Volume 7, No. 3, March. 2006


On the Occasion of 75th Death Anniversary of Bhagat Singh:
Carry Forward the militant anti-imperialist Traditions set by Bhagat Singh and his Colleagues!
Commemorate Bhagat Singh by Turning the entire Year into an anti-imperialist Festival of the Masses!!

Exactly 75 years back, on March 23rd, Bhagat Singh and his colleagues were hanged by the British government. In September this year also begins the hundred birth anniversary of the birth of Bhagat Singh. His birth centenary will be celebrated on Sept.28 2007.
Bhagat Singh and his colleagues were hanged on this day 75 years back for their uncompromising struggle against the British and the advocacy of violence as the means of throwing the British out by the Hindustani Socialist Republican Association. As Bhagat Singh and his colleagues languished in jail between 1929 and1931 and there was a massive upsurge against the hanging, M.K.Gandhi and other Congress leaders were busy collaborating with the British supporting their punishment. People throughout the country were shocked to see these young patriotic men in their early twenties being sent to the gallows. And as they ascended the gallows anti-British slogans and Inquilab Zindabad (Long Live revolution) rent the air. Bhagat Singh and his colleagues became an icon for coming generation of anti-imperialists in the country, just as Che Guvera became in the West.
The Legend of Bhagat Singh lives on and becomes even more relevant in this age of imperialist globalization. Bhagat Singh was in every way a true democratic revolutionary, though not a communist. He was uncompromisingly anti-British and so despised the collaborationist approach of the leaders of the Indian National Congress who were only pleading for crumbs. Unlike the other revolutionaries of Bengal, who were deeply into Hinduism, Bhagat Singh was to a large extent anti-feudal — he was against religion and an atheist. In fact his very first book he wrote was “Why I am an Atheist” and he was one of the rare revolutionaries who also wrote on the dalit question and against untouchability. All these writings were done at the young age before his martyrdom. In spite of all his revolutionary activities he was a voracious reader. In the three years in jail even though he faced the death sentence he read extensively making notes and comments. This has come to light in a recent publication entitled “Shahid Bhagat Singh’s Jail Notes”. He read extensively the works of Russell, Marx, Engels, Ingersoll, Tom Paine, Rousseau, Grele, Upton Sinclair, etc. He also read Lenin and was veering towards becoming a Marxist towards the last days of his life. Besides these, Bhagat Singh made systematic studies of text books on law and the history of political thought from the Greek and Soviet experience — his main focus of this study being in relation to the role of the State. He also studied the French Revolution as also the Soviet revolution. He was initially influenced by the anarchism of Bakunin but towards the end of his life he shifted closer to Marxism.
In the coming year all will try and take the mantle of Bhagat Singh; from the revisionists to even the RSS. But who are the true varis (followers) of Bhagat Singh who have the right to use his name. Let us look at them all.
The RSS were at that time British collaborators and are to this day highly feudal and religious. Their views are exactly the opposite that of Bhagat Singh. Their use of the name of Bhagat Singh, if at all they do so, is totally fake.
So also for the Congress whose then leader, Gandhi, was directly responsible for sending Bhagat Singh and his associates to the gallows. The bulk of the Congress leaders, then and now, have been imperialist collaborators acting as a ‘safety valve’ to diffuse the people’s anger against the British. They are also deeply feudal, casteist and religious. They have nothing in common with the ideals of Bhagat Singh, so their taking his name is false and hypocritical.
Those who will be most active and in the forefront of these celebrations will be the revisionist CPI/CPM. Today, both these parties are with the central government, implementing all their imperialist-dictated policies. So also in the States where they are in power they are implementing the same policies. They are vehemently against any violent opposition to imperialism. They term all violent opposition as ‘terrorism’ just as the imperialists do. Though they may be atheists they generally compromise with feudal and casteist thinking. So, in practice, notwithstanding all their rhetoric and demagogy, they too are imperialist collaborators. They too are nowhere near the ideals of Bhagat Singh and have no right to their legacy.
The true claimants to the Bhagat Singh legacy are the Naxalites or Maoists, as it is only they who believe that the imperialists can be kicked out only through violent revolution, who are also atheists, and who are also consistently anti-imperialist and anti-feudal. Though Bhagat Singh may not have been a Marxist like the Maoists of today, both have the above common characteristics. Ofcourse given the flow of time, the Naxalites have gone far ahead of Bhagat Singh, but they represent similar democratic and revolutionary traditions. Besides, Bhagat Singh could not properly evolve and develop his views fully as he was martyred at a very very young age.
But not only the Maoists, all democrats and progressives can in some way lay claim to the heritage of Bhagat Singh. Let all anti-imperialist forces in the country come out with huge celebrations of Bhagat Singh turning them into a gigantic force against the present policies of imperialist globalization adopted by the comprador rulers of the country. They may do this both jointly and also independently. Let the Bhagat Singh celebrations go from the confines of passive meetings and seminars to agitation and propaganda against the imperialists and their comprador agents within the country. Let us hit at symbols of foreign domination and create an massive anti-imperialist awakening in the country. This alone will be a true tribute to the memory of Bhagat Singh and his heroic colleagues. While the reactionaries and revisionists confine themselves to mock functions let the progressives and revolutionaries take the celebrations to the streets.
Let these celebrations and mass anti-imperialist awakening begin from March 23 2006 and build up to a rising crescendo of huge countrywide activities culminating on Sept.28 2007, the birth centenary of Bhagat Singh.



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