Wednesday, August 26, 2009
A new book suggests Gadar movement and its roots in Canada
Senior Journalist from Vancouver
A new book on Gadarites by Sohan Singh Pooni suggests that the movement had its roots in Canada. Authored in Punjabi, Canada De Gadri Yodhay (The Gadar combatants of Canada) is the biographies of 41 freedom fighters of India, who were mostly associated with the Gadar Party, a revolutionary group that believed in armed struggle against the British occupation of India.
Though the group was formally established in America in 1913, the Gadar movement had its roots in Canada where the Indian immigrants had to endure racism. It was the discriminatory attitude of the Canadian establishment that partially made these men politically aware of the need to fight against the foreign rule back home.
Most of these men came to Canada in the beginning of the twentieth century as British subjects. Their dreams for better living were shattered as the Canadian government systematically discriminated against them by restricting their immigration, family reunions and disfranchising them. As a result a need for struggle for both social justice and freedom arose. Gadar Party was therefore a byproduct of this abusive environment that motivated about 300 people in Canada alone to become members of this militant group, according to Pooni, who took nine years to complete his work. However, he could only write about 41 participants of the freedom struggle.
His research took him to India and across the border, where he visited the archives and other places to lay hands on rare documents and pictures apart from interviewing the descendants of these men. Most biographies are accompanied by authentic pictures while some with portraits by Sheetal Anmol. Each chapter begins with verses from the revolutionary poetry written by the Gadarites. Niranjan Singh Pandori, Bhagwan Singh Preetam and Munsha Singh Dukhi were among those who had written the radical poems. The book includes their biographies.
Published by the Singh Brothers, Amritsar, India the book explains what shaped the ideology of the Gadar heroes. The common thread between these men was that they were mostly the rural Sikhs from Punjab some of whom had served in the British army. Most of them came to Canada as British subjects and were disillusioned by the fact that the British Empire was not treating all its subjects fairly. They had to pay heavily to travel to the British Canada. Initially, they tried to challenge the continuous journey law, the bar on bringing their families and the institutional racism through petitions and appeals but they realized soon that their slavery was the root of these problems and to end that an armed resistance was necessary. Subsequently, these men became the members of the Gadar Party that was officially launched in San Francisco. Most of them returned in a hope to initiate rebellion that was supposed to be the sequel of the Gadar revolt of 1857 only to face gallows or life imprisonments.
Among them were prominent ideologues like Bhag Singh, Tarak Nath Dass, Hussein Rahim, Harnam Singh Sahri, Balwant Singh Khurdpur, Karam Singh Daulatpur, Bhagwan Singh Dosanjh and Munsha Singh Dukhi. The book reveals their connection with Canada. Apart from leading the Gadar movement to set India free from the British rule these men participated in the community services in British Columbia. They not only established Sikh temples but also joint businesses of their own.
Realizing that the misery of their compatriots in India was to be blamed on lack of education, they had helped in building schools in Punjab. Despite challenges from the orthodox and conservative social environment of India they had resolved to encourage female education. Some of them later turned into Babbar Akalis or communists while others were hanged or got killed otherwise.
Bhag Singh was the first Indo Canadian martyr, who was shot at by Bela Singh, the agent of an infamous immigration officer William Hopkison in 1914. He was the leader of the Khalsa Deewan Society that governed the oldest Sikh temple of Vancouver. He was instrumental in encouraging the former Sikh soldiers to burn their medals and certificates to break loyalties with the British Empire in 1909. This wasn't an easy task as the Sikh preachers in India were pro British and prayed for the long life of their English masters back then. The book begins with his biography, which is followed by the profile of Badan Singh, who had also died with him after being hurt in the shootout. These killings were avenged by Mewa Singh, who assassinated Hopkinson and was hanged for the murder. His profile suggests that he may have done this at the instructions of the Gadar leaders.
The biography of Hari Singh Soond is also a part of the book. Soond had killed Bela Singh in India.
The book gives a detailed account of the activities of Hussein Rahim who was in the forefront of the fight for the right to vote besides the struggle to let the passengers of the Komagata Maru ship set foot on the Canadian soil. The ship was turned back on July 23, 1914 under the racist immigration law. This incident had added fuel to the fire and strengthened the foundation of the Gadar movement.
Harnam Singh Sahri was the cofounder of the Swadesh Sewak, the first Punjabi newspaper to be launched in Canada in 1910. While Pooni has done a good research on his activities, he failed to give the profile of the other cofounder of the publication, Guran Ditta Kumar. Kumar was another important ideologue. Though the book has some passing references about Kumar, but Pooni could have written more about him.
Despite being Sikhs, some devoutly religious the Gadar heroes mentioned in the book were liberal and secular. After all, one of the objectives of the Gadar Party was to keep the politics and the religion apart and promote unity. Some of these men who had returned to India had saved the Muslims from the Hindu and Sikh fundamentalists during the partition of India and Pakistan on religious lines in 1947. Among them were Chanchal Singh Jandiala, Bhagwan Singh Dosanjh and Sher Singh Vein Poin. These men did not buckle under pressure from the religious zealots and had helped the Muslims in reaching safe destinations. These details in the book will help in understanding the secular indoctrination of the Gadarites. The book ends with the biography of Darshan Singh Canadian, a communist leader of Punjab, who was murdered by the Sikh separatists in 1986. He had spent several years in Canada before India's independence and had participated in the struggle for right to vote and different labour movements.
Very little is written about the Gadar movement and its participants by the mainstream historians, who had virtually ignored the contributions of the Gadarites. Perhaps, the perception about America being the breeding ground of the Gadar movement is also an outcome of this ignorance. Whatever little is available is based on oral history and interviews. More needs to be done to dig out credible evidence and documents. Pooni has tried to meet those challenges and his book has a potential to become an accepted document on the Gadar history.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Lala Ganpat Rai General Secretary Nau Jawan Bharat Sabha and close compatriot of Revolutionary Bhagat Singh gives us an intimate view.
A Class-Fellow's Tribute
Ganpat Rai B .A. (National)
Many things crowd my memory when I reflect upon the events of 50 years back that culminated in the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh , Sukh Dev and Raj Guru on the evening of March 23 1931. No body could have ever thought that the Government of the day will stoop so low as to dispose of after executionthe bodies of these martyrs in such a shabby way it did .Bhagat Singh represented the spirit of the resurgent youth. He wanted the Country to wake, arise and fight with a resolute heart. Personal pain and physical persecution could not deter him from the path he had chosen when he was rather raw and young. He wanted to fight the alien rulers with all the might he could muster.
He was no believer in the tricks of worldly casuistry. He felt rather stifling the atmosphere prevailing at the time. Communal riots coupled with arson and murders and their aftermath had plagued the political life of the land he love so much. With view to start a relentless battle against the reactionary forces of communalism. He along with the students and the teachers of the National High School and the National College founded at Lahore a truly secular and revolutionary organisation Which came to be known as Nau Jawan Bharat Sabha The Sabha was non-communal.Its members were forbidden to join any organisation which smacked of communalism.
(The writer was General Secretary when he was arrested on June 14,1930 and convicted under section 124 A).
With view to bringing together members of different communities that inhabit this land , Sabha used to arrange inter communal dinners which were joined by all alike. Besides this , dramatic performances were arranged to awaken the dormant feelings of people. I vividly remember the scene when a drama most probably ''Mewar Patan' (the fall of Mewar) was enacted at Gujranwala at the time of Punjab Provincial Political Conference presided over by S.Sardul Singh Caveesher. Mrs Sarojini Naidu was present at that time. She appreciated the superb acting of Bhagat Singh-as Rana Pratap-so much that when the play ended she got down from the stage and not only patted Bhagat Singh on the back , but gave him a warm , motherly embrace.
After undergoing through many prolonged hardships he had come to realise that his revolt agalnst the Government of the day was destined to get momentum because a strong and honest conscience , having courage to assert itself is a thing which cannot be suppressed . The public opinion and even the opposing forces shall have to reckon with the views he had expressed so daringly with all the courage and emphasis at the command.
The three years that he spent in the National College were a formative period in the life of Bhagat Singh. Acharya Jugal Kishore, Bhai Parmanand, Prof . A .C Mehta and other professors were instrumental in shaping his life . He was a keen student of history particularly the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution Lives of Garibaldi , Mazzini and Lenin as also the struggle for freedom launched by Irish Republican Army had their impact on him. He somehow got hold of Savarkar's War of Indian Independence which was banned at the time .
During the .annual session of the Congress at Lahore in 1929 the book was published in 2 parts . He read many times "My Fight for Irish Freedom" written by Dar. Breen . Perhaps very few people know that in 1924 or 1925 he wrote an essay on ' The Future of Hindi in Punjab · This essay was adjudged the best at the Simla session of Sahitya Sammelan and he was awarded a prize for it . Incidentally, I may add that some years back, an editor of a Hindi Daily declined to publish this essay in his paper on the round that it could not have been written by Bhagat Singh about 65 years back . So prophetic were the views< expressed therein.
With a view to avenging , Lala Lajpat Rai ' s death , the Hidustant Socialist Republican Party organised meticulously and shot dead the police officer responsible for giving lathi blows to the great leader . At that time and even some time after for the purpose of discrediting the party and its enthusiastic young workers , it was given out that Saunders was shot dead by mistake because the person who gave lathi blows was another police officer named Scott .
To remove the wrong impression, I , in December, 1930 enquired from B .K . Dutt who had been all along with Bhagat Singh and was at that time in the old Central Jail Multan, where I had been transferred , from Attock Camp jail. He told me in no uncertain words that it was Saunders who gave fatal lathi blows to Lala Lajpat Rai and we being certain shot him dead . There could be no question of our mistaking the identity of the police officer concerned ' .
In the words of a famous French Philosopher and thinker Romain Rolland,. Bhagat Singh beckoned his countrymen:
"He cannot know the delight of being free. It is worthwhile paying for it with so much danger, and suffering and even death. To be free, to feel that every mind about you-yes, even the knave's is free, is a delicious pleasure which it is impossible to express: it is as though your soul were soaring the infinite air . It could not live otherwise''. (Joan Christophe In Paris page 274 : Editor)
BRITISH INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS ( In their report , dated the 26th of March , 1931)
"Bhagat Singh and his companions are bound to provide the test for many fiery sermons in the days to come''. :
Saturday, August 1, 2009
[ This is the copy of the note by Martyr Mohamad Singh Azad ( Udham Singh) When judge did not allowed him to read in full he tore it and threw. It was picked up by British police and rebuilt by putting the pieces together.
After publicly protesting on behalf of Indian people and punishing Sir Michel O'Dwayer ,of Jallianwala Bagh notoriety ,The name announced by the protester was Mohammad Singh Azad . British Imperialists immediately understood the message given by him through his name. British Imperialist bureaucracy noted " This particular name gives out his belief that India's freedom can only be achieved if there is communal unity." It was further noted that ," This name will arose the sympathy of Mussalams too." Hence black out this name as well as the message imbibed in it, censorship was imposed.
Are not we still part of that conspiracy against propogation of His Message which he wrote for us with his blood.
On the change of his name Our great martyr said ,"Don't try to change my name what so ever." Because the name had the message of unity and communal harmony of the time of Jallianwala Bagh Massacare.
Was not the communal harmony and unity which made the imperialists mad?
As a special tribute please find here the original note and its partial text .This is the note which MS AZAD (Udham Singh) wanted the jury and the world to know but judge did not allow him to read in full. The text of the note he last read in Court just before the passing of death Sentence.
Note on documents brought into Court by Udham Singh alias Mohammed Singh Azad
(We are thankful to Dr Navtej Singh and Mr. Avtar Singh Johal to make these documents available) editor ]
This sheet is written entirely in English and reads as follows:
British terrorism in India. What the Indians got from Britain going to India. If we help the British we get the same thing what they gave as after last war. Modern guns and bombs will be used against the Innocent people of India and we know thousands will be killed merciless by the British beast Lion. India has been made a slaughterhouse, is brutality - beastly, bullying, fraudulent plunder and cunning. Many blood - thirsty English mad dogs in India. India had seen no British Kindness, only the (?) slavering, English beast, killing, mutilating, destroying. The violent and brutal English interfere in India public, cultural, economic and social life, accompanied by the most brutal and incredible, physical persecution. Our way is not war with Germany and Russia but with Britain. They will be ruthless and merciless to the Indians. These miserable, misguided youth who will see no evil in the British TYRANNY, who will close their ears to the death cries of the slaughtered Indians. The British convert our country into prison and a hell. Many political prisoners in India are beaten, tortured and humiliated. Many women had their hair violently pulled and brought into the street where they were insulted and sharp instrument inserted into their bodies. Many went mad at the sight. Many died under the torture blow of the English blood bath, many had their faces mutilated, even their eyes taken out. We must see to it that this time English history of Barbarism is ended.
A 150 years English terrorism in India has shown it is impossible for the British to crush the Indian people. I did this to protest and uphold my country right even though I die. My greatest wish has not been fulfilled to see my country free again.
I would rather die for the cause of my people than live in misery under the British terrorism. I nor my people was not born in this world to be ruled by the English Imperialism. India will rise again.
We are up against a creed of the Devils. Down with British Bandits and their dirty Chamberlain govt. Give him hell. He is nothing but a mad dog. (Invited in India - a tradesman - Not to look after us).
I as a son of India and a tiller of the soil of my native home has looked upon British Rule as something that is cruel and detrimental to the lives of the Indian people.
The (?) practices of the big Linowners (Landowners) and owners of India which own and control the industry of my country is vital and distasteful to me and my countrymen in so far as they take the products of my country for to satisfy their own just and greed at the same time depriving the workers of the right to live and enjoy the wealth of their lands.
These same ruler of India enjoy the very highest standard of life at the expense of the people of India, not caring to help the country in any way, for example in the building 0f schools or the raising of the education amongst my people.
Requests and appeals by the Indian people as a whole has been sent to the King Emperor of India and his government and have had no effect upon them. Therefore the time has come when the people of India must stand up and show those vultures of British Imperialism that no longest (sic) must they bleed and deprive the people of my beloved land but use and utilise the products and profits of the country for the benefit of the peoples without class or creed prejudice.
[ This is a medley of English , Gurmukhi and Urdu . It concludes with the words used by Udham Singh when he addressed the Court and which were interrupted by the Judge.
The first few lines consist of a poem in Urdu, which is signed 'Bawa', this being the name by which he was commonly known to his associates. The following words of this
poem have been deciphered.]
पंजाबी कविता बाद विच दिति जावे गी
O God! into what hardships have the people of India fallon!
Our guests have begun to exercise oppression over us Let the enemies sland on our heads, the dagger be poised at our throats_.
The times are all gone wrong and oppression has appeared before our sight!
Further down appears the following in Urdu:
Hither to God has not changed the condition of that nation which has no idea of (impending) change.
There follows a stanza of a Gurmukhi poem on Indian martyrs. The words 'Bhagat Singh', 'Dutt', 'Tilak' and 'Lajpat', all well known figures in Indian national struggle, appear in this poem.
Next come a few words in English :
I am not afraid to die. I am proud to die for such a glorious cause to help to free my native land and I hope when I am gone that in my place will come thousands of my countrymen to drive you vultures until you not only free our country but also clear to hell out of it.
The first few words of this tirado the prisoner shouted from the dock when sentence of death was about to be Passed.
Sheet ''B'' concludes with the following violent attack on British rule in India:
I anticipate and hope for the downfall of Brltish imperialism by which India would automatically be freed, for Hitler and Stalin would not take India even if given to them.
Long live Mahatma Gandhi and Subash Base. Down with the British democracies, VIVA INDIA. Down with Britain. Down with the British democracies, Indians do not have peace. What we have got is slavery. Greedy British English. For generation your so called civilization has brought forth everything (?) fifihy and degenerate known to the human race. It's not for me to point out or debate on any one particular point. All you have to do is to read your history and if you have any human decency about you – you would die with shock. The brutality and blood-thirsty way in which the so-called inteIlectuals which call themselves the rulers of civilisations. in other words the bastard blood bound class (?)which have in the past and do at present torture the unprivileged classes is
.............. These are the so-called rulers who have...... the machine guns on the streets of India and without hesitation or the least sign of mercy mowed down thousands of poor women and children. In any part of the world wherever your rotton so called flag of democracy and Christianity files you will find only guns, blood, starvation. and filth of the lowest grade. The day has come when the murderous blood-thirsty dogs of Britain must not Interview with Indians .......... but no pay - India Office - told me to enlist - Anglo-French Ambulance Unit and thousands of similar tricks in India.
At this point the following is inserted.
Saw several men dying in Lahore .......... and men behind them were beaten to death - a real hell - British prison (The diary is here resumed)
14.(i.e. 1914).......... 117 men still in prison and firing at Budge Budge.
21.(i.e.1921) Nanakana Sahib 200 men killed.
30. (i.e. 1930)..........
33. (i.e. 1933) .......... women outraged and shots fired.
Note : Budge Budge was the scene of a riot near Calcutta in which members of the Ghadr Party were involved in 1914.
At this point the following is interpolated in Eng|ish.
Just telling Britain to mind her own business and get out of India.
Then in Gurmukhi:
really protest _ Indians are being .......... thousands Of Indians will again be killed as in
the Iast war.
........... 1938 in England a false case was brought against me. It cost me £900. MY motor car was confiscated. I was removed from my employment, and after five months the case was stopped. Jury stop the case.
In the left-hand bottom corner appears the following:
1 .My name changed
5.The Old Bdiley
Note : The above points apparently represent his grievances.
On the back of Sheet ''C'' the diary is resumed :
37. (' e. 1937) _.~.~ Interview .„._.~30r 4 weeks _._..
(took me outside in the month of ..........)
38. (i.e. 1938) Met Moola through Col. Appleby, Cheltenham took Moola and ..... to Brighton and Bognor .... and at 90* clock..
39. (i.e. 1939) Moola's (?) letter arrived and I met .......... Windsor Staines and (?) Calif of England - to go to America
.......... he and his son .......... Commissioner - San Francisco if you are keen on Government service .......... game me his address and said that I shall go to Devon on the 13th June .......... called me
....... king's bodyguards.
On the 5th I met .......... asked for help, and on the 5th went to a meeting but met nobody. If anybody had met me perhaps things would never have reached this pass. I did not know that he was going to the meeting, so on the 13th I did not go to the meeting specially for this purpose.
Note : In the margin this is marked 'important'.
Col. Appleby .......... Glasgow and Blackpool .......... and every evening went for a walk, and Weston-Super-Marc Atlantic Hotel, Cheltenham - Queens Hotel .......... Mary Hotel - everyday used to take (me) for a walk.
Sheet ''C'' concludes with the following words in English:
Black Englishman .......... Indian the some for the foreign Govt. Downtrodden and the oppressed people of India (some words then crossed out) we are fighting for our Iives and our liberties and we could not allow the British vultures. Indians are tired of living under British tyranny. Death or freedom – within a year after end of the war.
Sheet ''D'' Page 502
This sheet is headed "National Hymns". It begins as follows:
The motherland cannot remain fore over a slave chamber: she will be free: the time has come.
In the margin is the following:
Dear Gandhi, star of the Nation, free the motherland; Old man, young men and infants are weeping; do you free them.
What follows is a succession of compositions, mostly political written at various times, in Urdu and Gurmukhi. One of them appears to be a transcript of the famous poem
"Hindustan Hamara'' by the late Punjabi poet Iqbal.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Here is an extract from the very first Biography published in May 1931 that too by a comrade who was co-accused with Bhagat Singh in Lahore Conspiracy Case . These paragraphs will help us understand Revolutionary Bhagat Singh much better.
"In the memorable statement in the Delhi Assembly Bomb Case, Sardar Bhagat Singh had declared, "We humbly claim to be serious students of history," and in the course of that statement revealed startling proofs of his wide study and culture. It was during the years 1925 and 1926 that Bhagat Singh built up an intellectual reservoir which supplied him material for the rest of his life. He joined the National College founded and run by Lala Lajpat Rai, and devoted himself whole-heartedly to the study of history, politics and economics. Here he had with him two other devoted followers, namely Sukhdeva and Bhagawati Charan, and the three with one or two others created a study-circle on the model of the Russian Revolutionaries like Tchaikovsky and Kropotkin. The Servants of the People Society generously helped them by indenting for the Dwarka Das Library all such books as were asked for by these ardent revolutionary students.
We have the testimony of such eminent men as Professor Chabil Das of the National College and Mr. Raja Ram, the Librarian of the Dwarka Das Library, as to the eagerness with which Bhagat Singh devoured books. At the National College Library also, under the guidance of Sardar Bhagat Singh, a unique collection grew up. As far as we are aware, we have nowhere seen such a collection of suitable literature. Most up-to-date publications on the history of the Revolutionary period in Italy, Russia and Ireland were procured and many rare books on the early history of the revolutionary movement in Russia were collected. Unfortunately, on account of the repeated searches and seizures of books, the library at the National College has now dwindled into a tiny collection ; but still what now remains is a good testimony to the genius and perseverance of Sardar Bhagat Singh who was the real guiding spirit in this collection.
Though an ardent and devoted student of politics, Bhagat Singh was not wholly submerged in the mere study of books. He often ran out to different places, attended secret meetings of the revolutionary parties, came into personal contact with the members of the secret organizations in U. P. and Bengal, and carefully watched the progress of the revolutionary party in India. During the trial in the Kakori Conspiracy Case, he several times came to Lucknow and established secret communications with the under-trials confined in the District Jail. A suggestion was thrown out by them that something should be done to rescue them from Jail, and Bhagat Singh lent himself whole-heartedly to develop a scheme for this purpose. In this work he twice narrowly escaped being arrested. When ultimately the plan failed, he shifted to Cawnpore again, where he resided for sometime.It was during his stay at Cawnpore at this time in the beginning of the year 1926 that Bhagat Singh showed signs of his genius as an organizer."
" Bhagat Singh's idea in organizing the NauJawan Bharat Sabha as a distinct from, and in some cases a rival organization to the Congress should be carefully studied. His study of the poverty question of the world convinced him that the emancipation of India laid not merely in political freedom but in the economic freedom of the masses. Hence the activities of the N. B. Sabha were planned on purely communistic lines. In fact, it was meant to be purely a laborers' and peasants' organization to which the youths of the country were required to render service.
We thus see a great change in the thought and outlook of Sardar Bhagat Singh. In 1926-27, he was of opinion that terrorism should be one of the weapons of the revolutionary party. The hangings in the Kakori Case, in spite of the powerful appeals of the legislators and councilors for a commutation, made him a convinced terrorist. But his deeper study of the problems of India, which were to him identical with those of the world, led him to change his opinion. During his study at the National College, Lahore, he was gradually converted to .socialism, and he began to look up to Russia as the state which came up nearest to his ideal.
" He had a heart, full of emotion and sympathy. Even in the characters of a fiction he used to take extra-ordinary interest, and used to suffer and enjoy -with them. In the Special Magistrate's Court, he began to read aloud to us the beautiful novel, "Seven that were hanged" by Leonoid Andrieve. There is one character in it who shuddered at the idea of execution. He used to utter the words, " I shall not be hanged", and began to believe in it. When Sardar Bhagat Singh was reading out the last scene in the life of this weak condemned man, who was uttering the words, " I shall not be hanged" even while being led to -the scaffold, he smiled and was full of tears. We listeners could not help being affected by the sympathetic tears of one, who had triumphed over the idea of death, for one who was succumbing before it.
Bhagat Singh was an extremely well-read man and his special sphere of study was socialism. The batch of young men that figured in the Lahore Conspiracy Case was essentially an intellectual one. But even in this group Bhagat Singh predominated for his intellectual ascendancy. Though socialism was his special subject, he had deeply studied the history of the Russian revolutionary movement from its beginning in the early 19th century to the October Revolution .of 1917. It is generally believed that very few in India could be compared to him in the knowledge of this special subject. The economic experiment in Russia under the Bolshevik regime also greatly interested him.
He read fiction also with interest. But his favorite works of fiction were of a politico-economic nature. He had no interest in novels of high society life, or those merely confined to love or other human passions. In the jail he had-begun to read the works of Charles Dickens which he liked very much. Some of his favorite works of fiction were : "Boston," "Jungle", "Oil", "Cry for Justice" ( not fiction ) by Upton Sinclair ;"Eternal City" by Hall Caine, of which. many portions of the speeches by Romily he had by heart; Reed's "Ten Day's that shook the world" ; Ropshin's "What never happened" ; "Mother" by Maxim Gorky ; "Career of a nihilist" by Stepniak whose "Birth of Russian Democracy" he regarded as the best of the early Russian revolutionary history , Oscar Wilde's "Vera or the Nihilists", and so forth.
Ever since he began to read communistic literature, Bhagat Singh tried to adapt his life to communistic principles. Kropotkin's "Memoirs" had great influence on him; but it was Michail Bakunin who really transformed his life. As all ideas of God are antagonistic to communistic principles, he tried to banish from his mind any belief in the existence of God. Outwardly he always declared. himself to be an atheist. Whether he was really so from the bottom of his heart is a question that can not be definitely settled now. Perhaps he was successful in gaining victory over the idea of God. When he was arrested in connexion with the Dussehra Bomb Outrage in 1926, and was locked up day and night in a small cell, and subjected to all sorts of refined torture, his faith in athiesm was put to a severe test. Further l studies for the next three years, only confirmed his ideas about the nonexistence of God.
Except for a short period as a reaction against the executions in the Kakori Conspiracy Case, Bhagat Singh was never a terrorist. His whole faith consisted in mass action, action for the masses and by the masses. He believed that the 'Congress, consisted as it was of land lords, capitalists and rich lawyers, could never launch that action which would lead to complete economic freedom for the masses. "Gandhiji is a kind-hearted philanthropist," he used to say, "and it is not philanthropy that is needed, but a dynamic scientific social force." According to him what was needed most was a band of selfless youngmen who would organize and work for that social revolution."
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
This is the second list of selected Urdu couplets . one will be welcome to suggest improvement in these.
ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਕੁਛ ਹੋਰ ਪਸੰਦੀਦਾ ਸ਼ੇਅਰ (ਹਿਸਾ ਦੂਜਾ)
ਦਿਖਾ ਦੂੰਗਾ ਤਮਾਸ਼ਾ ਦੀ ਅਗਰ ਫੁਰਸਤ ਜਮਾਨੇ ਨੇ
ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰ ਦਾਗੇ ਦਿਲ ਏਕ ਤੁਖਮੇਂ ਚਿਰਾਗਾਂ ਕਾ ।
ਔਰੋਂ ਕਾ ਪੈਆਮ ਔਰ , ਮੇਰਾ ਪੈਆਮ ਔਰ ਹੈ
ਇਸ਼ਕ ਕੇ ਦਰਦਮੰਦੋਂ ਕਾ ਤਰਜੇ ਕਲਾਮ ਔਰ ਹੈ।
ਯਾਰਬ ਵੋ ਨਾ ਸਮਝੇ ਹੈਂ , ਨਾ ਸਮਝੇਂਗੇ ਮੇਰੀ ਬਾਤ
ਦੇ ਔਰ ਦਿਲ ਉਨ ਕੋ , ਨਾ ਦੇ ਮੁਝ ਕੋ ਜਬਾਨ ਔਰ।
ਜਾਤੇ ਹੋ ਕਿਹਤੇ ਹੋ ਕਿਆਮਤ ਕੋ ਮਿਲੇਂਗੇ
ਕਿਯਾ ਖੂਬ ਕਿਆਮਤ ਹੈ ਗੋਆ ਕੋਈ ਦਿਨ ਔਰ।
ਨਾ ਪੂਛ ਹਾਲ ਮੇਰਾ , ਚੋਬੇ ਖੁਸ਼ਕ ਸਹਰਾ ਹੂੰ
ਲਗਾ ਕੇ ਆਗ ਮੂਝੇ ਕਾਰਵਾਂ ਰਵਾਨਾ ਹੁਆ ।
ਦਿਲ ਹੀ ਤੋ ਹੈ ਨ , ਸੰਨਗੋ ਖਿਸ਼ਤ ਦਰਦ ਸੇ ਨਾ ਭਰ ਆਏ ਕਿਉਂ
ਰੋੲੈਂਗੇ ਹਮ ਹਜਾਰ ਬਾਰ , ਕੋਈ ਹਮੇਂ ਸਤਾਏ ਕਿਉਂ।
ਦੈਰ ਨਹੀਂ , ਦਰ ਨਹੀਂ, ਹਰਮ ਨਹੀਂ , ਆਸਤਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ
ਬੈਠੇ ਹੈਂ ਰਾਹਗੁਜਰ ਪੇ ਹਮ ਗੈਰ ਹਮੈਂ ਉਠਾਏ ਕਿਉਂ।
ਦਿਲ ਕੋ ਸਬ ਬਾਤੋਂ ਕੀ ਹੈ ਨਾਸਹ ਖਬਰ
ਸਮਝੇ ਸਮਝਾਏ ਕੋ ਹਮ ਸਮਝਾਏਂ ਕਯਾ।
ਕੂਏਂ ਕਾਤਲ ਕੋ ਚਲੇਂ ਹਮ ਤੋ ਅਦਮ ਕੋ ਪੁਹੰਚੇ
ਰਾਹ ਜਾਤੀ ਹੈ ਉਧਰ ਹੋ ਕੇ ਹਮਾਰੇ ਘਰ ਕੋ ।
ਆਜ ਕੁਛ ਔਰ ਭੀ ਪੀ ਲੂੰ ਕਿ ਸੁਨਾ ਹੈ ਮੈਂ ਨੇ
ਆਤੇ ਹੈਂ ਹਜਰਤ ਵਾਜ ਮੇਰੇ ਸਮਝਾਨੇ ਕੋ
ਆਤਸ਼ੇ ਉਲਫਤ ਭੀ ਕਿਯਾ ਹੋ , ਆਤਸ਼ੇ ਖਾਮੋਸ਼ ਹੈਂ
ਉਡ ਗਏ ਦਿਲ ਕੇ ਧੂਏਂ ਲੇਕਿਨ ਧੂਆਂ ਕੋਈ ਨਹੀਂ।
ਬਕ ਰਹਾ ਹੂੰ ਜਨੂਨ ਮੈਂ ਕਯਾ ਕਯਾ ਕੁਛ
ਕੁਛ ਨਾ ਸਮਝੇ ਖੁਦਾ ਕਰੇ ਕੋਈ।
ਬੁਏ ਗੁਲ, ਨਾਲਾਏ ਦਿਲ ਵਵਦੇ ਚਿਰਾਗੇ ਮਹਫਲ
ਜੋ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਜਮ ਸੇ ਨਿਕਲਾ ਸੋ ਪਰੇਸ਼ਾਨ ਨਿਕਲਾ
ਖੁਦਾ ਬਖਸ਼ੇ ਦਿਲੇ ਮਰਹੂਮ ਕੀ ਅਬ ਕਦਰ ਜਾਤੀ ਹੈ,
ਯਹ ਦਾਗੇ ਆਰਜੂ ਇਸ ਮਰਨੇ ਵਾਲੇ ਕੀ ਨਿਸ਼ਾਨੀ ਹੈ।
ਵਹੀ ਬੇੈਠੇ ਰਹੋ , ਬਸ ਦੂਰ ਸੇ ਬਾਤ ਕਰਤੇ ਹੈਂ
ਜਫਾ ਕੈਸੀ , ਵਫਾ ਸੇ ਭੀ ਤੁਮਾਹਰੀ ਹਮ ਤੋਬਾ ਕਰਤੇ ਹੈਂ।
ਆਹ ਕਰੂੰ ਤੋ ਜਗ ਜਲੇ ਔਰ ਜੰਗਲ ਭੀ ਜਲ ਜਾਏ
ਪਾਪੀ ਜੀਵੜਾ ਨਾ ਜਲੇ ਜਿਸ ਮੇਂ ਆਹ ਸਮਾਏ।
Original Urdu Poetry note kept by Revolutionary Bhagat Singh in Condemned cell- page2. part of it has been trnasliterated in Punjabi and Urdu
In his condemned cell Bhagat Singh kept a collection of Urdu Poetry .Here is first part of it in Punjabi and Hindi
Revolutionary keeps himself in great spirit in the face of death too. So in Condemned cell Revolutionary Bhagat Singh kept notes of Urdu poetry. One piece of that is being reproduced here with Hindi and Gurmukhi transliteration. A study of this gives us a look into the deep life philosophy of his and and answers the question raised by reactionary forces that under the pressure of death he may have left his ideology of self confidence and must have moved to some religious moorings. But he was a couragesious youngmen and his source of optimism was these urdu couplets .
ਫਾਂਸੀ ਦੀ ਕੋਠੜੀ ਵਿਚ ਇਹ ਸ਼ੇਅਰ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਆਪਨੇ ਪਾਸ ਰਖੇ ਹੋਏ ਸਨ । ਇਹ ਤਰੀਕਾ ਸੀ ਆਪਨੇ ਮਨੋਬਲ ਨੂੰ ਮਜਬੂਤ ਬਣਾਈ ਰਖਣ ਦਾ । ਇਹ ਇਸ ਸਵਾਲ ਦਾ ਜਵਾਬ ਵੀ ਹੇੈ ਕਿ ਉਹ ਆਪਨੇ ਆਖਰੀ ਦਿਨ ਕਿਸ ਤਰ੍ਹਾ ਗੁਜਾਰ ਰਿਹਾ ਸੀ। ਇਹਨਾ ਸ਼ੇਅਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਪੜ੍ਹ ਕੇ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਜੀਵਨ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਤੇ ਵੀ ਇਕ ਝਾਤ ਮਿਲਦੀ ਹੈ। -- ਜਗਮੋਹਨ
ਯਹ ਨਾ ਥੀ ਹਮਾਰੀ ਕਿਸਮਤ ਜੋ ਵਿਸਾਲੇ ਯਾਰ ਹੋਤਾ
ਅਗਰ ਔਰ ਜੀਤੇ ਰਹਤੇ ਯਹੀ ਇਂਤਜਾਰ ਹੋਤਾ
ਤੇਰੇ ਵਾਦੇ ਪਰ ਜਿਏਂ ਹਮ ਤੋ ਯਹ ਜਾਨ ਛੁਟ ਜਾਨਾ
ਕਿ ਖੁਸ਼ੀ ਸੇ ਮਰ ਨ ਜਾਤੇ ਅਗਰ ਏਤਬਾਰ ਹੋਤਾ
ਤੇਰੀ ਨਾਜੁਕੀ ਸੇ ਜਾਨਾ ਕਿ ਬਂਧਾ ਥਾ ਅਹਦੇ ਫਰਦਾ
ਕਭੀ ਤੂ ਨ ਤੋੜ ਸਕਤਾ ਅਗਰ ਇਸਤੇਵਾਰ ਹੋਤਾ
ਯਹ ਕਹਾਂ ਕੀ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਹੈ (ਕਿ) ਬਨੇ ਹੈਂ ਦੋਸਤ ਨਾਸੇਹ
ਕੋਈ ਚਾਰਸਾਜ ਹੋਤਾ ਕੋਈ ਗਮ ਗੁਸਾਰ ਹੋਤਾ
ਕਹੂਂ ਕਿਸ ਸੇ ਮੈਂ ਕੇ ਕਯਾ ਹੈ ਸ਼ਬੇ ਗਮ, ਬੁਰੀ ਬਲਾ ਹੈ
ਮੁਝੇ ਕਯਾ ਬੁਰਾ ਥਾ ਮਰਨਾ ਅਗਰ ਏਕ ਬਾਰ ਹੋਤਾ
ਇਸ਼ਰਤੇ ਕਤਲ ਗਹੇ ਅਹਲੇ ਤਮੰਨਾ ਮਤ ਪੂਸ਼
ਇਦੇ ਨਜਾਰਾ ਹੈ ਸ਼ਮਸ਼ੀਰ ਕੀ ੳਰਿਆਂ ਹੋਨਾ
ਕੀ ਤੇਰੇ ਕਤਲ ਕੇ ਬਾਦ ਉਸ ਨੇ ਜਫਾ ਹੋਨਾ
ਕਿ ਉਸ ਜੁਦ ਪਸ਼ੇਮਾਂ ਕਾ ਪਸ਼ੇਮਾਂ ਹੋਨਾ
ਹੈਫ ਉਸ ਚਾਰਗਿਰਹ ਕਪੜੇ ਕੀ ਕਿਸਮਤ ਗਾਲਿਬ
ਜਿਸ ਕੀ ਕਿਸਮਤ ਮੈਂ ਲਿਖਾ ਹੋ ਆਸ਼ਿਕ ਕਾ ਗਰੇਬਾਂ ਹੋਨਾ
ਮੈਂ ਸ਼ਮਾਂ ਆਖਿਰ ਸ਼ਬ ਹੂੰ ਸੁਨ ਸਰ ਗੁਜਸ਼ਤ ਮੇਰੀ
ਫਿਰ ਸੁਬਹ ਹੋਨੇ ਤਕ ਤੋ ਕਿਸਾ ਹੀ ਮੁਖਤਸਰ ਹੈ
ਅਸ਼ਾ ਹੈ ਦਿਲ ਕੇ ਸਾਥ ਰਹੇ ਪਾਸਬਾਨੇ ਅਕਲ
ਲੇਕਿਨ ਕਭੀ ਕਭੀ ਇਸੇ ਤੰਨਹਾ ਭੀ ਛੌੜ ਦੇ
ਨ ਪੂਛ ਇਕਬਾਲ ਕਾ ਠਿਕਾਨਾ ਅਭੀ ਵਹੀ ਕੈਫਿਯਤ ਹੈ ਉਸ ਕੀ
ਕਹੀਂ ਸਰੇਰਾਹ ਗੁਜਰ ਬੈਠਾ ਸਿਤਮਕਸ਼ੇ ਇੰਤਜਾਰ ਹੋਗਾ
ਅਕਲ ਕਿਯਾ ਚੀਜ ਹੈ ਏਕ ਵਜਾ ਕੀ ਪਾਬੰਦੀ ਹੈ
ਦਿਲ ਕੋ ਮੁਦਤ ਹੂਈ ਇਸ ਕੈਦ ਸੇ ਆਜਾਦ ਕਿਯਾ
ਨਸ਼ਾ ਪਿਲਾ ਕੇ ਗਿਰਾਨਾ ਤੋ ਸਭ ਕੋ ਆਤਾ ਹੈ
ਮਜਾ ਤੋ ਜਬ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਗਿਰਤੋਂ ਕੋ ਥਾਮ ਲੈ ਸਾਕੀ
ਭਲਾ ਨਿਭੇਗੀ ਤੇਰੀ ਹਮ ਸੇ ਕਿਊਂ ਕਰ ਏ ਵਾਯਜ
ਕਿ ਹਮ ਤੋ ਰਸਮੇ ਮੋਹਬਤ ਕੋ ਆਮ ਕਰਤੇ ਹੈਂ
ਮੈਂ ਉਨਕੀ ਮਹਫਿਲ-ਏ- ਇਸ਼ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਕਾਂਪ ਜਾਤਾ ਹੂੰ
ਜੋ ਘਰ ਕੋ ਫੂੰਕ ਕੇ ਦੁਨਿਆ ਮੈਂ ਨਾਮ ਕਰਤੇ ਹੈਂ
ਕੋਈ ਦਮ ਕਾ ਮੇਹਮਾਂ ਹੂੰ ਏ ਅਹਲੇ ਮਹਫਿਲ
ਚਰਾਗੇ ਸਹਰ ਹੂੰ ਬੂਝਾ ਚਾਹਤਾ ਹੂੰ।
ਆਬੋ ਹਵਾ ਮੈਂ ਰਹੇਗੀ ਖਿਆਲ ਕੀ ਬਿਜਲੀ
ਯਹ ਮੁਸ਼ਤੇ ਖਾਕ ਹੈ ਫਾਨੀ ਰਹੇ ਰਹੇ ਨਾ ਰਹੇ।
ਖੁਦਾ ਕੇ ਆਸ਼ਿਕ ਤੋ ਹੈਂ ਹਜਾਰੋਂ , ਬਨੋਂ ਮੈਂ ਫਿਰਤੇ ਹੈਂ ਮਾਰੇ ਮਾਰੇ
ਮੈਂ ਉਸ ਕਾ ਬੰਦਾ ਬਨੂੰਗਾ ਜਿਸਕੋ ਖੁਦਾ ਕੇ ਬੰਦੋਂ ਸੇ ਪਿਆਰ ਹੋਗਾ
ਮੈਂ ਵੁਹ ਚਿਰਾਗ ਹੂੰ ਜਿਸੇ ਫਰੋਗੇ ਹਸਤੀ ਮੈਂ
ਕਰੀਬ ਸੁਬਹ ਰੌਸ਼ਨ ਕਿਯਾ , ਬੁਝਾ ਭੀ ਦਿਯਾ
ਤੁਝੇ ਸ਼ਾਖੇ-ਏ-ਗੁਲ ਸੇ ਤੋੜੇਂ ਜਹੇਨਸੀਬ ਤੇਰੇ
ਤੜਪਤੇ ਰਹ ਗਏ ਗੁਲਜਾਰ ਮੈਂ ਰਾਕੀਬ ਤੇਰੇ।
ਦਹਰ ਕੋ ਦੇਤੇ ਹੈਂ ਮੁਏ ਦੀਦ-ਏ-ਗਿਰਿਯਾਂ ਹਮ
ਆਖਰ ਬਾਦਲ ਹੈਂ ਗੁਜਰੇ ਹੁਏ ਤੂਫਾਂ ਕੇ ਹਮ
ਮੈਂ ਜੁਲਮਤੇ ਸ਼ਬ ਮੈਂ ਲੇ ਕੇ ਨਿਕਲੂੰਗਾ ਅਪਨੇ ਦਰ ਮਾਂਦਾ ਕਾਰਵਾਂ ਕੋ
ਸ਼ਰਰਫਸ਼ਾਂ ਹੋਗੀ ਆਹ ਮੇਰੀ ਨਫਸ ਮੇਰਾ ਸ਼ੋਲਾ ਬਾਰ ਹੋਗਾ
ਜੋ ਸ਼ਾਖ-ਏ-ਨਾਜੁਕ ਪੈ ਆਸ਼ਿਯਾਨਾ ਬਨੇਗਾ ਨਾ ਪਾਏਦਾਰ ਹੋਗਾ
यह न थी हमारी किस्मत जो विसाले यार होता
अगर और जीते रहते यही इन्तेज़ार होता
तेरे वादे पर जिऐं हम तो यह जान छूट जाना
कि खुशी से मर न जाते अगर ऐतबार होता
तेरी नाज़ुकी से जाना कि बंधा था अहदे फ़र्दा
कभी तू न तोड़ सकता अगर इस्तेवार होता
यह कहाँ की दोस्ती है (कि) बने हैं दोस्त नासेह
कोई चारासाज़ होता कोई ग़म गुसार होता
हूं किससे मैं के क्या है शबे ग़म बुरी बला है
मुझे क्या बुरा था मरना, अगर एक बार होता
इशरते कत्ल गहे अहले तमन्ना मत पूछ
इदे-नज्जारा है शमशीर की उरियाँ होना
की तेरे क़त्ल के बाद उसने ज़फा होना
कि उस ज़ुद पशेमाँ का पशेमां होना
हैफ उस चारगिरह कपड़े की क़िस्मत ग़ालिब
जिस की किस्मत में लिखा हो आशिक़ का गरेबां होना
मैं शमां आखिर शब हूँ सुन सर गुज़श्त मेरी
फिर सुबह होने तक तो किस्सा ही मुख़्तसर है
अच्छा है दिल के साथ रहे पासबाने अक़्ल
लेकिन कभी – कभी इसे तन्हा भी छोड़ दे
न पूछ इक़बाल का ठिकाना अभी वही कैफ़ियत है उस की
कहीं सरेराह गुज़र बैठा सितमकशे इन्तेज़ार होगा
औरौं का पयाम और मेरा पयाम और है
इश्क के दर्दमन्दों का तरज़े कलाम और है
अक्ल क्या चीज़ है एक वज़ा की पाबन्दी है
दिल को मुद्दत हुई इस कैद से आज़ाद किया
नशा पिला के गिराना तो सबको आता है
मज़ा तो जब है कि गिरतों को थाम ले साकी
भला निभेगी तेरी हमसे क्यों कर ऍ वायज़
कि हम तो रस्में मोहब्बत को आम करते हैं
मैं उनकी महफ़िल-ए-इशरत से कांप जाता हूँ
जो घर को फूंक के दुनिया में नाम करते हैं।
कोई दम का मेहमां हूँ ऐ अहले महफ़िल
चरागे सहर हूँ बुझा चाहता हूँ।
आबो हवा में रहेगी ख़्याल की बिजली
यह मुश्ते ख़ाक है फ़ानी रहे न रहे
खुदा के आशिक़ तो हैं हजारों, बनों में फिरते हैं मारे-मारे
मै उसका बन्दा बनूंगा जिसको खुदा के बन्दों से प्यार होगा
मैं वो चिराग हूँ जिसको फरोगेहस्ती में
करीब सुबह रौशन किया, बुझा भी दिया
तुझे, शाख-ए-गुल से तोडें जहेनसीब तेरे
तड़पते रह गए गुलज़ार में रक़ीब तेरे।
दहर को देते हैं मुए दीद-ए-गिरियाँ हम
आखिरी बादल हैं एक गुजरे हुए तूफां के हम
मैं ज़ुल्मते शब में ले के निकलूंगा अपने दर मांदा कारवां को
शरर फ़शां होगी आह मेरी नफ़स मेरा शोला बार होगा
जो शाख-ए- नाज़ुक पे आशियाना बनेगा ना पाएदार होगा।
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Autobiography and Speeches of Sardar Ajit Singh Uncle of Shahid Bhagat Singh . He lead in 1907 Pagri Sambhal Jatta peasentary movement
Sardar Ajit Singh remained exiled for till March 1947. He played important role in stuggles against British Imperialism in many countries of Europe and Soth America. He breathed his last on 15th August, 1947 at Dalhousie ( now in Himachal Pardesh India)
I am really obliged to Mr.Safir Ramah of Academy of Punjab in North America , for making it possible to have a web publication of Punjabi edition on the Best Punjabi Literature archives of West and East Punjab maintained by APNA.
This book can be read in English at the link
and in Punjabi (Gurmukhi) at the following link.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
दिल दे तो इस मिज़ाज़ का परवरदिगार दे
जो ग़म की घड़ी को भी खुशी से गुजार दे
सजाकर मैयते उम्मीद नाकामी के फूलों से
किसी बेदर्द ने रख दी मेरे टूटे हुए दिल में
छेड़ ना ऐ फरिश्ते तू जिक्रे गमें जानांना
क्यूं याद दिलाते हो भूला हुआ अफ़साना
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Read pages 1 to 73 which makes part 1 of Jail Note Book in text . This is also available on the web site www.shahidbhagatsingh.org
Monday, April 27, 2009
A Page from the Jail Note Book maintained by Shahid Bhagat Singh from 12th Sep.1929 till 7th October, 1930
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Justice Krishna Iyer’s plea For justice to Binayak Sen thus removal of a cause of much shame to Indian democracy.”
The text of a letter written by Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, former Supreme Court Judge, to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, dated April 17, 2009:
I would like to bring to your attention a case of grave injustice which is a cause of much shame to Indian democracy: that of Dr. Binayak Sen, the well known paediatrician and defender of human rights.
This good doctor has been incarcerated in a Raipur jail for nearly two years now under the Chhattisgarh State Public Security Act, 2005. Among the charges against Dr. Sen, who is renowned worldwide for his public health work among the rural poor, are "treason and waging war against the state."
Chhattisgarh State prosecutors claim that Binayak, as part of an unproven conspiracy, passed on a set of letters from Narayan Sanyal, a senior Maoist leader who is in the Raipur jail, to Piyush Guha, a local businessman with allegedly close links to the left-wing extremists. He was supposed to have done this while visiting Sanyal in prison both in his capacity as a human rights activist and as a doctor treating him for various medical ailments.
The trial of Dr. Sen, which began in a Raipur Sessions Court late April 2008, has, however, not thrown up even a shred of evidence to justify any of these charges against him. By March 2009, of the 83 witnesses listed for deposition by the prosecution as part of the original charge-sheet, 16 were dropped by the prosecutors themselves and six declared 'hostile', while 61 others have deposed without corroborating any of the accusations against Dr. Sen. Irrespective of the merits of the case against Dr. Sen, there are very disturbing aspects to the way the trial process has been carried out so far.
As if all this were not enough, Dr. Sen has also been repeatedly denied bail by the Bilaspur High Court (in September 2007 and December 2008). And the Supreme Court of India rejected his special leave petition to have the bail application heard before it (in December 2007).
Given the paucity of evidence in the trial of Dr. Sen so far, in all fairness the Raipur court should have dismissed the case against him altogether by now. Certainly the weakness of the prosecution's position should entitle him to at least grant of bail. Dr. Sen is a person of international standing and reputation, with a record of impeccable behaviour throughout his distinguished career. In May 2008, in an unprecedented move 22 Nobel Prize winners even signed a public statement calling him a 'professional colleague' and asking for his release.
Normally bail is refused only in cases where courts believe an accused can tamper with evidence, prejudice witnesses or run away. In Dr. Sen's case none of these apply, as shown by the simple fact that at the time of his arrest he chose to come to the Chhattisgarh police voluntarily and made no attempt to abscond despite knowing about his possible detention.
Today Dr. Sen, a diabetic who is also hypertensive, is himself in urgent need of medical treatment for his deteriorating heart condition. In recent weeks his health has worsened and a doctor appointed by the court to examine him recommended that he be transferred to Vellore for an angiography and perhaps, if needed, an angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft without further delay.
Instead of recognising their social contributions, the Indian state, by wrongly branding Dr. Sen and many other human rights defenders like him as 'terrorists', is making a complete mockery of not just democratic norms and fair governance but its entire anti-terrorist strategy and operations.
The repeated denial of bail which results in 'punishment by trial' constitutes an even graver threat to Indian society. The sheer injustice involved will only breed cynicism among ordinary citizens about the credibility and efficacy of Indian democracy itself.
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Fiaz Ahmed Faiz , one of the great revolutionary poet of United India paid tribute to the spirit of Martyrdom of Bhagat Singh ,Rajguru and Sukhdev
This poem is the tribute paid by Faiz Sahib to the revolutionary spirit of Bhagat Singh and his compatriots
कब याद में तेरा साथ नहीं कब हाथ में तेरा हाथ नहीं
सद शुक्र के अपनी रातों में अब हिज्र की कोई रात नहीं
मुश्किल हैं अगर हालात वहाँ दिल बेच आयेँ जाँ दे आयेँ
दिल वालो कूचा-ए-जानाँ में क्या ऐसे भी हालात नहीं
जिस धज से कोई मक़्तल में गया वो शान सलामत रहती है
ये जान तो आनी जानी है इस जाँ की तो कोई बात नहीं
मैदान-ए-वफ़ा दर्बार नहिओं याँ नाम-ओ-नसब की पूछ कहाँ
आशिक़ तो किसी का नाम नहीं कुछ इश्क़ किसी की ज़ात नहीं
गर बाज़ी इश्क़ की बाज़ी है जो चाहो लगा दो डर कैसा
गर जीत गए तो क्या कहना हारे भी तो बाज़ी मात नहीं
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
" However ultimately the problem cannot be satisfactorily solved unless and until untouchable community themselves unite and organize. We regard their recent uniting to form their distinct identity, and also demanding representation equal to Muslims in legislatures, being equal to them in numbers a move in the right direction."
And the suggestion Bhagat Singh makes is very interesting to
" Waste no time and unite to stand on your own feet and challenge the existing order of society. Let it then be seen as to who dares to deny your due. Do not be at mercy of others and have no illusions about them. Be on guard so as not to fall in trap of officialdom , because far from being your ally it seeks to make you dance to its own tunes. The capitalist bureaucratic combine is, truly speaking responsible for your oppression and poverty . Hence always shun it. Be on guard about its tricks. This is then the way out." - Editor
[ This article by Bhagat Singh was published in the "KIRTI " a Punjabi Magazine published from Amritsar in June,1928. : ed]
Our is in a really bad shape; here strangest questions are asked but the topmost among them concerns the Untouchables, who count 6 crore in a population of 30 crore.
For instance :
Would contact with an untouchable mean defilement of upper class?
Would the God in the temples, not get angry by entry of untouchable there?
Would the drinking water of a well not get polluted if the untouchables drew the water from the well?
These questions are being asked in the twentieth century, is a matter which makes our heads hang in shame.
We the Indians who boast of our spiritualism ,but we avoid accepting every human being as a fellow being just like ourselves. Western people on the other hand , who carry a reputation of being money-minded, had unequivocally affirmed their faith in the principle of equality. This they did during the revolutions in America and France and above all in Russia; these days Russsia is committed to the extension of this principle to all aspects of life and to ending the discriminations in any form whatsoever, there by fulfilling the ideals of May Day declaration. But we Indians on our part who never tire of boasting about our gods and godliness are, yet seriously debating whether to permit the untouchable to wear the sacred thread or the janeu and whether the untouchable be permited to read Vedas / Shastras. We often complain about our maltreatment in other countries, and particularly when we are maltreated by the whites, do we have any moral right to voice such a protest?
In 1926 , a Sindhi Muslim gentleman, Mr. Nur Mohammad , member of Bombay Legislative Council aptly remarked:-
" If the Hindu Society refuses to allow other human beings, fellow creatures at that , to attend public schools , and if …. The president of local board representing so many lakhs of people in this house, refuses to allow his fellows and brothers, the elementary human rights of having water to drink, what right have they to ask for more rights from bureaucracy? Before we accuse the people coming from other lands, we should see how we ourselves behave towards our own people.
How can we ask for greater political rights when ourselves deny elementary rights to human beings?
How true! But since this had been said by a Muslim, Hindu lost no time in alleging that Muslim's real intention was to convert the untouchables to Islam and thus assimilate them into their own brotherhood. But then, it amounted to an open admission of the harsh truth – that if you ( The Hindus) treat them worse than your cattle, they will desert you, join the fold of other religions where they hope to enjoy more rights, where they are treated as fellow being.
Would it not then be pointless to blame the Christians and Muslims that they were undermining Hinduism?
How fair and true! Yet the Hindus tremble in anger on hearing this plain truth. In any case, it has shaken Hindus from their complacency in the matter. Orthodox Brahmins too have started re-thinking about it, joined also by some self-proclaimed reformers. At Patna a gala Hindu meet was held. Lala Lajpat Rai, known for his longstanding sympathy for the untouchables, was presiding. A lot of hot arguments were exchanged as to whether the untouchables are eligible to wear sacred thread, the Janeu ? Could they read Vedas / Shastras ? A number of social reformers lost their temper but Lala ji was able to persuade them to compromise on these two matters and thereby saved the prestige of Hindu religion; otherwise what would have been the consequence?
Just imagine how shameful it is ! Even a dog can sit in our lap , it can also move freely in our kitchen but if a fellow human being touches you, your dharma is endangered. So much so, even a reputed social reformer like Pandit Malviya ji known for his soft corner for untouchables, first agree to be publicly garlanded by a sweeper , but then afterwards regards himself to be polluted till he bathes and washes those clothes . How ironical! In the temples meant for worshipping God, who lives in us all, if a poor man enters, it gets defiled and God gets annoyed. When this is the state of affairs within the Hindu fold, does it behove us to quarrel and fight in the name of the brotherhood? Above all this kind of approach to this question amounts to ingratitude of the highest degree; those who provide the comforts by doing menial jobs for us, we shun them. We could worship even animals, but would not tolerate fellow humans to sit beside us.
This is an issue of hot debate these days, the poor creatures getting special attention in this way. In the context of our advance towards national liberation, the problem of communal representation ( seats in the legislatures allotted to Hindu, Sikh and Musl;im population) may not have been beneficial in any manner but at least Hindu/Muslim/Sikhs are all striving hard to maximize their own respective quota of seats by attracting the maximum number of untouchables to their own respective folds. Accordingly Muslim started providing them equal rights after converting them to Islam.
This naturally hurt the Hindus. Bitterness mounted riots too broke out. By and by Sikhs too woke up lest they be left behind in this race. They too started administering Amrit; tension mounted between Sikhs and Hindus over the removal of Janeu or hair shaving. All in all, all the three are trying to outdo the others , resulting in widespread distrurbances. Christians sitting on the fence are quietly consolidating their hold.
Be as it may, this turmoil is certainly helping us to move towards the weakening of the hold of untouchability.
As for the untouchables, when they discovered that all this great turmoil was on their account and Hindus, Muslim and Sikhs , all were trying to profit at their cost, they also started thinking, " why should we not organize on our own?" No one is certain whether they are doing so as a result of official prompting or at their own but once this line of thinking had taken roots, certainly this trend is being fully backed up by official quarters. " Adi Dharma Mandal" and the like are end result of this trend.
Here the basic question arises, how precisely can we solve this tangle? The answer is quite obvious; above all it needs to be settled for good, that all human are equal without distinction of birth or vocation. In other words that since someone is born in poor sweeper's family, he shall continue cleaning toilets all his life and thus get deprived of all chances of progress in life, is all nonsense. Historically speaking when our Aryan ancestors nurtured these practices of discrimination towards this strata of society , shunning all human contact with them by labeling them as menials and assigning all the degrading jobs to them, they also, naturally started worrying about a revolt against this system. "All this is result of your past sins; nothing can be done about it now. Bear it silently!" and with such kind of sleeping pills, they were able to buy peace for quite some time. All the same they were guilty of a great sin on this account, since the amounted to negation of core human values like self-esteem and self-reliance, a grossly cruel conduct by all means. Yet present is the moment of atonement.
In a broader social perspective , untouchability had a pernicious side-effects; people in general got used to hating the jobs which were otherwise vital for life. We treated the weaver who provided us cloths as untouchable. In U.P water carriers were also considered untouchable. All this caused tremendous damage to our progress by undermining the dignity of labour, especially manual labour. We have thus accepted it one for all, that in order to move forward we have to give up either considering or calling them untouchables.
Everything else shall fall in place by itself.
In this regard, a strategy adopted by Naujawan Bharat Sabha and Youth conference is , most apt to seek forgiveness from those brethrens , whom we have been calling untouchables by treating them as our fellow beings, without making them go through conversion ceremonies of Sikhism, Islam or Hinduism, by accepting food/ water from their hands. On the other hand quarreling among ourselves in the race to win them over, without restoring to them their human dignity is futile.
But the moment we went to villages with our message of human equality and brotherhood mentioned above, Government agents started inciting the Jat community saying that this would embolden these menials to refuse serving them. This was sufficient to provoke the Jats , to oppose our efforts in the right direction.
But the upper casts should also realize that their own status in life cannot change for better as long as they persist in considering these people as inferior, calling them menials, and keeping them under their heels. It is argued that they are unclean. The harsh truth is that they are poor; remove their poverty and they shall be clean. Don't we find that the poor even among the upper casts are no less unclean? Besides doing unclean jobs is not bad; for example mothers perform all the unclean duties for their children. Do they become unclean?
However ultimately the problem cannot be satisfactorily solved unless and until untouchable community themselves unite and organize. We regard their recent uniting to form their distinct identity, and also demanding representation equal to Muslims in legislatures, being equal to them in numbers a move in the right direction. Either reject communal representation all together else give these people too their due shares! In principle, Councils and Assemblies are duty bound to ensure full and free access for all these communities to schools, colleges, wells and roads; that too not only on paper but by actually accompanying them to wells , schools, and get them admitted there. But can these legislatures , where a lot of hue and cry is raised even over a bill to ban child marriage, on the ground that it shall be a threat to their religion dare to bring the untouchables to their level on their own? No, never; that is why we plead that they must persist in pressing for their own distinct representation in legislatures in proportion to their numerical strength. We mince no words in proclaiming: "Arise ! So called untouchables , the real sustainers of life , awake and reflect over your past , you were the backbone of Guru Gobind Singh's army .Shivaji was able to achieve all that with your participation which made him ever shining in history. Your sacrifices are worthy of being embedded in golden letters. The way in which you sustain us and add to your comforts ought to make us feel grateful to you. It is we who fail to appreciate you." The Land Alination Act ( banning transfer of land to non agricultural communities, defined as per caste) does not permit you to buy land even if you manage the necessary amount of cost. The way you are being oppressed had prompted Miss Mayo of USA to label you "less than Man". As a matter of fact, without your own efforts, you shall not be able to move ahead.
"Those who would be free must themselves strike the first blow". It must be kept in mind that every one belonging to the privileged class, strives to enjoy his own rights, but would try his utmost to keep oppressing those below him, and keeping the underprivileged under the heel. Thus, might is held to be right. Waste no time and unite to stand on your own feet and challenge the existing order of society. Let it then be seen as to who dares to deny your due. Do not be at mercy of others and have no illusions about them. Be on guard so as not to fall in trap of officialdom , because far from being your ally it seeks to make you dance to its own tunes. The capitalist bureaucratic combine is, truly speaking responsible for your oppression and poverty . Hence always shun it. Be on guard about its tricks. This is then the way out. You are the real working class. Workers unite – you have nothing to lose but your chains. Arise and rebel against the existing order. Gradualism and reformism shall be of no avail to you. Start a revolution from a social agitation and gird up your loins for political and economic revolution. You and you alone are pillars of the nation and its core strength. Awake, O sleeping lions! Rebel , raise the banner of revolt.