Friday, September 28, 2007

Simply loved this Editorial in The Tribune, Chandigarh

Inquilab Zindabad!
Bhagat Singh was a true hero

THIS is an age that worries that its longing for heroes is matched only by rampant trivialisation of both man and cause, where the quest for the people’s good, for just change and the fruits of progress, not to mention a higher purpose and a greater meaning to life, are reduced to a meaningless jumble of slogans and acts of cynical desperation. Bhagat Singh’s birth centenary, therefore, is an occasion to recall the life of a true hero. A revolutionary in the best sense of the term, he characterised inquilab as fundamentally a “longing for a change for the better.”
While he chose the path of violence in contrast to Mahatma Gandhi’s ideal of non-violent resistance, he was not a bloodthirsty militant. He believed there was no alternative if freedom were to be attained, and in his writings is the agony of a sensitive soul, roused to extremist acts by evil oppressors. Though he was involved in the killing of the policeman Saunders, there is enough evidence to suggest that the bomb he threw in the Assembly was designed with more sound than fury and was, in fact, tossed away from the area where it could have caused maximum damage. He and his friends did not run away, but waited to be arrested. In the end, the police could not prove the murder charge against him. He was sent to the gallows for the loftier “waging war against the British empire”.
There is no doubt that even as he willingly embraced death for a cause he believed in, he loved life and was full of it. This was no maniacal seeker of martyrdom. He enjoyed music and reading and was inspired by the ideals of socialism and an egalitarian society where the “exploitation of man by man is rendered impossible”. The mind, he believed, should be “harmonised not to achieve salvation hereafter, but to make the best use of it here below; and not to realise truth, beauty and good only in contemplation, but also in the actual experience of daily life.” That, after all, is the revolutionary quest that every human being should engage in. Long live the revolution!


Anonymous KALPIT MANKIKAR said...

Did you know that the Mumbai Congress even forgot who he was. When asked about any plan to commemorate him. They said Bhagat, who?

1:14 AM  

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