वतन के आबरू का पास देखें कौन करता है।
सुना है आज मक़तल में हमारा इम्तहाँ होगा॥
शहीदों की चिताओं पर जुड़ेंगे हर बरस मेले।
वतन पर मरनेवालों का यही बाक़ी निशाँ होगा॥
कभी वह दिन भी आएगा जब अपना राज देखेंगे।
जब अपनी ही ज़मीं होगी और अपना आसमाँ होगा॥
These are the verses of a poem that Sukhdev and his revolutionary accomplices died singing, trying to swirl the reign of patriotism. Sukhdev Thapar was an integral part of the revolutionary trio executed on 23 March 1931. He not only resisted the slipping of India into British hands but also outlined the importance of making things possible with substantial spirit and grit. Let’s get to know Shaheed Sukhdev!
MAN IN THE MAKING: SUKHDEV’S CHILDHOOD
Sukhdev’s strong resolve of not giving in to the oppression of British rule defines his character. His charismatic stance can be traced back to his childhood. He lost his father at an early age. Post that, his uncle Lala Achintram became his mentor. He witnessed the atrocities of the British Raj from a very young age. It lit the torch of insurgence in young Sukhdev.
Sukhdev was always defiant in his ways towards the colonisers. He always refused to salute British officers when they visited his school. In his college days, he became a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). In close association with Bhagat Singh, he assembled revolutionary cells in Punjab and other areas of North India
WHEN SUKHDEV HELD THE REIGN OF REVOLUTION
Sukhdev went to The National College, Lahore to pursue his higher education. He delved into the study of revolutions, especially the Russian Revolution. Sukhdev Thapar analysed the principality of revolutionary movements and tried to understand the ideas on which the revolutions were based. In fact, the students of National College, specifically Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev, were introduced to the revolutionary ideas by Lala Lajpat Rai and Jai Chand Vidyalankar.
Shaheed Sukhdev, along with other renowned revolutionaries, joined the organisation Naujawan Bharat Sabha. It was initiated by Bhagat Singh at Lahore in 1926. It was an organisation that taught and prepared the youth for fighting the freedom struggle. It was then that Sukhdev met Bhagat, and the rest is history.
SUKHDEV’S DAYS IN PRISON
Sukhdev was the prime suspect in the Lahore Conspiracy Case. Even when he was imprisoned, the prison couldn’t cage his influential ideas of freedom. Sukhdev, Bhagat Singh, and other freedom fighters-turned-prisoners declared an indefinite hunger strike in opposition to the differential conduct of the white and native prisoners. They demanded their right to be acknowledged as political prisoners and equality for everyone.
Frontpage of The Tribune announcing the executions
Some days before Sukhdev was to be executed, he wrote a letter to Mahatma Gandhi. In this letter, he stated the ideological belief of the revolutionaries was to establish a social republic. He also clarified Mahatma Gandhi’s inference of revolutionaries as people who were indulged in the rationale of aimless killing. Sukhdev defined revolutionaries as freedom fighters who understood their responsibility towards the nation and tried to live their duty every day by backlash and defiance.
In the same letter, Sukhdev mentioned, “The country will not gain as much by the change of their sentences as it would by their being hanged.”
Note – As promised, SKCF brings you the second blog of the series, titled ‘Who’s that?’ today! This compilation intends to offer a second shot towards closure for the unsung heroes of the Indian Freedom Movement. We aim to rekindle their unquestionable appeal, ideas and present what they felt most keenly about human life.