Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Waiting for the highest reward

It was the last Sunday of July 1930. Bhagat Singh had come from Lahore Central Jail to see us all in the Borstal Jail. This was his  regular practice. On the plea of discussing the line of defense with other accused, he had succeeded in extracting that facility from the government. We were discussing some political issue when the conversation shifted to the judgement we were keenly awaiting. By way of joke, we pronounced judgement against one another, excepting Raj Guru and Bhagat Singh. We knew they would be hanged.

"And what about Raj Guru and myself? Are you going to acquit us?" asked Bhagat Singh with a smile.
No one replied.
"Afraid to recognise the reality?" he asked in a whispering tone.

Silence.............

Bhagat Singh
He laughed over our silence and said:
"To be hanged by the neck till we are dead. That is the reality comrades. I know it. You also know it. Then, why shut eyes to it?"

Bhagat was then in his form. He was speaking at low pitch. That was his style. To a listener, it would appear as if he was trying to persuade him. Shouting was not his habit. That was perhaps his strength also.

He continued in his usual style:
"This is the highest award for patriotism, and I am proud that I am going to get it. They think that by destroying my terrestrial body, they will be safe in this country. They are wrong. They may kill me, but they cannot kill the ideas. They can crush my body, but they will not be able to crush my spirit. My ideas will haunt the British like a course till they forced to run away from here."

Bhagat Singh was speaking with full passion at his command, and for sometime, we all forgot that the man sitting in front of us was a colleague of ours. 
He continued:
"But this is only one side of the picture. The other side is equally bright. Bhagat Singh dead will be more dangerous to the British enslavers than Bhagat Singh alive. After I am hanged, the fragrance of my revolutionary ideas will permeate the atmosphere of this beautiful land of ours. It will intoxicate the youth and make him mad for freedom and revolution, and that will bring the doom of the British imperialists nearer. This is my firm conviction. I am anxiously waiting for the day when I will receive the highest award for my services to the country and my love for my people."

Shiv Verma
From Chapekers to Bhagat Singh
Source: "Bhagat Singh's Jail Note Book" by Professor Malwinder Jit Singh Waraich and Harish Jain

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