Autumn Number 2019

'Bhagat Singh—the Warrior'

Excerps from 'Bhagat Singh Reader' edited by Prof Chaman Lal

[Sporting a sharp handlebar moustache, his hat askew, Shaheed Bhagat Singh has been lionised in the Indian imagination as one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Independence movement. Convicted and hanged by the British in 1931 for his role in killing a colonial police officer in the Lahore Conspiracy Case, he became a martyr at the young age of twenty-three, leaving behind an inspiring legacy.

Tales of Bhagat Singh's heroism and bravery are part of popular folklore, as it were—how he exploded bombs at the Central Legislative Assembly in Delhi and showered leaflets on the legislators before surrendering himself to the authorities, or how he led Indian political prisoners in a hunger strike, demanding better conditions in jail.

The 'Bhagat Singh Reader' brings into prominence his less widely known intellectual outfit. It presents in a single volume a collection of all his writings and thoughts: from his letters, telegrams and notices, to articles that chalk out his subversive and progressive ideas, and his mails from prison to the colonial administration and judiciary. His forty-three sketches of Indian freedom fighters throw light on the larger picture of the Independence struggle. This is a book that reveals Bhagat Singh the man and the thinker, the Marxist and the idealist.

The 'Bhagat Singh Reader' edited by Prof Chaman Lal is one of the best treatises on Bhagat Singh, the revolutionary who motivated generations and continue to inspire generations to rebel against the exploitative system and colonialism. He along with his comrades fought for freedom and went to gallows to liberate the country. We publish below some extracts and excerpts from Bhagat Singh's write-ups including Singh's last letter that highlights his profound knowledge of world history. In truth this book chronicled by Professor Chaman Lal is history. It all depends on how future generations could utilise this history to revolutionalise India's caste-ridden moribund society and radicalise people's movements, now developing somewhat spontaneously across the country.]


Who are Political Prisoners?

By "Political Prisoners", we mean all those people who are convicted for offences against the State, for instance the people who were convicted in the Lahore Conspiracy Cases, 1915-17, the Kakori Conspiracy Cases, and Sedition Cases in general.
Bhagat Singh
B.K. Dutt
(Taken from Selected Writings of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, edited by Shiv Verma)

23. Letter to the Chairman, Jail Inquiry Committee; 6 September 1929 (Originally in English)
This letter written on 6 September, 1929, is important to underline that Bhagat Singh and his comrades had suspended their hunger strike on 2 September on the assurance of the Congress Committee, but on 4 September, a statement in the Civil and Military Gazette from the committee upset them so much that they resumed the hunger strike from that very day, which continued till 4 October. Despite the Congress's Jail Committee's recommendations, the British Government did not release Jatinder Nath Das unconditionally and insisted on releasing him on bail only. He died on 13 September, a week after this letter was sent. This letter has since been retranslated from Hindi, as the original in English cannot be located.

The Chairman, Punjab Jail Inquiry Committee,
And Members of the Hunger Strike Sub-Committee, Simla
(Through—Superintendent, Borstal jail, Lahore)

Dear Sirs,
We seek permission to place the following points for your consideration—

1.   That we did not give up the hunger strike, rather we postponed it only till the government's decision. We think that we had made it clear to you and repeatedly requested you to clarify the same to the public and also to the government.
We were shocked that in the press release by the members of the Hunger Strike Sub-Committee in the Civil and Military Gazette, dated 4 September, there was no mention of this fact. Still we hope that you will clarify as soon as possible.
2.   We did not postpone our hunger strike merely on the assurance that you and the rest of the members of the Inquiry Committee would accede to all our demands and recommend the same. One among us even told you that the government did not pay heed to the recommendations of the Inquiry Committee in the past, because this does not serve their purpose; an earlier committee was cited as an example.
They apprehended that the recommendations of this committee would also meet the same fate. In response to that, you had said that before coming to us, you had spoken to the local government and that you were in a position to offer us an assurance that the government would not act in the same manner this time.
Only on this explicit and necessary assurance, after a nine-hour-long debate, did we agree to postpone our hunger strike.
Apart from this, you had assured us that as per our firm resolve, Jatinder Nath Das would be released, in view of his precarious health.
Also, that as undertrial prisoners, our demands, the most important of which is that all of us (including Bhagat Singh and Dutt) be kept together in a common barrack, would be accepted by the government within a day or two.
But our doubts proved to be true, when, despite the strong and unanimous Recommendation of the Sub-Committee, the government neither agreed to release Das nor allowed Bhagat Singh and Dutt to stay with us.
So, we have received immediate proof of this fact that the government pass no heed to your recommendations and we hope that you will forgive us for saying that the government just wanted to use your honourable position of people's leaders to break our hunger strike. And we may also add that before postponing our hunger strike, we had given careful consideration to the question that how far we could trust the Inquiry Committee. In this regard, Bhagat Singh and Dutt had advised that it would be tested on this occasion. Now we see chat when the government hasn't paid attention to even two insignificant demands of yours, we are compelled to resume our hunger strike immediatcly.

3.   Jatinder Nath Das's death is extremely disturbing and if the government thinks that after his death, all of us would shirk our duty, then it is a fatal mistake on their part. All of us declare that each one of us is prepared to follow Das's footsteps. Even so, keeping the continuing struggle in mind, we are dividing ourselves into two groups, out of which the first is beginning the hunger Strike with immediate effect.
It has been decided that when one member of the first group dies, then a member from the second group would step forward.
We have taken this decision with the full seriousness of the issue in mind. We are left with no other honourable or simple option, except to follow our comrade Das's footsteps.
We consider our cause to be just and honourable, which may government would have accepted without forcing us to take such extreme steps. Let us reiterate that in this struggle, we have firm resolve that nothing is more honourable and glorious than to struggle till death, for a just and pure cause.

Finally, we feel that we would not be fulfilling our duty if we don't t express our heartfelt gratitude for your sincere concern and undertaking great hardships, in supporting our cause before the government.
Lahore Conspiracy Case Hunger Strikers
Friday, 6 September 1929
10.00 A.M.

41. Letter to the Governor of Punjab, Shimla, 20 March 1931 (Originally in English)
The letter to the British Government in India was addressed by Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev to the Governor of Punjab on 20 March 1931, three days prior to their hanging, demanding that 'being war prisoners', they should be shot and not 'executed'.

The Punjab Governor
With due respect we beg to bring to your kind notice the following:
That we were sentenced to death on 7 October 1930 by a British Court, LCC Tribunal, constituted under the Sp. Lahore Conspiracy Case Ordinance, promulgated by the HE. The Viceroy, the Head of the British Government of India, and that the main charge against us was that of having waged war against H M King George, the king of England.

The above-mentioned finding of the Court pre-supposed two things:
Firstly, that there exists a state of war between the British Nation and the Indian Nation and, secondly, that we had actually participated in that war and were therefore war prisoners.

The second pre-supposition seems to be a little bit flattering, but nevertheless it is too tempting to resist the desire of acquiescing in it.

As regards the first, we are constrained to go into some detail. Apparently there seems to be no such war as the phrase indicates. Nevertheless, please allow us to accept the validity of the pre-supposition taking it at its face value. But in order to be correctly understood we must explain it further. Let us declare that the state of war does exist and shall exist so long as the Indian toiling masses and the natural resources are being exploited by a handful of parasites. They may be purely British Capitalist or mixed British and Indian or even purely Indian. They may be carrying on their insidious exploitation through mixed or even on purely Indian bureaucratic apparatus. All these things make no differences. No matter, if your Government tries and succeeds in winning over the leaders of the upper strata of the Indian Society through petty concessions and compromises and therein cause a temporary demoralisation in the main body of the forces. No matter, if once again the vanguard of the Indian movement, the Revolutionary Party, finds itself deserted in the thick of the war. No matter if the leaders to whom personally we are much indebted for the sympathy and feelings they expressed for us, but nevertheless we cannot overlook the fact that they did become so callous as to ignore and not to make a mention in the peace negotiation of even the homeless, friendless and penniless of female workers who are alleged to be belonging to the vanguard and whom the leaders consider to be enemies of their utopian non-violent cult which has already become a thing of the past; the heroines who had ungrudgingly sacrificed or offered for sacrifice their husbands, brothers, and all that were nearest and dearest to them, including themselves, whom your government has declared to be outlaws. No matter, it your agents stoop so low as to fabricate baseless calumnies against their spotless characters to damage their and their party's reputation. The war shall continue.

It may assume different shapes at different times. It may become now open, now hidden, now purely agitational, now fierce life and death struggle. The choice of the course, whether bloody or comparatively peaceful, which it should adopt rests with you. Choose whichever you like. But that war shall be incessantly waged without taking into consideration the petty (illegible) and the meaningless ethical ideologies. It shall be waged ever with new vigour, greater audacity and unflinching determination till the Socialist Republic is established and the present social order is completely replaced by a new social order, based on social prosperity and thus every sort of exploitation is put in end to and the humanity is ushered into the era of genuine and permanent peace. In the very near future the final battle shall be fought and final settlement arrived at.

The days of capitalist and imperialist, exploitation are numbered. The war neither began with us nor is it going to end with our lives. It is the inevitable consequence of the historic events and the existing environments. Our humble sacrifices shall be only a link in the chain that has very accurately been beautified by the unparalleled sacrifice of Mr Das and most tragic but noblest sacrifice of Comrade Bhagwati Charan and the glorious death of our dear warrior Azad.

As to the question of our fates, please allow us to say that when you have decided to put us to death, you will certainly do it. You have got the power in your hands and the power is the greatest justification in this world. We know that the maxim "Might is right" serves as your guiding motto. The whole of our trial was just a proof of that. We wanted to point out that according to the verdict of your court we had waged war and were therefore war prisoners. And we claim to be treated as such, i.e., we claim to be shot dead instead of to be hanged. It rests with you to prove that you really meant what your court has said.

We request and hope that you will very kindly order the military department to send its detachment to perform our execution.
Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev
(Taken from Selected Writings of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, edited by Shiv Verma)

42. Message to the Punjab Students' Conference; 19 October 1929 (Originally in English)
Bhagat Singh sent a message for the Punjab Students Conference which was held on 19 October 1929 at Lahore with Netaji Subhas Bose as the chair. This letter was read out in the conference and was later published in the Tribune on 22 October 1929.

Today, we cannot ask the youth to take to pistols and bombs. Today, students are confronted with a far more important assignment. In the coming Labore Session the Congress is to give call for a fierce fight for the independence of the country. The youth will have to bear a great burden in this difficult time in the history of the nation. It is true that students have laced death at the forward positions of the struggle for independence. Will they hesitate this time in proving their same staunchness and self-confidence? The youth will have to spread this revolutionary message to the far corner of the country. They have to awaken crores of slum-dwellers of the industrial areas and villagers living in worn-out cottages, so that we will be independent and the exploitation of man by man will become impossibility. Punjab is considered politically backward even otherwise. This is also the responsibility of the youth. Taking inspiration from the martyr Yatindra Nath Das and with boundless reverence for the country, they must prove that they can fight with steadfast resolve in this struggle for independence.
(Taken from Selected Writings of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, edited by Shiv Verma)

43. Letter to the Editor, Modern Review, 22 December 1929 (Originally in English)
Ramanand Chatterjee, editor of the Modem Review, ridiculed the slogan of 'Long Live Revolution' in one of his editorials. Bhagat Singh wrote a reply to the note and handed it over to the trying magistrate to be sent to the Modern Review. The reply was subsequently published in the Tribune on 24 December 1929. Ramanand Chatterjee wrote the following in his editorial: According to a free press message, at a meeting of the Naujawan Sabha (Youth League) of Gujranwala in the Punjab a resolution was passed protesting against the arrest of students on the ground of their shouting "Long Live Revolution" and "Down with Imperialism", before the Court of the Special Magistrate of Lahore. The resolution states that everyone has the right to utter these cries. It is difficult for laymen to say what cries are or are not legal, when ever High Court judges have differed in their interpretation of the law of sedition. But young enthusiasts will pardon and old cynical journalist for confessing that the cry of "Long Live Revolution" has sometimes appeared to him to be a bit funny. A revolution may now and then have been a necessity in the world history, and we should personally like an early non-violent social, economic and political revolution in India. But, what is the exact meaning of "Long Live Revolution"? To be at work is a sign of life. When a desire is expressed for revolution to live long, is it desired that the revolutionary process should be at work every hour, day, week, month and year of our lives? In other words, are we to have a revolution as often as possible? Such ceaseless revolution may make for change, but scarcely for progress, improvement and enlightenment. What one revolution offered must have time to settle down and take root and bear fruit. A ceaseless revolutionary process would make India like what James Russel Lowell called "the Catherine-while republics of South America", of his day. No doubt, no revolution can produce a final state of improvement; there must be changes even after a revolution. But these should be brought about by evolution. There may again be a revolution after several generations, if not centuries, have passed. But that is not what is implied in the shout "Long Live Revolution".

The following was Bhagat Singh's response:
The Editor,
Modern Review
You have, in the December (1929) issue of your esteemed magazine, written a note under the caption "Long Live Revolution", and have pointed out the meaninglessness of this phrase. It would be impertinent on our part to try to refute or contradict the statement of such an old, experienced and renowned journalist as your noble self, for whom every enlightened India has profound admiration. Still we feel it our duty to explain what we desire to convey by the said phrase, as in a way it fell to our lot to give these "cries" a publicity in this country at this stage.

We are not the originators of this cry. The same cry had been used in Russian revolutionary movements. Upton Sinclair, the well-known socialist writer, has, in his recent novels Boston and Oil, used this cry through some of the anarchist revolutionary characters. The phrase never means that the sanguinary strife should ever continue, or that nothing should ever be stationary even for a short while. By long usage this cry achieves a significance which may not be quite justifiable from the grammatical or the etymological point of view, but nevertheless we cannot abstract from that the association of ideas connected with that. All such shouts denote a general sense which is partly acquired and partly inherent in them. For instance, when we shout "Long Live Jatin Das", we cannot and do not mean by that shout is that the noble ideal of his life, the indomitable spirit which enabled that great martyr to bear such untold suffering and to make the extreme sacrifice for that ideal, should ever live. By raising this cry we wish that we may show the same unfailing courage in pursuance of our ideal. It is that spirit that we allude to.

Similarly, one should not interpret the word "revolution" in its literal sense. Various meanings and significances are attributed to this word according to the interests of those who use or misuse it. For the established agencies of exploitation it conjures up a feeling of blood-stained horror. To the revolutionaries it is a sacred phrase. We tried to clear in our statement before the Sessions judge. Delhi, in our trial in the Assembly Bomb Case, what we mean by the world "Revolution".

We stated therein that Revolution did not necessarily involve sanguinary strife. It was not a cult of bomb and pistol. They may sometimes be mere means for its achievement. No doubt they play a prominent part in some movements, bur they do not—for that very reason—become one and the same thing. A rebellion is not a revolution. It may ultimately lead to that end.

The sense, in which the word "Revolution" is used in that phrase, is the spirit, the longing for a change for the better. The people generally get accustomed to the established order of things and begin to tremble at the very idea of a change. It is this lethargical spirit that needs be replaced by the revolutionary spirit. Otherwise degeneration gains the upper hand and the would humanity is led astray by the reactionary forces. Such a state of affairs lead to stagnation and paralysis in human progress. The spirit of Revolution should always permeate the soul of humanity, so that the reactionary forces may not accumulate (strength) to check its eternal onward march. Old order should change, always and ever, yielding place to new, so that one "good" order may not corrupt the world. It is in this sense that we raise the shout "Long Live Revolution".
Yours sincerely
(Sd.) Bhagat Singh
B. K. Dutt
(Taken from Selected Writings of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, edited by Shiv Verma)

44. Letter to Sukhdev, on suicide; September 1930 (Originally in Hindi)
Judgement in the Lahore Conspiracy Case was expected in September—when Sukhdev expressed the view that he would rather commit suicide than spend a long time being incarcerated in jail. That Bhagat Singh wrote, to him on the conceptual philosophy of suicide. The letter was written sometime in September 1930, and the judgement was delivered on 7 October. The ideas that Bhagat Singh was using as a medium to fight his entire battle are clear from the letter that he wrote to Sukhdev in the context of an ongoing debate about their ideas. It is unfortunate that Sukhdev's letter, in response to which Bhagat Singh wrote the following letter, is not available to us today. Even so, all the points arising during the exchange of ideas and arguments are clear here. What Bhagat Singh mentions in the letter very bitterly, that if at all Sukhdev was to think of suicide, he should have executed that idea at the time of his arrest, because, in the police's trap, he had narrated the whole story of the group's activities which harmed the group as well-as their court case. However, Sukhdev redeemed himself for not seeking any pardon in lieu of that, rather, he became a bigger victim of the British justice system when he was given in the sedition cases, I may tell you the limit to which we can allow the defence. Last year when one comrade was prosecuted for having delivered socialistic speech and when he pleaded not guilty to that charge, we simply astounded. In such cases we should demand the right of speech. But where such things are attributed to one as he has not said and are contrary to the interests of the movement, deny. Thought in the present movement the Congress has suffered for having allowed its members to go to jail without defending themselves, in my opinion that was a mistake.

Anyhow, I think if you read this letter along with my previous one, you will come to know very clearly my ideas about the defence in political cases. In Mr Hari Kishan's case, in my opinion, his appeal should be filed in High Court without fail and every effort should be made to save him.

I hope both these letters indicate everything I want to say on this subject.
(Taken from Selected Writings of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, edited by Shiv Verma)

48. Last letter to comrades; 22 March, 1931 (Originally in Urdu)
The last letter Bhagat Singh wrote was to his comrades on 22 March 1931, a day before his execution. Some of Bhagat Singh's comrades thought that he could still be saved from the gallows by helping him escape from the jail. While appreciating his comrades' concern, Bhagat Stngh underlines the significance of his own execution for the country, which indicates his farsightedness and political maturity.

It is natural that the desire to live should be in me as well, I don't want to hide it. But I can stay alive on one condition that I don't wish to live in imprisonment or with any binding.

My name has become a symbol of Hindustani revolution, and the ideals and sacrifices of the revolutionary party have lifted me very high—so high that I can certainly not be higher in the condition of being alive.

Today my weaknesses are not visible to the people. If I escape the noose, they will become evident and the symbol of revolution will be tarnished, or possibly be obliterated But to go to the gallows with courage will make Hindustani mothers aspire to have children who are like Bhagat Singh and the number of those who will sacrifice their lives for the country will go up so much that it will not be possible for imperialistic powers or all the demoniac powers to contain the revolution.

And yes, one thought occurs to me even today—that I have not been able to fulfil even one thousandth parts of the aspirations that were in my heart to do something for my country and humanity, if I could have stayed alive and free, then I may have got the opportunity to accomplish those and I would have fulfilled my desires. Apart from this, no temptation to escape the noose has ever come to me. Who can be more fortunate than me? These days, I feel very proud of myself. Now I await the final test with great eagerness. I pray that it should draw closer.

Your Comrade
Bhasrat Singh

49. Letter to Jaidev Gupta; 24 February, 1930 (Originally in English)
Bhagat Singh wrote four letters, no. 49 to 52, to Jaidev Gupta, between 24 February, 1930 and 24 July, 1930. He was one of Bhagat Singh's close friends, from whom he demanded not only books, but even sweets, shoes, cigarettes, etc., for himself, as well as for other comrades. One can see from these letters, Bhagat Singh's concern for B K Dutt, as well as humorous nature, which made him so dear to his comrades.

1. (63) Poster on the Saunders Killing; 18 December, 1928 (Originally in English)
Two notices-cum-posters, no. 1 and 2, were pasted on the walls of Lahore  [houses] after Saunders' murder on 17 December, 1928. The first one was pasted on 18 December and the second on 23 December, which proclaimed that 'Lala Lajpat Rai's murder at the hands of petty British police officials has been avenged' and thus 'national honour has been protected and will be protected in future too!'

Poster—After Saunder's Murder
By Hindustan Socialist Republic Army,
'Bureaucracy Beware'

With the death of J P Saunders the assassination of Lala Lajpat Rai has been avenged.
It is a matter of great regret that a respected leader of 30 crores of people was attacked by an ordinary police officer like J P Saunders and met with his death at his mean hands. This national insult was a challenge to young men. Today the world has seen that the people of India are not lifeless; their blood has not become cold. They can lay down their lives for the country's honour. The proof of this has been given by the vouch who are ridiculed and insulted by the leaders of their own country.

'Tyrant Government Beware'
Do not hurt the feelings of the oppressed and suffering people of this country. Stop your devilish ways. Despite all your laws preventing us from keeping arms and despite all your watchfulness, people of this country would continue to get pistols and revolvers. Even if these arms are not adequate in numbers for an armed revolution, they would be sufficient for avenging the insult to the country's honour. Even if our own people condemn us and ridicule us and if foreign government subjects us to any amount of repression, we shall be ever ready to teach a lesson to foreign tyrants who insult our national honour. Despite all opposition and repression, we shall carry forward the call for revolution and even if we go to the scaffold for being hanged, we shall continue to shout : "Long Live Revolution!"
"We are sorry to have killed a man. But this man was a part of cruel, despicable and unjust system and killing him was a necessity. This man has been killed as an employee of the British Government. This Government is the most oppressive government in the world.
"We are sorry for shedding human blood but it becomes necessary to bathe the altar of Revolution with blood. Our aim is to bring about a revolution which would end all exploitation of man by man.
"Long Live Revolution!"
Sd/- Balraj
18, December, 1928. Commander-in-Chief, HRSA
Lala Lajpat Rai is avenged!

Under the rules and regulations of the HSRA (Rule 10th BRC) it is hereby notified that it was retaliatory action of none but a direct political nature. The most dastardly attack made on the great old man of India Lala Lajpat Rai that caused his death was greatest insult hurled down on the head of nationhood. And hereby is it avenged!

Further on everybody is hereby requested to abstain from offering—any sort of assistance to our enemy the police in finding out our clues.—Anybody acting contrary will be severely dealt with.
Long Live Revolution
Dated 23 December, 1928

The Historic Leaflet
3. (65). Leaflet Thrown in the Central Assembly, Delhi; 8 April, 1929 (Originally in English)
'To Make the Deaf Hear' became a catchphrase after Bhagat Singh and B K Dutt threw harmless bombs in the Delhi General Assembly, now the Indian Parliament, on 8 April 1929, quoting Auguste Vaillant, a French anarchist martyr who performed a similar act in the French Parliament in 1893. This leaflet, which was thrown in the Assembly with the bombs and the shouting of slogans "Inqilab Zindabad" and "Samrajyawad ka Nash Ho", became a turning point in the Indian freedom struggle.

"It rakes a loud voice to make the deaf hear", with these immortal words uttered on a similar occasion by Vaillant, a French anarchist martyr, do we strongly justify this action of ours.

Nehru and Subhas Bose
9. New Leaders and their Different Ideas; 1928 (Originally in Punjabi)
In this essay published in Kirti in July 1928, Bhagat Singh compares the ideas of Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru, appreciating the rationality of Nehru more than the emotionality of Subhash Chandra Bose.

A great deal of disappointment and despair spread among the people after the failure of the Non-Cooperation Movement. Hindu-Muslim riots broke their remaining courage. But when awareness spreads in the countries once, the countries don't sleep. After a few days, they rise with great enthusiasm and launch an attack. Today, Hindustan is energised once again. Hindustan is gaining strength again. India is awakening again. Though a great movement is not visible, the foundations are definitely being strengthened. Several new leaders with new ideas are coming forward. This time it is young leaders who are gaining visibility in the eyes of the patriotic, and there are active youth movements in the country. Eminent leaders are being pushed behind, despite being well-known. At the moment, leaders who have come forward are Bengal's revered Shri Subhas Chandra Bose and the respected Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. These are the only two leaders who are visible today in Hindustan and are especially participating in the movements of the youth. Both of them are staunch supporters of freedom for Hindustan. Both are sensible men and true patriots Bur there is a great deal of difference in their ideas. One of them is called a votary of Bharat's ancient culture, and the other is known us a true pupil of the West. One is called a soft-hearted sensitive man and the other a staunch revolutionary. In this essay we shall present to the people their differing ideas, so that the people can appreciate the difference between them and can reflect upon them for themselves. But before elucidating the viewpoints of both of them, it is also important to present another person who is a lover of freedom as much as they are, and a special personality in youth movements—Sadhu Vaswani; even if he's not as well-known as the more popular names in the Congress, even if he has no special place in the country's political field, he exerts influence on the youth of the country, who have to take the reins of the country in their hands tomorrow. 'Bharat Yuva Sangh', a movement begun by him, has a powerful impact on the youth. His ideas are completely novel. His ideas can be summed up in a few words—'Back to the Vcdas'. Arya Samaj was the first to raise this slogan. The basis for this ideology is that God has poured in all the wisdom of the world into the Vedas. There can be no further evolution. So the world hasn't gone beyond, nor can it go beyond whatever progress our Hindustan had made in various fields. Anyway, people like Vaswani had faith in this. That's why at one place he says:
"Our politics, until now, sometimes cites the examples of Mazzini and Voltaire as our ideals or has occasionally learnt lessons from Lenin and Tolstoy. Although they should know that they have even greater ideals before us—our ancient rishis". He believed that our country had reached the pinnacle of progress at least once, and today we have no need to go any further, in fact we need to return to that.

He is a poet, His poetic expression is evident everywhere in his thoughts. Moreover, he is a great devotee of religion, He wished to propagate the religion of 'Shakti' or power. He says, our "urgent" need is Shakti! At this stage we desperately need power'. He does not use the word 'Shakti' only for power; he has faith in a kind of Devi, a faith in divine attainment. He says like a very passionate poet—
"For in solitude have communicated with her, our admired Bharat Mata, and my aching head has heard voices saying... The day of freedom is not far off.... Sometimes indeed a strange feeling visits me and I say to myself, 'Holy, holy is Hindustan'. For still is she under the protection of her mighty Rishis and their beauty is around us, but we behold it not".

This is the lament of a poet; he bursts out like a madman or a devotee—"Our Mother is great. She is very powerful. Who has been born who can defeat her?" In this vein, he carries on flowing on a tide of emotion—
''Our national movement must become a purifying mass movement if it is to fulfil its destiny without falling into class war—one of the dangers of Bolshevism".

Just by mouthing words that one should go to the poor, or towards the villages, give them free medical aid. etc., they think that their job is done. He is a romantic poet. No specific meaning can be attributed to his poetry, bur it can enthuse the heart. Apart from the cacophony of our ancient civilisation he has no other programme. He offers nothing for the minds of our youth. He only wants to fill the hearts with emotion. He has a great influence over the youth; and this is on the rise. These are his summarised and conservative thoughts that we have described above. Despite his ideas not having a direct effect in the political field, they wield considerable influence. Especially because these thoughts are being propagated among the youth; the young people who are to move ahead to the future.

Now we come to the thoughts of Shri Subhas Chandra Bose and Shri Jawaharlal Nehru. In the past few months, he has been made president of several conferences, and he presented his views before, the government considers Subhas Babu to be a member of a revolutionary group, and that is why kept in confinement under the Bengal Ordinance. He was released and became the leader of a radical faction. He considers complete freedom to be the ideal for India and in his presidential address at the Maharashtra Conference he promoted this proposal.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is the son of Pandit Motilal Nehru, the leader of the Swaraj Party. He has cleared his Barrister's degree. He is very learned. He has toured Russia. He is also a member of the radical group and it is with his support and that of his friends, that a resolution for 'Complete Independence' was passed in the Madras Conference. Even in the Amritsar Conference, he emphasised the same thing. But even then, there is ample difference in the views of both these gentlemen. The difference in their views became plain to us from their speeches during the Amritsar and Maharashtra Conference. But a lecture in Bombay later made it absolutely clear. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the president of this conference and Subhas Chandra Bose delivered a speech. He is a very-emotional Bengali. He began the speech by saying that Hindustan has a special message for the world. It will give the world spiritual education. Anyway, he began in a very enthused manner, 'Look at the Taj Mahal in the moonlight and imagine the greatness of the heart, whose vision resulted in this.' Think, a Bengali novelist has written that they are our tear drops frozen into stone. He also exhorts one to return to the Vedas. In his speech in Poona. he spoke about 'Nationalism' and said that internationalist's think of nationalists as narrow-minded, but this is an error. The idea of Hindustani Nationalism is different. It is neither narrow-minded, nor motivated by selfish interests, nor is it tyrannical because its base is "Satyam Shivam Sundaram", that is, 'Truth, Goodness and Beauty'.

This is the same romanticism. Sheer emotionalism. And along with it, he too has a great deal of faith in our ancient civilisation in every little thing he glimpses the greatness of the ancient age": in his view. Republicanism is not a new concept. He says that Republics and Democracy are old concepts in Hindustan. He goes to the extent of saying that even (Communism) is not a new thing in Hindustan. Anyway, the thing that he emphasised the most in his speech that day was that Hindustan has a special message for the world. Pandit Jawaharlal's ideas are completely different. He says—
'Whichever country one visits, believes that she has a special message for the world. England claims to be the custodian to reach civilisation to the world. I don't see anything special about my country. Subhas Babu has a lot of faith in such talk',

Jawaharlal says—
"Every youth must rebel. Not only in the political sphere, but in the social, economic and religious spheres also. I have not much use for any man who comes and tells me that such and such thing is said the Koran. Everything, unreasonable must be discarded even if they find authority for it in the Vedas and Koran".

These are the views of revolutionary and Subhas's views are that of a rebel. In the views of one of them, our ancient heritage is very good and, in the views of the other, one should revolt against it. One is called emotional, and the other, a revolutionary. At one point, Pajditji says—
'To those who still fondly cherish old ideas and are striving to bring back the conditions which prevailed in Arabia 1300 years ago or in the Vedic age in India. I say, that it is inconceivable that you can bring back the hoary past. The world of reality will not retrace its steps; the world of imagination may remain stationary'.

And that is why he feels the need for a revolution.
Subhas Babu is in favour of complete independence because he says that the English inhabit the West and we, the East. Panditji says that we have to establish our rule and change the social system. For that we must strive to win complete and total freedom.

Subhas Babu has sympathy for the workers and wishes to improve their condition. Panditji wants to bring about a revolution and change the entire system. Subhas is sensitive—for the heart. He's giving a lot to the youth, but only for the heart. The other is a revolutionary, who is giving plenty for the head along with the heart.
"They should aim at Swaraj for the masses based on socialism. That was revolutionary change which they could not bring about without revolutionary methods ….Mere reform or gradual repairing of the existing machinery could not achieve the real proper Swaraj for the General Masses".

This is an accurate picture of their views, Subhas Babu considered in necessary to pay attention to international politics only till world….

11. What is Anarchism—1; 1928 (Originally in Punjabi)
Today, there is a lot of unrest in the world. Well-known scholars are engaged in establishing peace in the world; however the peace that is sought to be established is not a temporary one, but something that can be everlasting. Several great souls have sacrificed their lives to achieve it, and people continue to do so. Bur today we are slaves. Our eyesight is weak; our brains are dull. Our heart is weak and weeping over its weakness. How can we worry about world peace when we are not able to do anything for our own country? We can only call it our misfortune. We are being ruined by our own conservative ideas. We are trapped in the illusion of finding God and heaven, and seek redemption for our souls. We don't take more than an instant to refer to Europe as materialistic. We pay no attention to their great ideas because we are more inclined towards spiritual thought! Because we believe in renunciation! We should not even speak of this material world! We have come to such a pass that one wants to weep it the condition of the world, but the situation is improving in the twentieth century. European thought is beginning to make an impact on the youth's thinking. And the youth that wants to progress in the world should study the great and noble ideas ot the modern age.

A person's knowledge is incomplete without understanding folly what voices are being raised in society today against oppression, or the ideas are being born for the establishment of permanent peace in the world. Today we are listening to summerised versions of many ideas of' communism and socialism etc. Anarchism is thought to be the highest ideal among all these. This essay is being written regarding anarchism.

The people fear the word 'anarchist'. When a person rises to fight for his freedom, armed with a pistol or a bomb, then all the 'bureaucrats' and their urderlings scream 'Anarchist-Anarchist'.' and try to frighten the world. An anarchist is considered to be a very terrible person, who has no mercy in his heart, who sucks blood, who is delirious with joy at destruction and ruin. The word 'anarchist' has been given such a bad name that even the revolutionaries of India are referred to as anarchists to make people hate them. Dr Bhupindra Nath Dutt has mentioned this in the first part of this Bengali book Unpublished Political History saying that even if the government called them 'anarchist' to defame them, in truth they were a group of people who sought to usher in a new order. And anarchism is a very noble ideal. Now was it possible for our common people to think of such a noble ideal, because they could not think of being revolutionaries beyond rebelling, of ushering in a new age. These people were merely rebels. Anyway!

As we mentioned earlier, the word 'anarchist' was given a bad name. This word was slandered in the same way that selfish capitalists slandered words like 'Bolshevik'. 'Socialist', etc. Yet. anarchists are the most sensitive and ardent well-wishers of the entire world. Even if we disagree with their views, their sobriety, their love for the people, spirit of sacrifice and their genuineness cannot be doubted.

The word 'anarchist' for which Hindi word 'araajk' is used, is derived from a Greek word which literally means (an = not, arche = rule), that is, no government of any kind. Human beings always had a desire to be as free as possible, and from time to time, the idea of complete freedom, which is the principle of anarchism, has been mooted. For example, a long time ago, a Greek philosopher said, 'We wish neither to belong to the governing class nor to the governed'.

I consider that the feeling of world-fraternity in India and the Sanskrit phrase 'Vasudev Kutumbakam' conveys the same sense. Even if we are unable to reach any conclusive proposition based on our ancient beliefs, we still have to believe that these thoughts were placed before, and openly propagated in the world at the beginning of the nineteenth century (i.e. the last century) by a French philosopher Proudhon. That is why he is called the father of anarchism. He began to propagate anarchism and later, one Russian brave man Bakunin did a lot of work to propagate and make it successful, later, several anarchists like Johann Most and Prince Kropotkin were born. These days, Mrs Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman propagate this in America. About anarchism, Mrs Goldman writes:
"Anarchism—The philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law. The theory that all forms of Government rest on violence, and are therefore wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary".

This tells us that anarchists do not wish for any kind of government and this is true. But such a thought scares us. Several bogies are raised in our minds. We should remain fearful of the ghosts of the preceding English rule even after setting up our own government, and keep on trembling tear—this is the policy of our rulers. Under such circumstances, how can we think even for one moment that such a day will dawn when we will be able to live happily and freely without a government? Bat this is, in fact, our own weakness. The ideal or the feeling is not to be blamed.

The ideal freedom that is imagined in anarchism is a complete liberation, according to which neither God nor religion should oppress our minds, nor should the temptation of money or the material world overtake us, or the body could be shackled or controlled by any kind of governmental structure. This means that broadly, they wished to completely eradicate three things from this world:
1. The Church, God (and religion)
2. The State (Government)
3. Private Protery

This subject is very interesting and vast and much can be written about it, but we cannot stretch this essay too much due to paucity of space. So we shall discuss the issues only broadly.

Now the issue is that we have both points of view before us. Which side should we bend towards? A Punjabi newspaper has eulogised about Subhas and, abour Panditji, it says that such revolutionaries beat their heads against scone walls and die. One should keep in mind thai Punjab has always been a very emotional region. People become enthused very quickly and fall flat like froth equally swiftly.

Perhaps Subhas is not offering any mental stimulus, apart from some food for the heart. Now the need is that the youth of Punjab should ponder and reflect upon these revolutionary ideas and reinforce them in their minds. At this poinr in time, Punjab is in dire need of mental stimulus and this is available only with Pandit Jawaharlal. This docs not mean that we should follow him blindlv. But as far as ideas are concerned, at this time the Punjabi youths should follow him so that they can learn the true meaning of revolution, the need for revolution in Hindustan, the place of revolution in the world, etc. After proper reflection the young people should evolve their own ideas so that even in times of disappointment despair and defeat, they should not get shaken and can stand alone if need be, to face the world. Only such people can make the revoltuion succeed.

10. Lala Lajpat Rai and the Youth; 1928 (Originally in Punjabi)
Lala Lajpat Rai has, for some reason, from the very beginning been against the youth movements. He imbibed his ideal of patriotism from the great Giuseppe Mazzini of Italy. Mazzini was a great admirer of the youth and used to say that it is the youth that carries the burden of great tasks; their voice carries magic. He felt that they arc able to prepare the public for freedom struggle instantly. It is surprising that someone who professes such a personality as his ideal, then acts completely contrary.

The value of which may change every day. The forces to be opposed have all the advantages of organisation, discipline and traditional authority.

"If the rebels cannot bring great forces to bear against their antagonists, they will be smashed and destroyed."

"The insurrection once started, it is necessary to act with the utmost determination and pass over to the offensive. The defensive is the death of every armed rising; it perishes before it has measured forces with the enemy. The antagonists must be surprised while their soldiers are still scattered, and new successes, however small, must be attained daily; the moral ascendancy given by the first success, must be kept up. One must rally to the side of insurrection the vacillating elements, which always follow the stronger, and which always look out for the safer side ...In one word, act according to the words of Danton—the greatest master of Revolutionary policy yet known—Audacity ...audacity ...and yet again audacity!"

Page numbers 194 to 272 in the notebook are blank. The Jail Notebook mainly contains quotes and extracts from the books read by Bhagat Singh. Only from page number 165 and 193 are Bhagat Singh's own personal notes on his projected study of 'The Science of the State'. Had he got the chance to complete his project, it could have been a major contribution to Marxist theory!

"... Do you want an expansion of the legislative Councils? Do you want chat a few Indians shall sit as your representatives in the House of Commons?"

Seventeen young people were hanged. Then this chain reaction continued—revenge, the gallows, then…
In 1879, the word 'nihilism' came to connote only the bursting of bombs and the shooting of guns, The Tsar also finally lost his patience and decided to teach them a lesson.

And this was the catalyst needed to set all of them to complete this task. On the 14 April 1879, Solovioff had shot at the Tsar, but the Tsar escaped. The same year the Winter Palace of the Tsar was bombed with dynamite but the Tsar still escaped. The next year, when the Tsar was going from St. Petersburg to Moscow, the train in which he was travelling was bombed. Several compartments were destroyed, but the Tsar escaped yet again. On the 13 March 1881, when the Tsar was returning with his special squad after inspecting the parade of his horses and platoon, a bomb was hurled at him. The carriage was smashed and the Tsar got off to take a look at the servant, saying, "Thank God, I'm saved." But another young man, Grinevizkv moved forward, and said as he hurled another bomb. "Tsar, it is too early to thank God." The bomb exploded and the Tsar was killed. Thousands of people were arrested. Many were sent to the gallows. Five people were hanged publically. The most famous among them was a woman called Sophia Perovskya.

The party was suppressed at the time. Then several other parties rose. But the history of the Nihilist Party is just this much. The Nihilists were judged unfairly by the people and given a bad name like the anarchists. An English newspaper drew a cartoon- in which two nihilists stand with bombs and dynamite amid destruction. One asks, 'Brother does anything bombs and the other answers, 'just the globe of the earth'. The first says, let me put dynamite on that too'. This is complete misrepresentation. Oscar Wilde wrote a play titled Vera the Nihilist which depicted the nihilists in a positive light, but there are several errors. Another book The Career of a Nihilist was published. This is a readable account. It is an accurate book about nihilists. In Hindi, Bolshevikon ki Kartoot (The Action of Bolsheviks) and Nihilist Rahasya (Mystery of the Nihilist) have been published. The first has been written by the martyr of Kakori, Shri Ram Prasad Bismil. He has delinerated a very pitiful picture of Nhilists. But they have been shown as being only destructive, which is not accurate.

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Autumn Number 2019
Vol. 52, No. 13 - 16, Sep 29 - October 26, 2019