Bhagat Singh and our deaf conscience…… by Ashish Tripathi (TOI blogs)

Many paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri on October 2. In comparison, only few paid homage to Bhagat Singh on his birth anniversary on September 28, recalled brave deeds of the martyr and cursed contemporary politicians for not following Shaheed-e-Azam’s ideology. The big question, however, is how many of us actually know about the ideas of the legendary revolutionary, which, I believe, are more relevant today.
The bombs hurled in the Central Assembly were not just to `make deaf hear’ but also to oppose the repressive bills aimed at curtailing freedom of press, curb civil liberties and restrict rights of workers. We may or may not agree with the method of protest but cannot disagree with his idea of India – free, just and equitable system where the voice of weakest of weak is heard and addressed.
Here is the complete text (courtesy of the leaflet thrown in the Central Assembly Hall at the time of the throwing bombs.
– On the 8th April, 1929, the Viceroy’s proclamation, enacting the two Bills, was to be made, despite the fact that the majority of members were opposed to it, and had rather rejected in earlier.
The Hindustan Socialist Republican Army
“It takes a loud voice to make the deaf hear, with these immortal words uttered on a similar occasion by Valiant, a French anarchist martyr, do we strongly justify this action of ours.”
“Without repeating the humiliating history of the past ten years of the working of the reforms (Montague-Chelmsford Reforms) and without mentioning the insults hurled at the Indian nation through this House — the so-called Indian Parliament — we want to point out that, while the people expecting some more crumbs of reforms from the Simon Commission, and are ever quarrelling over the distribution of the expected bones, the Government is thrusting upon us new repressive measures like the Public Safety and the Trade Disputes Bill, while reserving the Press Sedition Bill for the next session. The indiscriminate arrests of labour leaders working in the open field clearly indicate whither the wind blows.”
“In these extremely provocative circumstances, the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, in all seriousness, realizing their full responsibility, had decided and ordered its army to do this particular action, so that a stop be put to this humiliating farce and to let the alien bureaucratic exploiters do what they wish, but they must be made to come before the public eye in their naked form.”
“Let the representatives of the people return to their constituencies and prepare the masses for the coming revolution, and let the Government know that while protesting against the Public Safety and Trade Disputes Bills and the callous murder of Lala Lajpat Rai, on behalf of the helpless Indian masses, we want to emphasize the lesson often repeated by history, that it is easy to kill individuals but you cannot kill the ideas Great empires crumbled while the ideas survived. Bourbons and Czars fell. While the revaluation marched ahead triumphantly.”
“We are sorry to admit that we who attach so great a sanctity to human life, who dream of a glorious future, when man will be enjoying perfect peace and full liberty, have been forced to shed human blood. But the sacrifice of individuals at the altar of the ‘Great Revolution’ that will bring freedom to all, rendering the exploitation of man by man impossible, is inevitable.”
“Long Live the Revolution.”
Careful reading of the leaflet makes it clear that Bhagat Singh was not a votary of violence. Go deeper and you will find that the situation today is no different. Commercialization has replaced colonialism. Modified media has made us deaf. The democracy has been hijacked by corruption and communalism. Judiciary is under attack. Threat of authoritarianism looms over the executive. And, talking about workers’ rights in the era of economic liberalisation is a sin.
So, what should we do? Start hurling bombs? Certainly not because Bhagat Singh himself said that “Bombs and pistols do not make revolution. The sword of revolution is sharpened on the whetting-stone of ideas. By revolution we mean end of the miseries of capitalist wars.” He also said “Revolution is made by labouring intellectuals and hardworking activists. Unfortunately, the intellectual side of the Indian Revolution has always remained weak. As a result, the essential elements of the revolution as well as the effects of work accomplished have not been sufficiently addressed. Therefore, it is necessary for a revolutionary to consider studying and reflection a sacred duty.”
In order to keep the IDEA of Bhagat Singh alive we need to implode bombs within to make our deaf conscience hear. For this, we will have to read Bhagat Singh more and understand for what he made the supreme sacrifice. Only then we will realise how dangerous is Sangh Parivar’s Moditava for the Idea of India.


2 thoughts on “Bhagat Singh and our deaf conscience…… by Ashish Tripathi (TOI blogs)

  1. Reblogged this on piyush kaviraj and commented:
    A nice article on Bhagat Singh and why he shouldn’t be ignored. He gains even more relevance as once again, we are moving to an era where everything may fall on deaf ears. Barring Aam Aadmi Party, none of the parties could even organise a decent commemoration of Bhagat Singh’s birthday.

  2. Thanks piyushKAVIRAJ. However, I doubt you would approve of ‘his ways’ of making even today’s deaf government hear our demands. According to you, they would be irrational acts glorifying unjustified violence.

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