September 28th marks the birthday of Indian Nationalist, Socialist, Syndicalist, Marxist Revolutionary Independence Leader, Bhagat Singh. His aims of a truly sovereign India, free of British and Western ‘banker’ rule and exploitation, have not yet been realized. He was deeply opposed to the false ‘Satyagrah’ methods like those promoted later by the British agent, Gandhi. – ed, J. Flores
By Natasa Khandakar – At this time of 21st-century world imperialism & neo-colonization, humanity is suffering from the religious and ethnic crisis. Today, capitalism has collaborated with ‘democratic forces’ to crush every form of people’s resistance..
This is an hour to mark the uncompromising struggle and fight was carried out century back by revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh. His appeal was universal, above any national boundaries, religious & ethnicity differences. His relentless struggle and bravery was mirrored later in the sacrifices of Che Guevara, both of whom fought an uncompromising war against all forms of imperialism and colonialism, and both of whom were absolutely fearless and sincerely dedicated to the cause, more dear to them than their own life, and both of them set a shining example in laying down their lives in such a brave manner that it inspires the youth everywhere.
He was aware of the menace of communal and gender disparities which was the obstruct of India, compromising the freedom movement at its inception – and which has diluted present united people’s movement against capitalist class. Bhagat Singh rejected a free India where there would be a simple change of the set of rulers; Brown rulers replacing White rulers.
In his own words, the real revolutionary armies are in the villages and in factories, the peasantry and the labourers. But our bourgeois leaders do not and cannot dare to tackle them. “That is why I say they never meant a complete revolution. Through economic and administrative pressure, they hoped to get a few more reforms, a few more concessions for the Indian capitalists. That is why I say that this movement is doomed to die, maybe after some sort of compromise or even without.”
Bhagat Singh was the ideological son of Ajit Singh, with whom he was much attached without ever having lived with. At the level of ideas, Ajit Singh was much advanced than the prevailing bourgeois-parliamentary perception of freedom for India, and he was much more revolutionary in thought than simple parliamentarism, as he wanted to awaken and organize the peasantry on the basis of their economic exploitation at the hands of big feudal lords and the colonial system. Bhagat Singh took even further steps in this advanced thinking of his uncle and reached at the logical end of adopting a Marxist ideology of National Liberation.
The withdrawal of the non-cooperation movement in 1922, gave impetus to the revolutionary movement throughout the country, the pockets of which already existed in Bengal in the form of Ahushilan & Yugantar, H.R.A. in U.P. etc. Bhagat Singh was searching for the ultimate ideology of human liberation from all kinds of yoke and he had become almost a committed Marxist, through his contacts with Kirti group of Ghadrite revolutionaries of Punjab. He had regularly contributed articles in Kirti (Punjabi ) on various issues like ‘Communalism and its Solution’, ‘Problem of Untouchability’, ‘Religion and our Freedom Struggle’ etc. If he had any differences with them, these were only about the programme of the revolutionary party and Bhagat Singh and his comrades were convinced that to awaken the country from slumber, the youth need to perform some daring Nationalist Revolutionary actions and make sacrifices to advance the movement.
And here the two historic slogans came into existence on Indian political horizon-(Inqlab Zindabad– Long lime Revolution) and Samrajyavad Ka Nash Ho (Down with Imperialism) and in a course of time, these slogans particularly Inqlab Zindabad became part of not only revolutionary groups, but of all other organizations, including even Congress stages. Of course, RSS, Hindu Mahasabha like the communal organization would never touch this slogan. In fact, Inqlab Zindabad is a translation of ‘Long Live Revolution’, an international slogan of the working-class movement, it was tried to be translated in Hindi as –‘Kranti Chirjivi Ho’, but it did not catch the imagination of people. ’Inqlab Zindabad’ not only caught the imagination of Hindi speaking people of India, it spread from Agartala to Chennai and from Srinagar to Mumbai.
Not only that this slogan became an international slogan. It became quite popular in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepa, lndia and so many other countries as well and Bhagat Singh felt rightly proud that ‘in his small life, he has made this slogan reach crores of Indians’. Inqlab Zindabad finally replaced ‘Bande Mataram’, which was the popular slogan of nationalist movement from 1905 to 8th April 1929, prior to Bhagat Singh& Dutt raising it in Central Assembly. In any objective analysis of Bhagat Singh’s contribution to the National movement, the most popular slogan of masses ‘Inqlab Zindabad’, would always shine with his name’.