Bhagat Singh, the famous Indian freedom fighter was hanged at a very young age of 23. Today, at that age, we barely what we want to do with our lives!
Bhagat Singh, who along with Rajguru and Sukhdev are remembered in India’s history, not for their act of violence but for what they did for their country.
Jawaharlal Nehru had once said, “Bhagat Singh did not become popular because of his act of terrorism but because he seemed to vindicate, for the moment, the honour of Lala Lajpat Rai, and through him of the nation. He became a symbol; the act was forgotten, the symbol remained, and within a few months each town and village of the Punjab, and to a lesser extent in the rest of northern India, resounded with his name.”
The fact that is most astonishing is that Bhagat Singh was only 23 when he was hanged. While young blood is prone to anger, they shot a police officers named John Saunders, mistaking him for another British officer, James Scott whom they believed was responsible for the death of national hero Lala Lajpat Rai.
We should remember that at the age of 12, Singh had visited the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, only a few hours after the massacre. Singh’s family had a considerable influence on him as they were politically active. As per the book ‘Martyr Bhagat Singh :Experiments in Revolution’ written by Kuldip Nayar, “Singh became disillusioned with Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence after he called off the non-co-operation movement. Gandhi’s decision followed the violent murders of policemen by villagers who were reacting to the police killing three villagers in the 1922 Chauri Chaura incident. Singh joined the Young Revolutionary Movement and began to advocate for the violent overthrow of the British Government in India.
Today, in our 20s, we barely know what we want to do with our lives. We are still in the process of understanding what life is let alone understand the meaning of sacrificing our own life.
Here are 3 things we can learn from Singh:
1. Bravery & Courage:
While many debate today whether Singh should have taken someone’s life, we should consider the situation that prevailed in British India -a situation which we can never understand because we were never there. People took to the streets and adopted extreme methods to get rid of the oppression they face by people of another country in their own. Singh was a brave man who gave his life for his country. It is this bravery that we need to inculcate in our lives, to face our own problems without cowardice.
Bhagat Singh, selflessly worked for the liberation of India. At a very young age, he made his name in history only because of his spirit to do something for his country. Today, we lack this spirit of selflessness. While all of us may not have the quality of making huge sacrifices for the nation or even for own families, we can atleast do one small deed that impacts the life of another in a better way.
3. Raising your voice & standing up against injustice:
How many times have we been mere spectators when an obvious injustice was being committed right in front of our eyes? We have sat with crossed hands, waiting for someone else to solve the problem. From Singh, we learn that even an individual has the power to stand up against injustice of various kinds. We learn that raising our voice in important, no matter how small it may seem.
Singh had once written during a case trial, “We hold human life sacred beyond words. We are neither perpetrators of dastardly outrages … nor are we ‘lunatics’ as the Tribune of Lahore and some others would have it believed … Force when aggressively applied is ‘violence’ and is, therefore, morally unjustifiable, but when it is used in the furtherance of a legitimate cause, it has its moral justification.”