STORY: Bharat Singh An Indian revolutionary freedom fighter.

August is the month when India celebrated its independence day from the British colony. Many patriots lost their lives fighting to free themselves from the reigns of Great Britain. And one of the patriots was a charismatic Indian revolutionary Bhagat Singh.

Bhagat Singh was an Indian revolutionary freedom fighter who was hanged to death along with two other patriots Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar by British colonials. Bharat Singh was 23 when he was executed. He was affectionately known as ‘Shaheed (martyr) Bhagat Singh’, he is considered a national hero of India’s freedom struggle against colonial rule.

He was born on September 28, 1907 in Banga, Pakistan. The Pakistani government has declared his birthplace a national heritage while the Indian state of Punjab has offered to help make the site a world-class memorial. He is one of the most respected icons of the Indian freedom struggle.

He died young at the age of 23 on March 23, 1931, at Lahore Central Prison, Lahore, Pakistan. He participated in the mistaken murder of a young British police officer John Poyantz Saunders. Saunders had been mistakenly killed as part of a plot to kill the police chief responsible for the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, an influential Indian writer and politician.

He died of a heart attack weeks after he was seriously injured in a baton charge by police while leading a peaceful protest march against Indian constitutional reform by the all-British Simon Commission.

Many leaders were injured but Lala Lajpat Rai was personally targeted. And finally, the Indian revolutionary died of a heart attack on November 17, 1928. This led Bhagat Singh who was a prominent member of the Socialist Hindustan Republican Army (HSRA) to plot to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai by assassinating Scott.

Police Chief Scott severely beat Lala Lajpat Rai and he later succumbed to his injuries. Bharat Singh, who was an eyewitness to this event, vowed revenge. He joined fellow revolutionaries Shivaram Rajguru, Jai Gopal and Sukhdev Thapar in a plot to kill the police chief.

In memory of Indian freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru in Punjab, Hissainiwala village at the National Hussainiwala Martyrs Memorial sited the statues.

Thelma J. Longworth