Question- Thoughts of Bhagat Singh were as revolutionary as his acts. Examine the statement.
Answer -Name of Bhagat Singh needs no introduction. Most of us, however only know the revolutionary side of his personality and deeds. But, Bhagat Singh was a giant of an intellectual. At the age of 23, he was one of the most well read political leaders of the time. His views on secularism, communal harmony, socialism, atheism, and nationalism were very radical and far ahead of his time.
Bhagat Singh is a well known revolutionary, who was involved in many individual heroic acts viz. assassination of Saunders, a police officer who was responsible for the death of Lala Lajpat Rai. Surprisingly, it was the same Lala Lajpat Rai whom Bhagat Singh had called a ‘Lost Leader’ because Rai’s politics had taken a communal turn.
Even when Bhagat Singh threw a bomb in the Central Legislative Assembly, his motive wasn’t violence but to make the deaf hear. He was protesting the passage of Public Safety Bill and Trade Disputes Bill. After all, he was a revolutionary inside, so even his ideological acts were bound to be jarring.
Even here, he used his trial for propaganda purpose so that people would become familiar with their revolutionary ideas. He admitted that he regretted having had to kill a person i.e. Saunders but it was necessary.
In fact, all things considered, he had given up on individual heroism as he knew that without a revolutionary mass movement, overthrowing the colonial government wasn’t possible. However, his mass movement wasn’t necessarily going to be peaceful all the way. He encouraged other young revolutionaries to go to the masses to politicize them and organize them for a revolutionary mass movement. To this end, he helped to establish the ‘Punjab Nawjawan Bharat Sabha’ in 1926.
- Two of the six rules of joining the Nawjawan Bharat Sabha were:-
- To have nothing to do with communal political parties and activities.
- To cultivate a spirit of general tolerances among the masses, considering religion to be a matter of personal belief.
Bhagat Singh’s pamphlet ‘Why I am an Atheist’ is a short but profound reading. Such a radical idea, on which he wrote at such a young age, is indeed a good illustration of his ideological sharpness.
In fact, Bhagat Singh was one of the earliest thinkers to give a broad base to the notion of freedom and revolution. For him, revolution meant, not only political freedom, but to change the present order of things which was based on injustice. He believed in the philosophy of socialism. He wanted to liberate the toiling masses of India, from the yokes of foreign as well as domestic exploiters viz. zamindars, capitalists, etc.
Bhagat Singh set out to reorganize the HRA under the overall leadership of Chandrasekhar Azad. They adopted socialism as their official goal and changed the name of the party to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA.
Thus, we have seen that Bhagat Singh’s ideas were revolutionary in the sense that they were radical, ahead of the time and very constructive for national building. His revolutionary credentials are also impeccable but he was planning to switch from individual heroism to mass movement.