When we speak of Indian independence from the British, people are quick to suggest that Gandhi was a leader figure towards Indian independence. Today he is labelled as the “father of the nation” but would it be right to say that he was the only key figure to independence? For me its a No. As there is one individual that has been forgotten, Bhagat Singh.
Bhagat Singh, born September 1907 and died in March 1931. Bhagat Singh was a leading figure for the fight of independence and was the biggest threat towards the British as he had a very nationalist and socialist approach. He can be considered as one of the most greatest influential revolutionaries for Indian independence. Bhagat Singh revolutionary ideas started when he had attended college, whilst growing up he saw how the British treated the natives with disrespect , slowly this was increasing the anger of Bhagat singh. He joined the Hindustan Republican Association, a radical group, later known as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association.
The Simon commission. The commission was a group British Members from the UK Parliament that had been dispatched to India in 1928 to study constitutional reform in Britain’s most important colonial dependency. When the commission arrived to Lahore Lala Lajpat Rai led a silent march in protest against the Commission. Police attempted to stamp out the large crowds which resulted in violence. The police chief, James A. Scott, ordered the police to attack Rai leading to his death. Rai died of a heart attack, a consequence of James A Scott order. Bhagat Singh did not witness the event yet vowed to take revenge. Along with others they had plotted to kill James A Scott. On December 1928 he was shot by Rajguru and Bhagat Singh while leaving the District Police Headquarters. The events of the Simon Commission in Lahore was found as a threat towards the British. The British actions showed a clear message that democratisation was not a key factor however imperialism and using the natives was a key factor.
Bhagat Singh had also taken part in other revolutionary movements for example; the 1929 Assembly Bomb throwing incident. Many of these acts have been labelled as terrorism. To label these acts as terrorism would be wrong, Why do revolutionary movements get labelled as terrorism? The acts of the British such as imposing Martial Law, Amritsar Massacre and the White man’s Burden are all forms of terrorism yet aren’t portrayed or labelled as terrorism. Bhagat Singh is definitely a key figure in Indian history but nowadays he isn’t given enough recognition for his work for independence other figures such as Gandhi are given more importance. Gandhi’s methods of peaceful protests to gain independence weren’t effective as some of the movements had caused violence not very “peaceful”. On the other hand Bhagat Singh movements were effective as they can be seen to threaten British occupation. Therefore Bhagat Singh should be given just as much importance as Gandhi probably more.