Bhagat Singh was born in Punjab, India (now Pakistan), on September 27, 1907, to a Sikh family extremely concerned in political activities. He left school at thirteen to dedicate his life to Indian independence. He happened to involved in various fierce protests of political disobedience and was sent in prison for several times. Singh was found culpable of killing a British police officer and hanged to death on March 23, 1931.
Born on September 27, 1907, to a Sikh household in Punjab, India (now Pakistan), Bhagat Singh was the second son of Kishan Singh and Vidya Vati. The family was immersed in patriotism and was included in movements for independence. At the time of Bhagat’s birth, his father was in lockup for political campaigning. By the time Bhagat Singh was 13, he was well acquainted with this family’s rebellious activities. His father was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, and after Gandhi called for refusing government-aided institutions, Singh left school and registered in the National College at Lahore, where he read European revolutionary movements. In time, he would become disillusioned with Gandhi’s non-violent campaign, trusting that equipped battle was the only way to political freedom.
In 1926, Bhagat Singh originated the ‘Naujavan Bharat Sabha (Youth Society of India) and got connected to the Hindustan Republican Association (later known as Hindustan Socialist Republican Association), where he met numerous famous revolutionaries. A year later, Singh’s parents arranged to have him married, a move he passionately rejected, and he left school.
By this time, Bhagat Singh had developed interest to the police, and in May 1927, he was detained for supposedly being involved in a failing the previous October. He was freed several weeks later and started to write for various revolutionary newspapers. After getting reassurances from his parents that they wouldn’t force him to marry, he returned to Lahore.
In 1928, the British government held the Simon Commission to examine autonomy for the Indian people. Several Indian political organizations refused the event because the Commission had no Indian representatives. In October, Bhagat Singh’s companion, Lala Lajpat Rai led a march in complaint against the Commission. Police tried to pay the large crowd, and during the commotion, Rai was hurt by the superintendent of police, James A. Scott. Rai died of heart problems two weeks later. The British government deprived of any wrongdoing.
Arrest and Trial
The activities of the young revolutionaries were deeply convicted by followers of Gandhi, but Bhagat Singh was pleased to have a platform on which to promote his cause. He proposed no defence during the trial but disturbed the proceedings with outbursts of political dogma. He was found mortified and sentenced to life in prison.
Through further investigation, the police exposed the connection between Bhagat Singh and the murder of Officer Saunders and he was rearrested. While pending trial, he commanded a hunger strike in prison. Finally, Singh and his co-conspirators were tried and sentenced to hang. He was executed on March 23, 1931. It is said that he kissed the hangman’s noose before it was located around his neck. His death caused mixed emotions throughout India. Followers of Gandhi felt that he was too fundamental and hurt the quest for freedom, while his supporters considered him a martyr. Singh rests a significant, though controversial, figure in India’s independence movement.