Saturday, 10 April 2010

Inqlab Zindabad-Long Live Revolution

Inqlab Zindabad

Tuesday, 23 March 2010 at 17:41 | Delete

It is 23rd March now on the clock-the most significant day for revolutionary movement of not only India,but for whole of South Asia, at least as important for Pakistan as for India.The greatest martyr of both India and Pakistan held the head of dignity of indian nation of 1931 and revolutionary movement of the whole world, high, with the resounding sounds of ‘Inqlab Zindabad’ and Down with Imperialism’.The event made the British colonialism hang its head in shame before the brave three-Bhagat singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev!

Bhagat Singh birth place in Chak No. 105,Bange Faislabad

Bhagat singh Primary School in Chak No. 105

Bradlaugh Hall,including National College Lahore,where Bhagat singh studied

SSP office Lahore,here Saundres was killed on 17 December 1928

DAV College Kanpur hostel, here Bhagat Singh stayed with Shiv Verma and Rajguru

Chhaju Ram haveli in Calcutta, where Bhagat Singh stayed in Dec. 1928 Congress session

In Arya Samaj Mandir Calcutta, near College street,Bhagat Singh stayed in this room,though it was tinshed in 1928

Ancestral house of Bhagat Singh family in Khatkar Kalan village near Banga in Nawan Shehar now Shaheed Bhagat singh Nagar

Phansighat, now Shadman Chowk Lahore, where on 23rd March,1931,Bhagat Singh,rajguru and Sukhdev were executed.Here today Diep saeeda and her comrades are gathering to pay tributes to martyrs

Four real pictures of Bhagat Singh

Yesterday amarjit chandan sent a link of Aajkal Urdu daily from Lahore with the question that ‘whether Bhagat Singh came to my dreams ever?’ Since I went to bed only after it struck 23rd March and put a small note for the day on facebook and blog,I kept on thinking to update the note with photographs, so I am doing it now,have posted some rare photographs on facebook.

I am trying to imagine the three days of March 1931.On 20th March Bhagat Singh wrote to Governor of Punjab, daring him to send firing squad in order to shoot them, as they were ‘war prisoners’, since the war was on between Indian nation and British colonialism.On 22nd March Bhagat singh wrote a letter to his Comrades, exhorting them to continue the struggle, though they will face immense hardships,more than dyeing; living and struggling will be much difficult…And what on 23rd itself,I presume they all three slept well in the night, after singing revolutionary songs.They knew only about 24th March as the day of execution.At the time of meetings, Pran Nath Mehta their friend and advocate brought the book on or by Lenin as sought by Bhagat singh , a day earlier.In all likelihood Pran Nath Mehta must have informed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev that all their families have refused to avail the last meeting with them, though all three families were present in Lahore that day for the last meeting. Rajguru’s poor mother traveled all the way from Maharshtra to be with his son.Sukhdev’s mother was there with Sukhdev’s uncle Lala Achint Ram Thapar, who was like a father to Sukhdev after the death of his father earlier.Jail authorities refused permission to Lala Achint Ram to accompany them for the last meeting, due to ‘not being blood relation’.To protest against this, the all three families refused to avail the meeting.I was trying to gauge the pain of three mothers, particulary of Rajguru’s poor mother, who came all the way from a village near Pune in Maharashtra,who has not got many chances to meet her son during the trial, being far away.At least Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev families had many chances to meet them,being in Punjab.Bhagat singh was worried that at last meeting his mother may not cry, so he advised her not to come,she did come,but now showing examplary courage bear pain, refused to see their sons for last time, exposing British colonial regime’s cruelty in its worst form.

Bhagat Singh could understood everything,when Bogha, dalit jail worker came ,Bhagat singh asked him to cook lunch for them.In 1931, Bogha cried,he can’t commit this ’sin’ to cook for ‘high caste’,but bhagat singh told him that before going to gallows, he has to eat from the hands of ‘Bebe’, they used to call Bogha, bebe(mother), since like mother he cleansed their shit.Bhagat singh had his way and got his last food from ‘Bebe’.Then he started reading Lenin and around four jail warder Chatar Singh requested them to take bath,could not explain anything except crying.Bhagat singh understood ‘time is up’. they got ready for the ‘last and final journey’.Bhagat singh again continued reading lenin book, when around six, the jail staff came to fetch them,Bhagat singh smiled and said-’wait for a while’, ‘let me finish this page-a revolutionary is meeting another revolutionary, don’t spoil the beauty of their meeting’ .they waited.

All three arms in arms, singing started moving towards gallows.bhagat singh’s weight has increased by ten pounds, with the expectation of execution, mind ‘exepectation and not apprehension’, as he was so happy and excited to sacrifice his life for the country and people, in order to awaken them.i sometime wonder whether we shall celebrate 23 March with happiness or express sorrow as many people do.Bhagat singh would have said-Celebrate your struggles on this day, don’t spread gloom, be cheerul and strong.

At 7.p.m or around, they were at gallows,Bhagat singh refused to wear the black cloth on his face and told British officer-you are lucky to see how happily Indians go to gallows for the nation.Saddam hussain was not the first to go to gallows with uncovered face, Bhagat singh was the first one.

And what did the British after the executions were over. Scared of people’s anger, gathered at jail gate, the news spread fast.They mutiliated the bodies by cutting these into pieces, put into stacks and took from back gate towards hussainiwala, had burnt the bodies with kerosene oil with some Pandit/Granthi around from Kasur. Large number of people walking bby foot collected the half burnt body pieces,brought to Lahore and a lakh people joined in funeral march to Ravi bank in Lahore on 24th March evening.Thus ended the saga of one of bravest men and patriot of history at the age of 23 years and five months plus.

Today i had to decline many invitations on Bhagat singh memorial programmes from Allahabad, Nagpur, delhi, Patiala, Chandigarh,begusarai and from Jhunjhunu in Rajsthan ,where a statue of Bhagat Singh is being inaugurated.My heart though is at Phansighat Lahore, where at, many activists are gathering to pay homage to the great martyrs of both India and Pakistan. My greetings to all revolutionary people anywhere in the world on this great day and best tribute to Bhagat Singh and Che Guvera is to shout with them-Inqlab Zindabad’, Down with Imperialism(Neo colonialism)’ and Socialist movement revival zindabad.Long Live revolution and Long Live Socialism.
Inqlab Zindabad-Part-II

Writing Inqlab Zindabad on 23rd March, I wrote that I would write part two of it, so now trying to jot it down.I wish to share here that what brought me closer to Bhagat Singh in my life.After passing Matriculation in my home town Rampura Phul in rather low marks, I was almost lost in wilderness. there was no college in those days in town and father was not in a position to support my college education in nearby towns-Bathinda or Barnala at equal distance of thirty kilometers on opposite sides, where the colleges were located.My father, a petty trader, always under some debt,did not join as School teacher,being middle pass in his days, due to 'little pay', had no such sensitivity to educate his children by all means.Under the circumstances, Public Library Rampura Phul took me out of the morose by opening a whole new world of literary creativity before me. Started with Munshi Prem Chand's 'Godan', I could never settle for lower level of literary creation, that's why Punjabi novels did not bind me as much, as Hindi ones and translations of Indian and world classics in Hindi.After a while, became member of Hind Pocket Books Delhi's scheme of 'Readers Club', getting nine rupees worth books in eight rupees, with postage free.And one book in one rupee by Manmath Nath Gupt-'Bharat Ke Krantikari' having 16 or 18 sketches, including of Bhagat Singh brought my first encounter with revolutionary freedom fighters. Manmath Nath Gupt, who was himself part of Kakori conspiracy case and got life conviction, though being just fifteen years or so at that time.I was so impressed that I started translating the book in my mother tongue Punjabi. By that time I had done JBT-teachers training course and passed Prabhakar(Hons. in Hindi) examination as private candidate, securing first position in Punjab.This got me a job of Hindi Teacher in a Government High School in Poohla village of Bathinda district.These sketches were serialized in 'Desh Bhagat Yaadan', fortnightly brought out by legendary Ghadarite Baba Gurmukh Singh Lalton from Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall Jalandhar. Some of the pieces were published in 'Preetlari' and 'Aarsee' like respected literary journals also.Till that time I could read and understood books in Hindi and Punjabi only, English was a far dream yet.So I read many books in these languages on revolutionary heroes and got particularly enchanted with Bhagat Singh.Perhaps first meeting on Bhagat Singh I attended on 23rd March 1969 in Public Library Bathinda on his martyrdom day, which was addressed by well known Punjabi short story writer and joint editor of 'Preetlari' Navtej Singh, with his father Gurbux Singh Preetlari at that time.
But I had to struggle a lot,while doing job, passed graduation privately and even M.A. part I too privately. I joined Panjab University Chandigarh to complete M.A. part-II of Hindi.This opened new paths of life for me.Though continued with my school job, even after completing my M.A., my teachers union activity and doing M.A. Punjabi again privately,kept me close to study about revolutionaries as well as studying lot of creative Indian and world literature.Though registered for PhD in Hindi with Prof. Romesh Kuntal Megh, could not proceed much.In this period became quite active in Punjabi cultural movement and with some writings and translations to credit, became known as Chaman Lal 'Prabhakar' in literary circles.Kumar Vikal, Mohan Bhandari and Bhushan known as Dhianpuri at that time became part of circle and by organizing Punjabi Sahit Sabha at Rampura Phul;, came into contact with stalwarts of Punjabi literature as well-Prof. Mohan Singh, Sant Singh Sekhon, Gurdial Singh etc. Pash, Waryam sandhu, Surinder Hemjyoti, Ajmer Aulakh,Amarjit Chandan,Harbhajan Halwarvi, Attarjeet, Sant Ram Udasi,Lal singh Dil etc. were all part of same stream at that time. We worked together in ;'Panjabi Sahit Sabhiachar Manch',with guidance from Nagi Reddy group of ML movement in Punjab at that time.In 1975 Emergency spent seven months in Bathinda and Patiala jails.
In 1977, I joined JNU for research and left school job.Five years in JNU as student had been the best period of my life so far.While after doing Hindi Officer job for sometime in Bombay, I had a short stint in JNU again, before getting long time job at Punjabi University Patiala as academician.Before leaving for Patiala, I completed editing 'Bhagat Singh aur Unke sathiyon Ke dastavez' with Jagmohan Singh for Rajkamal Publishers Delhi, which got published in 1986, to become all time best sellers till now.From 1985 to 2002,I remained confined to literature and has many publications in Hindi, Punjabi and English-books as well as articles in journals/newspapers.
Again after 2002,my interest returned to Bhagat Singh and this time I collected documents of Bhagat Singh alone with the title-'Bhagat Singh ke Sampuran Dastavez'(Complete Documents of Bhagat Singh).Preface of the book was written by Kultar Singh, younger brother of Bhagat Singh and book was released during World Book fair in Delhi in February 2004.This also became as much a hit as was early collection.In the meantime National Book Trust Chairman Prof. Bipan Chandra assigned me to write a monograph on Kartar Singh Sarabha, which I completed only after joining JNU as Professor in Hindi translation in 2005.By this time I got Central Hindi directorate award for translating Surjit Patar's poetry in Hindi, Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize for translating Pash's poetry in Hindi in 2002 and Punjab Govt.'s Shiromani Hindi Sahitkar award for 2003.
By the time I joined JNU I had enough publications on Hindi and Punjabi literature, including that of criticism and translation, which were getting published every year.However from 2006,my whole interest seemed to got concentrated on Bhagat Singh and other revolutionary heroes during 75th martyrdom centenary(2006) and in 2007 birth centenary of Bhagat singh. I became an active campaigner and writer on Bhagat Singh in this period, more at non official level,but some at official level also. By impressing upon left parliamentary parties, which were supporting UPA Govt. in those days, I got Bhagat Singh centenaries included in official functions also, which resulted in publication fo Bhagat Singh's documents from publication division for the first time in 60 years,This was edited by me as 'Shaheed Bhagat Singh:Dastavezon ke Aaine Mein'. Also got 'Jail Notebook and other writings' with my introduction, published from Left Word Delhi, which has got many reprints in paper back till now. NBT also got 'Bhagat Singh ke Rajnitik Dastavez' edited from me. On my own I prepared a book in Punjabi, my mother tongue-'Bhagat Singh:Vicharvan Inqlabi', published by Navyug Press Delhi, best in Punjabi language publications. My own writings in Hindi on Bhagat Singh were published in 2009 under the title-'Bhagat Singh' by Medha books Delhi.Another collection of my writings on Bhagat Singh, including some in EPW and Monthly Review is under publication as 'Understanding Bhagat Singh' from English and Foreign Languages University Hyderabad.Hindi literary monthly 'Gyanoudey' also got column on Indian revolutionaries from me during year 2007, which is now ready to be published in book form any time. In Punjabi my book appeared as 'Inqlabi Itihas De Sunehari Panne in 2006 by Tarak Bharti publishers Barnala.During 2006-2010,I delivered forty plus lectures on Bhagat Singh in different parts of the country and abroad.My NBT collection of Bhagat Singh documents has recently come out in Urdu translation also,which I wish to see that it reaches Pakistan.
Why I got so much involved with this theme? As part of left and democratic movement I realized that one needs to have heroes from one's own tradition to have emotional appeal among masses.Bhagat Singh is one such hero, who has mass appeal,and who has the best enlightened leftist ideas during freedom movement.Bhagat Singh like Che Guvera is an ideal hero for not only India,but for whole South Asia as a whole, as Che is for whole of Latin America and both together for the whole world.Other reason was to place Bhagat Singh in proper ideological perspective, he was just projected as brave ,fearless patriot,but despite his writings available, he was not projected as clear socialist revolutionary thinker, to some extent deliberately.Prof. Bipan Chandra brought his ideological position clearly in 1970's,I took the task further by bringing into light his writings into focus, so that people could know him directly from his writings.I have lot more material to focus upon him, like official documents from National Archives including intelligence reports, which I want to use in a book-'Bhagat Singh:Through Colonial and Nationalist eyes'.I have a desire to get complete set of articles published in 'Mainstream' journal, in a book form,which could prove to be the best collection of articles on Bhagat Singh.'I am working now on "Bhagat Singh Reader', assigned to me by Penguin India for international edition,may be completed in this year.This will bring Bhagat Singh's complete documents in English at international level.This would provide me greatest satisfaction of my life, as and when it comes out.Ameen! "Inqlab Zindabad'(Long Live Revolution)

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