New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday paid tribute to Shaheed Bhagat Singh on his 109th birth anniversary.
“I bow to the courageous Shaheed Bhagat Singh on his birth anniversary. He has left an indelible mark on India’s history through his bravery”, the prime minister said.
Bhagat Singh was an Indian socialist involved in revolutionary activities against the British Raj. He studied European revolutionary movements as a teenager and was attracted to anarchist and Marxist ideologies. He worked with several revolutionary organisations and became prominent in the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), which changed its name to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in 1928.
Seeking revenge for the death of freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai, Singh assassinated John Saunders, a British police officer.
He eluded efforts by the police to capture him. Soon after, he and Batukeshwar Dutt threw two bombs and leaflets inside the Central Legislative Assembly, and offered themselves for arrest.
Held in jail on a charge of murder, he gained widespread national support when he undertook an 116-day hunger strike demanding equal rights for European prisoners, and those Indians imprisoned for what he believed were political reasons.
During this period, sufficient evidence was brought against him for a conviction in the Saunders case after trial by Special Tribunal, and an appeal to the Privy Council in England. He was convicted and hanged in Lahore at the age of 23.