Tuesday, 23 October 2018
September Celebrations of Bhagat Singh at Patiala and Saharanpur
28th September is the birth anniversary date of Bhagat Singh. As in March-the martyrdom month of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, there are large number of functions and programmes held all over the country to pay tributes to the martyrs, in September too, a number of functions in the form of lectures, discussions, cultural programmes and mix of all are held throughout the country and some time abroad too.
September 2018 became more fulfilling as I spoke at six different programmes in three different cities-Patiala, Saharanpur and Delhi. While in Patiala, the day was marked by a lecture and play in Punjabi University on 11th September. Radical Punjab Students Union(RPSU) organised my lecture on Bhagat Singh's ideas on student movement and the need to hold elections to student union elections in the Universities of Punjab, suspended since Operation Blue Star in 1984. The gathering was good and I spoke about an hour and later invited discussion. The function also included a play in Punjabi-Chhipan ton Pehlan by Davindar Daman, played by Red Arts student group. Some photographs of this function are displayed here-
The next programme was in Saharanpur on 27th September, where I reached on 26th evening. Local Samajvadi party MLA Sanjay Garg and Kiranjit Sandhu, nephew of Bhagat Singh took me to the secret shelter places of Bhagat Singh and his comrades in Saharanpur, from where Shiv Verma, Jaidev Kapoor and Gaya Prasad Katiyar were arrested. They lived in a Muslim locality and I met the descendants of the family, who had rented the room to revolutionaries. The family of four Muslim brothers live together and are proud of the past events. Closeby is a temple, which was also used by Bhagat Singh for bomb-making and living underground. We also visited descendants of Justice Agha Haider, who had protested against the beating of revolutionaries in Tribunal court itself, he was later replaced. Justice Haider was a judge of Allahabad High Court and part of Allahabad Bar, when Pandit Nehru was also part of the bar. Clicked many old historic photographs from their album. Grandson of justice is also a practising lawyer and greatgrandchildren are also trained in law. Justice Haider died in 1947 and his family was saved with special instructions from Pandit Nehru. Some photographs of Saharanpur too-