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Amrit Manghera
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Golden Words Bhagat Singh During Jail
" Eh duniyan wale pagal ne, Jo ashiqua nu samjaunde ne, Jo agg na buj sake samundran nal, Ohnu fukkan nal bujhande ne...

ਇਹ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਵਾਲੇ ਪਾਗਲ ਨੇ, ਜੋ ਆਸ਼ਿਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝਾਉਂਦੇ ਨੇ,
ਜੋ ਅੱਗ ਨਾ ਬੁਝ ਸਕੇ ਸਮੁੰਦਰਾਂ ਨਾਲ, ਉੁਹਨੂੰ ਫੂਕਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਬੁਝਾਉਂਦੇ ਨੇ
27 Aug 2009

Amrit Manghera
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Chapter 9 THE ASSEMBLY BOMB OUTRAGE (Contd.)
As the Assembly Bomb Outrage is the most important event not only in the life of Sardar Bhagat Singh, but also in the history of Revolutionary India, it needs to be discussed and explained in fuller detail. What we have explained in the foregoing chapter is a matter of common history. But it is necessary to relate the things that happened behind the screen so that one may arrive at a proper historical perspective.

The Central Committee of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, while planning the murder of Mr. Scott, thought not only of the punishment they would inflict on the person who was responsible for the ignominious lathi blows on the great national leader, but they laid greater stress on the fight that they anticipated. They built up in their imagination a picture of Bhagat Singh, riddled with police bullets, captured after a gallant fight. Regarding this picture as an inevitable consequence, they had planned that Bhagat Singh would make a bold statement, enunciating the prin­ciples of the revolutionary party, reiter­ating the revolutionary faith, and with one step in the gallows, would send forth an appeal to the youths of the country. They believed that such an appeal would have immense effect in furthering the cause of the revolutionary party.

When these anticipated consequences did not come about, they began to think of something else. At this time the Labour Unions of Bombay were engaged in a strenuous struggle with the mill-owners. Suddenly the Government of India launched a campaign against the socialist workers and a number of them were arrested at different parts of the country. Soon it became known that the authorities wanted to prosecute them in what is known as the Meerut Conspiracy Case.



Hardly had the agitation in connexion with these arrests subsided when the Government brought in the Trades Dispute Bill. The labourites perceived that this bill, if passed would have disastrous effects on Trade Union movement.



The revolutionary party was eager .for such an opportunity. At the head­quarter of the H. S. R. A. at Agra there was discussion every day, and Bhagat Singh urged the party to take such action by which they could show the solidarity of the H. S. R. A. with the labour and peasant movements. Subsequently, at a meeting of the party held at Delhi, it was decided that B. K. Dutt and another person should go and attack the official benches in the Legislative Assembly with bombs.



We reproduce below portions from the statement of Hansraj Vora, an approver in the Lahore Conspiracy Case as recorded in the proceedings in the Magistrate's court on 26th of November 1929. These, will clearly explain the whole thing.

“Two or three days after the Assembly Bomb Outrage, Sukhdeva again met witness ( Hansraj, approver) near the canal. At that time Sukhdeva showed him the photographs of Bhagat Singh and B. K. Dutt, and informed him that the party, at its Delhi meeting, had decided that Bhagat Singh and Dutt were to surrender themselves to the police so that they might be able to expound there by the revolutionary creed and philosophy by means of a statement in the court. According to Sukhdeva, the object of throwing bombs in the Assembly, was that they might be able to show their 'protest' against the unjustifiable provisions of the Trades Dispute Bill and the Public Safety Bill. But they had no intention of killing anybody. The bombs were deliberately kept weak, so that even if their explosion did some harm to the Government benches, no harm might come to the Congress leaders."

As stated above, Bhagat Singh was not the person chosen to accompany B. K. Dutt in the Assembly Outrage. But a very great personal friend of Bhagat Singh urged him to do so, stating that Bhagat Singh would be the fittest person to do it. The reply that he wrote, giving his consent to the proposal, reveals a softer side of his character. To outward appearance Bhagat Singh seemed somewhat unemotional, as if devoid of feelings. But the letter that he wrote to this life­long companion breathes a rare feeling of love and emotion. Sure of a permanent parting, Bhagat Singh poured out the innermost feelings of his heart in that jewel of a letter. As, while writing the letter, he himself felt submerged in a feeling of love, he saw a vision of the task that lay before him, and thus he must have felt the conflict of his feeling of love and his sense of duty. In the letter he dilates upon the theme and quotes instances from Stepniak's Career of a Nihilist, one of his favourite books. In the letter he reiterates his conviction that love is incompatible for the life of a revolutionary. Unfortunately, this valuable letter was seized by the police at the Mozang House Bomb Factory at Lahore and is now in their possession.

{ This letter of Shahid Bhagat Singh can be read at http://www.shahidbhagatsingh.org/index.asp?link=april5 : Editor}

By Bhagat Singh's genius, the trial of the Assembly Bomb Case was fully utilized to further the cause of the party. It was Bhagat Singh and Dutt who for the first time raised shouts of "Long Live Revolution," "Long Live Proletariat" in the open court of Delhi for which both of them were kept handcuffed in the 'court as long as the trial lasted. More­over, they took up the bold stand of declaring themselves to be members of the revolutionary party, and boldly sent out their message by a statement in the court that the Indians should devote themselves to the organization of labour and peasant parties so that a real .Swaraj for the masses might be brought about.



The important statement made in the Court of Sessions was very cleverly managed. Even before they had made that historic statement, typed copies of it were broadcast to all the important newspapers, and without going through the telegraph office, where it must have been curtailed and mutilated, the full statement was simultaneously published in all the leading newspapers of India. Nay, it was sent outside India also, and important extracts were published in some newspapers in Ireland, in La;Humanite of Paris and Pravda of Russia.

The effect of this statement on the youth and the public was electrical. The very public leaders who had condemned the outrage before now began to modify their statements. These were not a few papers and public men who began to. appreciate the motive of the youths.

Soon the Nau Jawan Bharat Sabha,. founded by Bhagat Singh himself, took up the cause of publicity work for the Assembly Bomb Outrage Case. The statement made by Bhagat Singh, and Dutt was printed in hundreds of thousands, with the familiar pictures of the two youths, and distributed all over India. Short biographies with printed copies of their photos were supplied free to a few leading newspapers that gladly undertook to circulate them. In short, the Assembly action completely fulfilled the intentions of the perpetrators and the Central Committee of the Hindusthan Socialist Republican Association; it created the prestige of the two representatives of the H. S. R. A. ; the party came into prominence, and the whole affair roused the imagination of the youth.

In view of the importance of the statement we have given some important extracts from it in the Appendix. We have also given there Bhagat Singh's rejoinder to the Modern Review which criticized the cry of "Long Live Revolu­tion" as nonsensical
30 Aug 2009

Balihar Sandhu BS
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Thanks Amrit for sharing such wonderful information....!!!!!

07 Sep 2009

Balihar Sandhu BS
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Views on Bhagat Singh by Com. Ajay Ghosh .. (Part 1)
(Com. Ajoy Ghosh was one of close comrade and was co-accused in the Lahore conspiracy case)

Few cases in this country have attracted such attention as the Lahore conspiracy case of 1929-30. From the day bombs exploded in the Central Assembly till the time curtain was rung down with the execution of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev, the floodlight of public attention was focussed on the case, on the prisoners, on the countless struggles they waged for the cause of political prisoners and for the principles they cherished. Bhagat Singh and his comrades became the heroes of many legends - some of them were true, some were fond creations of the popular mind. Songs and poems about them could be heard wherever one went.
Who were these people that overnight became so popular? What was it they stood for? Why did they evoke such sympathy and admiration? These questions I shall try to answer in the following pages.
I believe it was sometime in 1923 that I met Bhagat Singh for the first time. A young boy of about my age - I was fifteen at that time - he was introduced to me by B.K. Dutt in Cawnpore. Tall and thin, rather shabbily dressed, very quiet, he seemed a typical village lad racking smartness and self-confidence. I did not think very highly of him at that time and told Dutt so when he was gone.
A few days later I saw him again. We had a long talk. Those were days when we used to dream boyish dreams of revolution. It seemed round the comer -a question of a few years at most. Bhagat Singh did not seem so confident about it. I have forgotten his words but I remember his speaking about the torpor and apathy that prevailed in the land, the difficulty in rousing the people, the heavy odds against us. My first impressions about him seemed confirmed.
Our talks drifted to past attempts at revolution and a change came over Bhagat Singh as he spoke of the martyrs of 1915-16 and especially of Sardar Kartar Singh, the central figure of the first Lahore conspiracy case. Neither of us had met Kartar Singh. He had already been hanged when we were yet kids but we knew how he, then a mere youth of 18 and a comrade of Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna, Baba Rur Singh and Prithvi Singh Azad, had become the undisputed leader of the Ghadr Party. He came to India in 1915-16 with the aim of organising armed revolt against British rule. A fearless fighter and a superb organiser, Kartar Singh was a man admired even by his enemies. I literally worshipped him and to hear one talk inspiringly of my hero was a great pleasure. I began to feel a liking for Bhagat Singh. Before he left Cawnpore we were close friends though I never ceased to make fun of what appeared to me his pessimistic outlook....

To be continue>>>>>
07 Sep 2009

Balihar Sandhu BS
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Views on Bhagat Singh by Com. Ajay Ghosh .. (Part 2)
Kakori Arrests and After
In 1925 like a bolt from the blue came the Kakori arrests most of our leaders were in prison within a few weeks. More round-ups followed: searches and arrests, harassment of suspects became the order of the day. but what really shattered my dreams was the effect of these arrests. Men who had professed sympathy with our
cause would now avoid us. Boys who had talked now began to leave the gymnasium we had started in Cawnpore for physical culture and as a recruiting centre. The whole province was in the grip of panic.
In January 1926, I went to Allahabad to join the university. We tried to rebuild the party out of the shattered remnants of the Kakori round-ups. It was an uphill task. Revolution, it seemed now, was far, very far off.
This sense of frustration, which prevailed in the ranks of the revolutionary minded youth of that period and inevitably drew them towards terrorism was the outcome of the general political situation then prevailing. Following the failure of the great mass movement of 1921-22, the Congress had split into two factions—no-changers and pro-changers-and now the Swaraj Party with Gandhiji's blessing held the field. Of political activities outside the legislatures there were none, mass meetings were rarely held and scantily attended. Stillness hung over the land, the stillness of a stagnant pool.
Prolonged discussions took place in our ranks about what to do to break this stagnant calm. Socialist literature was trickling in, the triumph of the November revolution, the consolidation of the socialist regime in Russia and more than anything else, the aid given by the Soviet Union to Asian countries like Turkey and China against imperialist powers attracted us towards the new socialist state and towards the ideas and principles it embodied.
Simultaneously another phenomenon whose significance we could only vaguely grasp then was being witnessed in our own country. At a time when the whole country seemed quiet and sunk in the morass of apathy the great strike of the Bombay workers led by the Gimi Kamgar Union, strike struggles in Calcutta and Cawanpore, were attracting universal attention.
Terrorism, armed action against the enemies of the people, we were convinced, was indispensable to rouse the nation. But, clearly, terrorism by itself could not lead to freedom. In what channels and by what means was the mass movement unleashed by terror to be directed, what sort of government would replace British rule? These questions, vaguely formulated were beginning to be asked in our ranks....

to be continue >>>>
07 Sep 2009

Balihar Sandhu BS
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Views on Bhagat Singh by Com. Ajay Ghosh .. (Part 3)
Bhagat Singh was in the meantime active in the Punjab. He and his comrades had formed the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, a militant youth organisation which was to propagate socialist ideas, preach the necessity of direct action against British rule and serve as a recruiting centre for the Terrorist Party. The Sabha became tremendously popular in the years that followed and played a leading part in the radicalisation of the youth of the Punjab.
Bhagat Singh also worked for some time on the editorial staff of the Kirti - a socialist journal edited by Sohan Singh Josh.
One day in 1928, I was surprised when a young man walked into my room and greeted me. It was Bhagat Singh but not the Bhagat Singh that I had met two years before. Tall and magnificently proportioned, with a keen, intelligent face and gleaming eyes, he looked a different man altogether. And as he talked I realised that he had grown non-merely in years.
He was now, together with Chandra Shekhar Azad - the sole remaining absconder of the Kakori conspiracy case, the leader of our party. He explained to me the changes that had been made in our program and organisational structure.
We were henceforth the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association with a socialist state in India as our avowed objective. Also the party had been reorganised with a central committee and with provincial and district committees under it. All decisions were to be taken in these committees, majority decisions were to be binding on all....
to be continue >>>>
07 Sep 2009

Balihar Sandhu BS
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Views on Bhagat Singh by Com. Ajay Ghosh .. (Part 4)
As for the most important question, however, the question in what manner the fight for freedom and socialism was to be waged, armed action by individuals and groups was to remain our immediate task. Nothing else, we held, could smash constitutionalist illusions, nothing else could free the country from the grip in which it was held. When the stagnant calm was broken by a series of hammer blows delivered by us at selected points and on suitable occasions, against the most hated officials of the government, and mass movement unleashed, we would link ourselves with that movement act as its armed detachment and give it a socialist direction.
Our very contribution towards ensuring the success of the movement would ensure that free India became socialist India. All those who met Bhagat Singh then and afterwards have testified to his remarkable intelligence and to the powerful impression he made when talking. Not that he was a brilliant speaker, but he spoke with such force, passion and earnestness that one could not help being impressed. We talked the whole night and as we went out for a stroll when the first streaks of red were appearing in the grey sky, it seemed to me that a new era was dawning for our party. We knew what we wanted and we knew how to reach our goal.
Such was our socialism in those days. We had lost faith in the existing national leadership, its constitutionalism; its slogan of boring from within disgusted us. And we looked upon ourselves as men who by their example would create the basis for the rise of a new leadership. Socialism for us was an ideal, the principle to guide us to rebuild society after the capture of power....

to be continue >>>>
07 Sep 2009

Balihar Sandhu BS
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Views on Bhagat Singh by Com. Ajay Ghosh .. (Part 5)
The First Blow
The visit of the Simon Commission in 1928 was the occasion for countrywide strikes and demonstrations. The Bombay workers came out in a gigantic one-day protest strike. "Simon go back" was the slogan that rose from the seething sea of humanity wherever the commission went. Such scenes had not been witnessed since the non-cooperation days.
A wave of indignation swept over the country when news came that at Lahore the protest demonstration had been broken up by the police and Lala Lajpat Rai, who was leading the procession, had himself been seriously injured. A few weeks afterwards he died. The country was plunged in mourning.
Even more than sorrow the common feeling was one of hatred and anger and also of frustration. Here in broad day light in full view of tens of thousands, an aged and universally respected leader had been done to death and nothing could be done to meet out justice to the cowardly perpetrators of the crime.
Our party decided to strike a blow. In December 1928 Saunders, the assistant superintendent of police, the man who had led the lathi charge, was shot dead in front of the police headquarters in Lahore. Well-timed and daringly executed, it was an action that was acclaimed by the public with joy. The first of the blows by means of which we expected to stir the country had been struck...

to be continue >>>>
07 Sep 2009

Balihar Sandhu BS
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Views on Bhagat Singh by Com. Ajay Ghosh .. (Part 6)
Bombs in the Assembly

Things seemed to be moving apace. At its Calcutta session in December 1928 the Congress resolved to unfurl the banner of independence if dominion status was not conceded within a year. Torpor that had hung over the land like a black cloud for years was slowly lifting. Youth Leagues were springing up everywhere, another gigantic strike was impending in Bombay.
We felt a big fight was ahead, an upheaval like that which had convulsed the country in 1921-22. We were feverishly busy preparing to play our part in it -collecting arms and money, training our cadres in the use of arms. Jatin Das was brought from Calcutta to teach us how to make bombs.
In April 1929, streamer headlines announced the arrest of communist and trade union leaders all over the country P.C. Joshi then a student in the Allahabad University and a Youth League Leader, was arrested his arrest being followed by a huge protest demonstration of students.
Bhagat Singh and some others among us had already met a number of communist leaders. We felt sympathetic towards them and at one time even contemplated some sort of a working alliance with them - communists to organise the masses and conduct the mass movement, we of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association to act as its armed section. But when we learned that communists considered armed action by individuals to be harmful to the movement, we dropped the idea. While we did not look upon communists as revolutionists - revolution for us meant primarily armed action - we felt one with them in many respects: in their hatred for imperialism, in their opposition to constitutionalism and insistence on direct action, in their striving for socialism.
And so the countrywide arrests of communists were felt by us to be a matter of vital concern for the revolutionary movement. It was imperialist attack against a cause, which was our own, against a movement which had our love and sympathy. We resolved to protest not merely against the arrests but against the whole imperialist policy of fostering the growth of constitutionalist illusions on the one hand and unleashing terror against the people on the other.
A few days later bombs exploded on the official benches in the Central Assembly just after the Trades Dispute Bill - a measure directed against the working class movement-had been passed. Bhagat Singh and Dutt were arrested on the spot.
In a ringing statement that revealed the powerful pen that Bhagat Singh wielded they admitted their responsibility and explained what had led them to it. They were sentenced to transportation for life.
Soon followed the accidental discovery of our bomb factory in Lahore and the arrests of Sukhdev, Kishori Lal and others. Jai Gopal confessed, then Hansraj Vohra, and the result was more round-ups, more confessions and within a few weeks most of our active workers and leaders of Bihar, United Provinces and the Punjab were in the hands of; the police. Others went underground. My arrest came just when I was preparing to go underground.
It all seemed over, our dreams and our hopes. More depressing than anything else was the shocking fact that, unable to stand police torture, no less than seven, two of them members of our central committee had turned approvers…

To be continue >>>>
07 Sep 2009

Balihar Sandhu BS
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Views on Bhagat Singh by Com. Ajay Ghosh .. (Part 7)
The Trial Begins
In July 1929 we were produced in court - 13 of us - and there we met Bhagat Singh and Dutt again. No longer was he the Bhagat Singh of the magnificent physique whose strength had been a byword in our party. A shadow of his former self, weak and emaciated, he was carried into the court on a stretcher.
For months he and Dutt had been tortured by the police and now they were on hunger strike demanding human treatment for all political prisoners. Our eyes filled with tears as we greeted them.
Though sentenced already to transportation for life Bhagat Singh and Dutt were our co-accused in the new case that now began - the Lahore conspiracy case of 1929. For three days we paid no attention to the proceedings but held prolonged discussion which Bhagat Singh, though so weak that he had to recline in an easy chair all the time, took the leading part.
The first thing, he emphasised, was the need to get rid of the idea that all was over. Ours was not to be a defence in the legal sense of the word. While every effort must be made to save those who could be saved, the case as a whole was to be conducted with a definite political purpose. Revolutionary use was to be made of the trial, of every opportunity to expose the sham justice of the British government and to demonstrate the unconquerable will of revolutionists. Not merely by our statements when the time came but even more by our actions inside the court and prisons we were to fight for the cause of all political prisoners hurl defiance at the government and show the contempt we had for its courts and its police. Thus we were to continue the work we had begun outside the work of rousing our people by our actions.
These talks had a galvanising effect on us. As a first step we resolved to join the hunger strike that Bhagat Singh and Dutt had already had already begun. Our central demand was the placing of all political prisoners in a single class, better diet for them, newspapers and reading material and writing facilities….

To be continue >>>>
07 Sep 2009

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