Remembering Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev: India will never forget their sacrifice, says PM Modi

India will never forget their courage and sacrifice.

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Exactly 86 years ago on this say, freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar were hanged to death in the Lahore jail, a death sentence they earned for the failed Ghadar conspiracy of 1915.

Earlier this morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commemorated their death anniversary in a tweet, saying that India will never forget their courage and sacrifice.

“Remembering Bhagat Singh, Rajguru & Sukhdev on the day of their martyrdom. India will never forget their courage & sacrifice,” he wrote.

In a step to mark Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom, the Border Security Force (BSF) has decided to put on display the pistol he used to kill British officer John Saunders at a new arms museum in Indore.

Singh’s historic semi-automatic .32-bore Colt-make pistol is currently on display at the School of Weapon Central School of Weapons and Tactics museum.

 

Here are a few things every generation of Indians should know about them:

  1. As many may know from the score of movies made on him, Bhagat Singh was moved to fight for India’s independence at a tender age of 12, when he visited the Jalianwala Bagh after the mass massacre in 1919.
  2. Legend has it that he was so touched by the bloodied sight at the Jalianwala Bagh, he brought home a bottle of the blood-soaked mud as a sign of remembrance.
  3. There have also been stories that say Singh, as a child, used to talk about growing guns in the fields to fight the British Raj.
  4. Singh was an avid reader and writer, and was drawn to the subjects of socialism, socialist revolutions and communism.
  5. Born into a a Sandhu Jat family, he gave up on his faith and became an atheist later in life.
  6. He is the man behind the famous phrase, ‘Inquilab Zindabad’, which literally means ‘Long live the revolution’.
  7. In 1929, Bhagat Singh and his comrades had bombed the Central assemble in Delhi with low-grade explosives, in an attempt to startle the occupants and gain attention to their cause.
  8. He also led a hunger strike against the low-life treatment that prisoners of the revolution received in the jail. He demanded that they, the ‘political prisoners’, be given the basic amenities and access to books and newspapers while imprisoned.
  9. His comrade Rajguru’s full name was Hari Shivaram Rajguru. He was from a Deshastha Brahmin family in Maharashtra.
  10. Rajguru was only 22 at the time of his death (Bhagat Singh was 23 and Sukhdev was 24).
  11. Like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru was not a believer in Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent and civil disobedience ideology to fight the British Raj.
  12. Rajguru, along with Bhagat Singh, had fatally shot Saunders in Lahore, which later got them arrested and eventually, sentenced to death.
  13. Khed, his birthplace in Pune, has been renamed as Rajgurunagar in his memory.
  14. Sukhdev Thapar, Bhagat Singh and Rajguru’s third comrade, was from Ludhiana, Punjab.
  15. Like his associates, Sukhdev was an active member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).
  16. Prior to his execution, Sukhdev is said to have written a letter to Mahatma Gandhi, protesting his disapproval of their (revolutionaries like himself, Bhagat Singh and Rajguru) violent approach of fighting the British Raj.
  17. The 1915 Ghadar conspiracy case, which got Bhagat Singh Rajguru and Sukhdev the death sentence, went awry after they mistakenly killed officer John Saunders for James Scott, the British police superintendent who ordered the lathi charge that led to Lala Lajpat Rai’s death.
  18. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged at 7:30pm on March 23, 1931, 11 hours prior to their scheduled execution time.
  19. Their bodies were sneaked out through a hole in the back wall of the jail.
  20. They were secretly cremated in the dark of the night, and their ashes were thrown in the Sutlej river.
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