Author: Kuldip NayarPublisher: HarperCollinsYear: 2007Language: EnglishPages: 244ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788172236922
Bhagat Singh (1907-1931) lived at a time when India’s freedom struggle was beginning to flag and when Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent, passive resistance to partial liberation wa beginning to test the patience of the people.The youth of India was inspired by Bhagat Singh’s call to arms and enthused by the defiance and dare-devilry of the army wing of the Hindustan socialist Republican Association to which he and his comrades, Sukhdev and Rajgure, belonged. His call, Inquilab Zindabad! Became the war-cry of the fight for freedom.When Bhagat Singh was executed by the British after a sham trial for his involvement in the Lahore Conspiracy Case at the age of twenty-three, he was glorified by the Indians as a martyr for his youth, his defiance and his reckless bravery. It was only many years later, after Independence in 1947, that his writings came to light. Today, it is these that set Bhagat Singh apart and reveal him as not just a hot-headed revolutionary who believed in the cult of the bomb but a widely-read intellectual inspired by the writings of Marx and Lenin, to whom the betterment of Indian society was as important as the ouster of the British.In this book, commemorating the hundredth birth anniversary of this iconic young man, Kuldip Nayar takes a close looks at the man behind the martyr: his beliefs, his intellectual leanings, his dreams and his despair.He also explains why Hans Raj Vohra betrayed Bhagat Singh and his comrades and throws new light on Sukhdev, whose loyalties have been questioned by some historians. But most of all it puts in perspective Bhagat Singh’s use of violence, so strongly condemned by Gandhi and many others as being extremist. Bhagat Singh’s intent was never to kill the largest number or strike terror in the hearts of the British through the gruesomeness of his attacks; his fearlessness was not fuelled by the empty bravura of guns and youth. It was held together by the wisdom of his reading and the strength of his beliefs.