“They may kill me, but they cannot kill my ideas. They can crush my body, but they will not be able to crush my spirit.” – Shaheed Bhagat Singh
More than a century ago, a true visionary and patriot, Shaheed Bhagat Singh was born. On the occasion of his birth anniversary, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College hosted an event in his memory by inviting Mr. Yogendra Yadav for a guest lecture. The scholar recounted stories from Bhagat Singh’s life with great patriotic fervour and talked about the martyr’s relevance in contemporary India. He said that the best way to honour the patriot would be by taking keen interest in today’s politics and thereby contributing to changing the scenario of this country. With great interest, he listened to the questions of the students and gave his insight and views.
A true revolutionary, Bhagat Singh paved the way for the independence of India in more than one way. He could discuss topics ranging from politics to science with a great deal of expertise. He was only 23 years of age when he died but the legacy that he has left behind is going to outlive us all. Bhagat Singh was one of the first socialist thinkers of the country who realised the need to raise the issues of class struggle. He believed in an egalitarian version of society and contributed numerous ideas for the establishment of one. He remains even today as one of the most celebrated freedom fighters. However the question that needs to be raised is: how much of his ideology have we been able to imbibe? At just 23, he left behind a lot of questions to ponder over. We cannot help but wonder whether our disinterested generation has tried to pick up pieces of wisdom from his writings. When most freedom fighters were only working for the decolonisation of the country, Bhagat Singh was trying to look beyond the immediate future. He was trying to create discourses which were required to establish a post-independent India.
In one of his last messages, Bhagat Singh said, “The struggle in India would continue so long as a handful of exploiters go on exploiting the labour of the common people for their own ends. It matters little whether these exploiters are purely British capitalists, or British and Indians in alliance, or even purely Indian.” Had he been alive today, he would have been disheartened to see his worst fears come alive. His vision of an India without the class struggles, poverty, and social injustices still remains a dream. India’s politics today exploit communal, caste, and class conflicts. Everyone manipulates these conflicts according to their convenience. Such a pathetic state of things is certainly a dishonour to the memory of a young man who did not think twice about giving his life for this country.
Hopefully, his cry of “Inquilab Zindabad” instills in today’s youth the same zeal and patriotic fervour that drove him to pave way for India’s freedom. May his ideas and intellectual legacy help us take his struggle and vision of India forward.
Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express