In jail, Bhagat Singh and his colleagues had to suffer so much, but they never left the feeling of love for life. In the court, he often used to sing patriotic songs like ‘Inquilab Zindabad’. Today (March 23) is Shaheed Diwas (Martyrs Day) which is observed in memory of three freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the country. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were hanged till death on March 23, 1931, in Lahore jail by the colonial British.
In honor of their 87th death anniversary, let’s remind their last moments, words and activities before their death.
The beginning of March 23, 1931 in the Lahore Central Jail was like any other day.
But prison prisoners felt a bit strange when at four o’clock, Warden Charat Singh came to them and said that they should go to their respective cells and did not tell the reason. He only said that the order is from above. Now the prisoners were thinking about the matter, at the same time the barber of the prisoner, Barkat roamed in front of every room and told that Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev are to be hanged tonight.
The news left them speechless. The prisoners requested Barkat to give Bhagat Singh’s pen, comb or watch, so that they could tell their grandchildren that they were also locked in jail with the legend Bhagat Singh.
Barkat went to Bhagat Singh’s cell and brought his pen and other things from there. All the prisoners started competing that who would get authority over his belongings.
Lahore conspiracy case
Now all the prisoners were silent. Their eyes were on the way through their cell. Bhagat Singh and his companions were going through the same route to be hanged.
When Bhagat Singh was being taken by the same route, then Punjab Congress leader Bhimsen Sachar raised his voice and asked, “Why did not you and your colleagues defend themselves in the Lahore Conspiracy case?”
Bhagat Singh’s answer was, “Revolutionaries have to die, because their campaigns become stronger by their death, not by appeals in court.”
Two hours before the hanging, Bhagat’s lawyer, Pran Nath Mehta, came to meet him. Mehta later wrote that Bhagat Singh was walking around like a lion in his small cell.
He smiled and welcomed Mehta and asked if you brought my book ‘Revolutionary Lenin’ or not? When Mehta gave him a book, he would read it at that time as if he did not have much time left.
Mehta asked him if you would like to give a message to the country. Bhagat Singh, without removing his face from the book, said, “Only two messages- Samrajyavad (imperialism) Murdabad and ‘inquilab zindabad!’
After this Bhagat Singh told Mehta that he should convey his(Bhagat Singh) thanks to Pandit Nehru and Subhash Bose, who took a keen interest in his case.
His last wish was refused
Bhagat Singh had requested British authorities that he and his associates either be blown by a cannon or be shot dead. However, Britishers not only hanged him before dawn, ahead of the scheduled time on March 23, but had also kept his body on the noose for about an hour.
The three revolutionaries hugged each other
After some time the door opened. Prison officials said, ‘Sardarji, there is a decision to hang you.
Bhagat answered Just wait, a revolutionary is meeting another revolutionary. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru also came out of their cells. The three finally hugged each other last time.
Bhagat Singh said to the British officer- You are lucky that you are getting an opportunity to see with your eyes how the revolutionaries of India happily embrace death for the supreme ideal. Then the three Sang, ‘Inquilab zindabad, Samrajyavad (imperialism) Mudabad.’ And then they all were hanged.
Nobody would have imagined that his martyrdom would prove to be a reason for the end of the British Empire in India and all British soldiers would leave forever from India’s land.