Bhagat Singh: A Revolutionary Icon

Bhagat Singh: A Revolutionary Icon

Bhagat Singh: A Revolutionary Icon

Early Life:

Bhagat Singh, born on September 28, 1907, in Banga, Punjab (now in Pakistan), was a prominent Indian freedom fighter and a symbol of courage and sacrifice.

  • He hailed from a patriotic Sikh family deeply influenced by the freedom struggle.
  • His father, Kishan Singh Sandhu, and uncle, Ajit Singh, were active participants in the fight for India’s independence.
  • Bhagat Singh’s early exposure to this environment instilled in him a strong sense of nationalism and a commitment to the cause of freeing India from British colonial rule.
  • Bhagat Singh initially attended a village school for a few years.
  • He later enrolled in an Anglo-Vedic school in Lahore, which was run by the Arya Samaj.

Impact of National Movement:

  • In 1923, Bhagat Singh gained admission to the National College in Lahore.
  • The National College had been founded by the Indian independence activist LalaLajpat Rai.
  • The JallianwalaBagh massacre in 1919, the Non-Cooperation Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, and the Simon Commission’s undemocratic composition deeply affected young Bhagat Singh.
  • He witnessed the brutality of British rule and felt compelled to take a more radical stance in the struggle for independence.

Involvement in the Freedom Struggle

  • In 1924, Bhagat Singh joined the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), led by SachindranathSanyal and organized by Chandra Shekhar Azad.
  • Under the influence of the HRA, Bhagat Singh embraced the idea of armed revolution against British imperialism
  • In 1925, he returned to Lahore and, with his colleagues, founded the militant youth organization Naujawan Bharat Sabha.
  • In 1927, Bhagat Singh was arrested on charges related to the Kakori Case, accused of writing an article under the pseudonym Vidrohi (Rebel).
  • In 1928, he renamed the Hindustan Republican Association to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).
  • In 1930, when Chandra Shekhar Azad was shot, the HSRA disbanded, and Naujawan Bharat Sabha took its place in Punjab.

The Simon Commission

  • The Simon Commission was formed by the British Government to assess the political situation in India.
  • It was headed by Sir John Simon but did not include any Indian members, leading to widespread boycott and protest.
  • LalaLajpat Rai’s Protest and Injury
    • On October 30, 1928, the Simon Commission visited Lahore.
    • Lala Lajpat Rai led a silent march against the commission.
    • In an attempt to disperse the protesters, Superintendent of Police James A. Scott ordered a lathi charge, resulting in severe injuries to Lala Lajpat Rai.
    • LalaLajpat Rai eventually succumbed to his injuries, passing away on November 17, 1928.
  • Bhagat Singh’s Revenge Plot
    • Bhagat Singh, along with fellow revolutionaries Sukhdev and Rajguru, sought to avenge Lala Lajpat Rai’s death.
    • Their target was the Superintendent of Police, James A. Scott, who had ordered the lathi charge.
    • On December 17, 1928, Bhagat Singh mistakenly identified British Police Officer John Saunders as James A. Scott.
    • Bhagat Singh shot and killed John Saunders as he was leaving the District Police Headquarters in Lahore.
  • Escalation and Fleeing
    • Following the killing of John Saunders, a massive search operation was launched to apprehend Bhagat Singh.
    • To evade capture and avoid recognition, Bhagat Singh had to flee from Lahore and took measures such as shaving his head and beard.

Central Assembly Bombing

  • On April 8, 1929, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Duttthrew non-lethal smoke bombs in the Central Legislative Assembly in Delhi in 1929 to protest against repressive laws.
  • This act aimed to draw attention to the cause of Indian independence.
  • Despite the chaos and confusion that followed, Singh and Dutt did not immediately flee but instead shouted the popular slogan ‘Inquilab Zindabad!’ (Long Live the Revolution!).
  • They were eventually arrested and subsequently moved to various jails in Delhi.

Lahore Conspiracy Case and the Hunger Strike

  • After a preliminary hearing in May, the trial for the Assembly bombing case began in the first week of June.
  • On June 12, 1929, Bhagat Singh and BatukeshwarDutt were sentenced to life imprisonment for causing explosions likely to endanger life and acting unlawfully and maliciously.
  • In 1929, associates Sukhdev, Kishori Lal, and Jai Gopal were arrested in connection with bomb factories in Lahore and Saharanpur.
  • The police investigation linked the murder of John Saunders, the Assembly bombing, and bomb manufacturing to Bhagat Singh and his comrades.
  • Bhagat Singh, who considered himself a political prisoner, led demands for equal treatment for Indian prisoners compared to European prisoners.
  • The political prisoners protested for equal food standards, clothing, toiletries, access to books, and newspapers.
  • A hunger strike was initiated by Singh and other prisoners, and the government’s attempts to break the strike failed.
  • Due to the nationwide popularity of the hunger strike, the government expedited the Lahore Conspiracy Case.
  • The trial for the Lahore Conspiracy Case began on July 10, 1929.


  • On March 23, 1931, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were executed by hanging in Lahore Central Jail.
  • Their sacrifice galvanized the Indian independence movement, and they became martyrs who inspired generations to come.

Books Written by Him:

  • Bhagat Singh penned several thought-provoking essays and articles during his time in prison.
  • Some of his notable works include “Why I am an Atheist” and “To Young Political Workers.”
  • These writings reflected his ideological evolution and commitment to a secular and inclusive vision of India’s future.