local newspapers according to their whims and fancies were publishing provocating articles, because of which many communal riots took place across the length and breadth of India. At this juncture, Bhagat Singh gave his thoughts towards ethical journalism. Bhagat Singh held that the real duty of a newspaper is to provide good education and to remove the narrowness of the minds of people, removal of communal feelings, increase mutual understanding, to develop the common nationality. These fundamental duties of Journalism should be considered as the religion of a journalist so that freedom movement can be strengthened and it would help us to lay the foundation of an ideal nation.
Maulana Mohd. Ali, the congress president of the 1923 Kakinada session of Indian National Congress took up the issue of Untouchables. In his Presidential speech, he suggested dividing the untouchable count among Hindu and Muslim Missionaries. After this, various political parties and all the contractors of various religions made continuous efforts to bring untouchables to their respective religions. This was the only way they found to tackle the problem of untouchability, which ultimately turned out to be a political strategy to increase their vote counts. However, Bhagat Singh addressing untouchables tried to let them understand their power and suggested strong measures for their upliftment. This article was published in June 1928 under the alias name of “Vidrohi”. In this article, Bhagat Singh upheld that the untouchable issue cannot find its solution until unless untouchable communities unite themselves in an organization. He further said that we understand that because of their equal numbers with regards to Muslims, their uniting under the common organization and demanding equal rights are positive signs. Bhagat Singh further said that it is the duty of council and Assemblies that so-called untouchables should optimize colleges, Schools, Wells, and roads with complete independence. Not only in the literary terms but they should accompany them to wells, get their children admission in schools, etc. Because of which we believe that they should have representation in the legislative assembly so that they can ask more rights for themselves. We say this in the true sense that the So-called untouchables, Real servants of Society, and brothers, rise and look at your own history, take cognizance of your real power, get organized. Those who wanted to be free must strike the blow. Means Unite and organize yourself and destroy the capitalist system. Change this social revolution into a revolt. Get ready for Political and economic revolution. You are the fundamental basis of country, real power, wake up, and bring the revolt.
Politics and Students
In the 3rd decade of the 20th Century, Lala Lajpat Rai urged the youth of Punjab not to interfere in politics. This created an atmosphere of negativity amongst youth. In response to this Bhagat Singh replied through his letter. He criticized Lala Lajpat Rai’s statement by saying that the youth who tomorrow have to take charge of the nation why are being criticized as dumb. As per the Bhagat Singh’s understanding when everything has to be decided by the politics then why not youth decide the politics themselves. For this, youth not only have to give a deep thought about the understanding of politics but also should have active participation in politics. Bhagat Singh quotes Mazzini and said, that “its only youth who bears the load of great works. Their voice has magical influence, they readily prepare the people to take part in the independence movement. Henceforth, in the development of any healthy nation, the participation of youth is imperative.
Love & Sacrifice
Bhagat Singh’s letter to Sukhdev reflects the understanding of Bhagat Singh on the delicate human emotional matters like love and sacrifices. While considering anybody’s character one thing to give special mention that whether love has proved helpful towards any person? The answer to this question is Yes. He was Mazzini, After the first failed revolt, and the sorrow of heart-crushing defeating and the memories of the slain soldiers… all these were unbearable for him. At times he got mad and wanted to end himself, but a letter from his girlfriend changed the entire phenomenon for him. He was not just stronger than others but was the strongest now. I can say that a boy and girl can fall in love and through the love they can rise above their emotional sentiments. A person must have a deep feeling of love so that he does not remain limited to a person but became almighty.
When the darkness of communal hatred is prevalent everywhere, when the innocents are killed in the name of “Gau Raksha” and for forcibly chanting “Jai Shri Ram”, When a Dalit is being killed for keeping mustache or riding a horse, When the newspapers rather providing correct information provide agenda of political parties, When the love is defamed as “Love-jihad”, When the Youth asking a question is being charged with Section 124A of IPC or hailed as “Anti National” The thoughts of Bhagat Singh seems like a guiding light.
Chandra, B. (2015). India’s Struggle for Independence. New Delhi: Penguin Random House India Pvt. Ltd.
Lal, C. (2019). The Bhagat Singh Reader. Harper India.
Sandhu, Y. S. (2018). Bhagat Singh Jail Diary. Prabhat Prakashan.
The Author is a student of History at Panjab University, Chandigarh. The above article was presented as a research paper by the author at the University.