- Satyen Bordoloi
"It takes a loud voice to make the deaf hear, with these immortal words uttered on a similar occasion by Valiant, a French anarchist martyr, do we strongly justify this action of ours," with these words began a pamphlet written by Bhagat Singh to justify his throwing bombs in the Assembly on April 8, 1929.
This act did not kill anyone because he and B K Dutt had thrown their bombs at an empty slot in the assembly. Instead of attempting to flee, they courted arrest because they wanted to serve as an example to the youth of the nation. If you are willing to take a life, you must be ready to lay down yours.
The pamphlet ended with: "We are sorry to admit that we who attach so great a sanctity to human life, who dream of a glorious future, when man will be enjoying perfect peace and full liberty, have been forced to shed human blood.
But the sacrifice of individuals at the altar of the 'Great Revolution' that will bring freedom to all, rendering the exploitation of man by man impossible, is inevitable. Long Live the Revolution."
85 years ago on March 23, 1931, Bhagat Singh was surreptitiously hanged to death along with his comrades in arms Rajguru and Sukhdev. In these 85 years, everyone seems to have learnt a lot about the revolutionary.
This isn't bad. Except that this has not come via reading more about him. Or even reading what he himself has written. Most people know him via the many films made on his life, which sadly are misleading at best and deliberately wrong at times. Most of them have been made by directors or written by writers who either didn't care much about the revolutionary, or if they did, bowed to market pressures to keep him chained to a popular notion.