Every year, on March 23, Martyr’s Day or Shaheed Diwas is observed in memory of three freedom fighters, who sacrificed their lives for the country, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev. Every Indian is proud that these three great men belong to our land.
March 23 marks 88th martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru, the three revolutionary heroes in India’s freedom struggle who were hanged by the British Raj for their alleged involvement in the killing of John Saunders. The trio confused Saunders with JA Scott, a police officer who was believed to have thrashed Lala Lajpat Rai during a lathi charge in October 1928. Considered as one of India’s most influential revolutionaries, he is often referred to as Shaheed Bhagat Singh, the word “Shaheed” meaning “martyr” in a number of Indian languages. India observes Shaheed Diwas on the day of their execution as a show of respect of its hero.
Born on September 28, 1907, in Punjab in British India, Bhagat Singh is a well-known freedom fighter who was a revolutionary socialist and played a crucial role during the Indian freedom struggle. Sukhdev was Born on May 15, 1907, in Ludhiana’s Naughara Mohalla to Ramlal Thapar and Ralli Devi and Rajguru was born on August 24, 1908, into the middle-class family at Khed in Pune district of Maharashtra. All of them grew up witnessing the injustice and exploitation the British Raj continually wrought upon India. These three are best remembered for there involvement in the Lahore Conspiracy Case of 18 December 1928. They were hanged till death on March 23, 1931, in Lahore jail (Now in Pakistan) by the colonial British. We remember the beautiful lines by Ram Prasad Bismil that thrusts immense patriotism in our blood.
“Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil mein hai, Dekhna hai zor kitna baazu-e-qaatil mein hai, Karta nahin kyun doosra kuch baat-cheet, Dekhta hun main jise woh chup teri mehfil mein hai, Aye shaheed-e-mulk-o-millat main tere oopar nisaar, Ab teri himmat ka charcha ghair ki mehfil mein hai, Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai”
They were the great freedom fighters of our nation and there sacrifices led to the freedom of our nation. Its because of them that we are able to survive in free India. No Indian can ever forget there sacrifice and they will always be the heroes of our country.
It is the cause, not the death, that makes the martyr.