These aren’t my words but from an essay ‘Why I Am An Atheist’ written by Bhagat Singh. It’s true, Bhagat SIngh was an atheist. You must be thinking what the hell am I talking about? In his essay, he clarified that after speculating all arguments, criticizing all beliefs, he became an atheist. This is one of many aspects of Bhagat Singh that we never knew about or rather never told about, be it Congress, BJP or even Left. BJP Maharashtra had announced in its manifesto for the state assembly elections that they were going to honor Veer Savarkar with Bharat Ratna. We believe there are a number of freedom fighters who deserve Bharat Ratna and Bhagat Singh comes at the top of the list. Considering the seriousness of Indians regarding history, we thought we’ll present some facts about Bhagat Singh to prove why he deserves Bharat Ratna before anybody else. Bhagat Singh was not just a freedom fighter but an astute thinker, a proficient reader and a prolific writer. Your opinions may change but facts can’t. So here are 10 lesser known facts about Bhagat Singh that no one will ever tell you.
Fact no. 1, Bhagat Singh was a Marxist. Speaking in today’s reference, was he an urban naxal then? He had read a number of books, philosophers in Jail but was exceptionally inspired by Marx. There are enough evidence to show that he was a socialist, completely against today’s capitalist mentality. Maybe that is why we have been kept away from this truth all this while.
Fact no. 2, Bhagat Singh and religion. Bhagat Singh was totally against religion. In his ‘Jail notebooks and other writings’, we can find the quote by Marx, “Man makes religion, religion doesn’t make man.” Many people have today turned religion into dirty business but what if they’ll find out that one of the most celebrated revolutionary was against religion altogether. In his article published in the newspaper ‘Kirti’, he wrote that religion is like a mountain he saw standing in their path. This feels as if he was talking about 2019 where we worship animals like God and treat humans as animals.
And those who talk of education, development are considered anti-nationals. Fact no. 3, Bhagat Singh was against violence. Bhagat Singh is often considered to be against Gandhian ideology. It is true that they both had some ideological differences but it is also a fact that Bhagat Singh had always been against violence. It may be surprising to you but violence was his last resort, not his personal choice and he was sorry for that! Today, Bhagat Singh is considered to be a symbol of masculinity, a man who fought the British with bomb and pistol. Had he been alive today, he would have been very sad with the atmosphere of violence and intolerance that we have created around us. Fact no. 4, Bhagat Singh- a Nehru supporter. You will be shocked to know that Bhagat Singh had actually admired Nehru for the part he was playing in youth politics then. He wrote that Jawahar Lal Nehru and Shubhash Chandra Bose were the most important youth leaders of the time. He also wrote that Punjab needs food for thought and this can be provided only by Pandit Nehru.
Beware of the fake WhatsApp forwards which says otherwise. Fact no. 5, did Bhagat Singh petition British? We have all heard about Savarkar and his petitions but did you know that Bhagat Singh also petitioned the British. Bhagat Singh petitioned the British asking them to shoot him given he was a war prisoner. BJP on one side talks of nationalism and patriotism, on the other side, they are demanding Bharat Ratna for someone who wrote mercy petitions and agreed to work for British. I mean, let the undeserving be honored but at least award the one who really deserve it. Fact no. 6, Bhagat Singh’s letter to comrades. It is true that there have been many attempts to save Bhagat Singh as well. Bhagat Singh’s father himself wrote to the British to save him but it was Bhagat Singh who didn’t want to receive any mercy. When Bhagat Singh came to know about this, he wrote to his father and expressed his disappointment. In his last letter to the comrades, he wrote that the revolutionary party had lifted him very high and he couldn’t go any higher in the condition of being alive. He also said that his death would make Hindustani mothers to aspire to have children like Bhagat Singh. Fact no. 7, Bhagat Singh on Journalism. You must have understood by now that Bhagat Singh was not just a freedom fighter, not just a great thinker but also a visionary. Bhagat Singh had then seen the poor state of journalism which many of us aren’t able to notice even today. Following are some lines he wrote about journalism then which are as relevant today as they had been then. Bhagat Singh had seen the poor state of today’s communal media then but we have failed to realize it even today.
So basically, Bhagat Singh knew that even if we’ll attain freedom and establish democracy, the fourth pillar of this establishment will turn out to be hollow in the end. Fact no. 8, Gandhi tried to save Bhagat Singh. In an era of fake news, the oldest one comes from the Gandhi-Bhagat Singh controversy. People still believe that because Gandhi didn’t try to save Bhagat Singh while he could before signing the Irwin pact. Nobody actually knows what the pact was about and why Gandhi signed it. “Nehru and Gandhi didn’t try to save Bhagat Singh” But the truth is Mahatma Gandhi tried his best to save Bhagat Singh. When he met Lord Irwin to discuss the Irwin Pact, he appealed him to discard the death sentence of Bhagat Singh. Lord Irwin clearly stated that he could not think of any other case for which the penalty under law had been more deserving. Today, Gandhi’s assassin is celebrated as a ‘patriot’ while Gandhi himself is held responsible for Bhagat Singh’s death. Fact no. 9, Fake news about Bhagat Singh. It is so easy to spread fake news today that even our Prime Minister fell for one and claimed that Nehru never went to see Bhagat Singh in Jail. Later, it was found that Nehru did meet Bhagat Singh and his fellow revolutionaries and he mentioned the meeting in his autobiography.
The latest fake news that was added to the list was when some people started to claim that 14th Feb is the date on which Bhagat Singh was executed to condemn Valentine’s day. In all the records, it is clearly written that Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were executed on 23rd March, 1931 but the fake news propaganda has no end. Fact no. 10, Bhagat Singh and Revolution. Bhagat Singh comes to our mind as soon as someone mentions Indian revolution. But have we ever tried to really understand what Bhagat Singh meant by revolution and revolutionary thinking. He wrote, “Merciless criticism and independent thinking are the two necessary traits of revolutionary thinking.” That is why we got those golden words by Bhagat Singh on this t-shirt to support independent thinking. Bhagat Singh didn’t just want a political but social revolution, he wanted an independent India where every individual is free from conservative beliefs, casteism, and is free to think for oneself. He didn’t want any one class to rule over the country whether they are the British or fellow Indians. So this was Bhagat Singh, a youth leader who sacrificed his life for a better future for his country.
Today, BJP is asking for a Bharat Ratna for Savarkar for its own political benefit but if there is any revolutionary who should be called Bharat Ratna, that is Bhagat Singh. Even Congress has realized it just now, again for its political gain only. Bhagat Singh had given up his life for his country in the young age of 23. But reading his notes and learning about his thoughts make you realize that he didn’t die but is still alive in the immense knowledge he left for us.