Tejas Vaidya, is 23 years of age and loves to have a lot of thrill and adventure in his life. Maybe this is one of the reasons he also aspires to be an officer soldier in the Indian Army. He is awaiting the results of the Army Examination he has appeared for. Dare to Share is a part of Tales To Read which shares adventurous tales of real life experiences. Today Rukmini Krishnan brings on Dare to Share a post written by Tejas Vaidya on the Indian marytyr Shaheed Bhagat Singh who was hung on March 23, 1931. This is a tribute on his death anniversary.
A Story of Blood and Inquilab.
To start with, I’ll tell you what Is Inquilab. Inquilab simply means, a 20 something boy giving up everything, all materialistic things by choice to pursue a dreadful journey of mental pain and physical torture in a HOPE, to free and also sustain his country. More specifically, Inquilab means, a 20 something youngster who writes, “Isskadar waakif he meri kalam mere Jasbaadon se, Ki ishq bhi likhna chaahu, toh Inquilab likh kar ata he.” A twenty something seedling of a boy, trying to root a foundation in growing a revolution.
Part I-The Baptism.
With a pounding heavy heart and a hefty stomach, pregnant Saraswati, after a long-long wait, from dawn till dusk set out with a trembling pace and wavering mind to find her daughter (Bella) who had gone missing to Jalianwala Bagh. To her ugly fate and already set misfortune, she was welcomed outside her house by a carpet of dead bodies, roads smeared with blood and decorated by confetti of human organs. A barbaric grotesque picture lay in front of this expecting mother, who had to kick these lifeless bodies aside to move ahead, climb those strenuous mountains formed out of heaps of human flesh basking in rivers of oozing blood with bleak-weakened hope to find her lost daughter. Perhaps a cruel yet ideal irony had set in the dark British Raj clouded Bharat, “A woman with her two children, one growing inside her and one perhaps lying somewhere in the congeries of the dead, just not found yet.” After witnessing a thousand split veins and gallons of RED, Sarwaswati collapsed near the lone well of Jalianwala Baug. When she woke up the next morning, a fresh aroma of blood and the groveling stink of rotting Indian flesh were still there to remind her that last night wasn’t her worst nightmare… but a horrible truth. Going home, still hoping to find her daughter hopefully alive while being in various vicious layers of negated thoughts, came a sudden blow on her face!
A British sepoy had slammed poor Saraswati’s already disfigured face with the butt of his rifle and ordered her, “Agar iss rastein se jana he, toh apne ghutno par chalna hoga!”, ( If you have to go through this path, then you have to walk on your knees) regardless of her pregnancy, regardless of the already seen violence and bloodshed she tried her best to crawl and when tried to get up, she too wasn’t spared; sticks, rifle butts were a constant to her already broken will and body.
After reaching home, that very day lying in pain on her own bed, bleeding and in mental agony she was given a promise by her young 11 year old cousin, “I will never forget your death, neither the death of any of my countrymen.”
This very cousin, baptized in the fire of agony, blood and deaths; molded in the very roots of patriotism, forged with honor, duty and a promise was born a true to self fighter, a true Inquilabi, none other than…BHAGAT SINGH.
At this age where today’s lads fritter away their time on social networking, philander-y or certificates, Bhagat Singh was being thrashed on his face with rifle butts and sticks, bleeding profusely. At a young age of instead of budding with happiness and frivolity he befriended pain, immense physical and mental torture just to safeguard one answer, “Azaad Kaha he?”,Batao Azaad Kaha he.” ( Where is Azaad> Tell Where is Azaad?>)That’s it. No prize money or medals awaited him, no newspapers were to glorify his 15 days painful regime, in which the sepoys perhaps jealous of young handsome Bhagat, targeted his face as their favorite spot to hit their metal at. Later, after Bhagat Singh transited from human flesh-tint to royal blue, he was bailed out by his father paying 60,000 rupees.
We all know that on 8th April 1929, a bomb was carefully thrown into the Parliament as a protest against certain draconian bills being passed, but another fact was overshadowed, that Bhagat and Battukeshwar Dutt had themselves welcomed, rather comforted a few khakis to come and arrest them!
Imprisoned in jail and seeing those acrimonious human conditions , he protested in such a valiant manner that it thunderously shook the very foundation of British raj. The ultimate Hunger strike, which lasted more than 45 days! (We fast for a day and in the evening throw tantrums, faint halfway or cheat with milk or sweets, here was a strike which lasted for a whole FORTY FIVE days, FORTY FIVE DAYS NO FOOD, NO MILK NO CHEATS!”.). To add up to this, after the 10thday the drama went to its cruel mode as, our revolutionaries along with Bhagat, were forced down, sepoy sitting on their hands, legs and choking their nostrils with rubber pipes to drizzle milk inside them. If not cruel enough for you yet, don’t worry, they somehow made sure that it would get under your skin as the stick blows and shackles were at regular intervals and were taken to court on stretchers or wheel chairs for their case. At this point, let me remind you, why were they doing this? For fame, name? They wanted their names in the analogs of history? They had no choice?…NO, they chose it all, in a hope that, “Bharat maa, will be free again.” Now re-read this paragraph again, knowing why they went through all this, for forty-five days!!!
Part III- The un-ritualistic hanging.
All this extremity ended in by hanging of a young, true to self, patriotic brave BOY, a boy just about my age… HANGED. But what a man imbibed with a great service to the nation filled with immense oodles of dignity. On the eve of his death day, Singh complimented tears in the jail-cooks eyes saying, “twaddi roti, mujhe apne bebbe ki yaad dila ti he.Shukriya”. ( Your bread, reminds me of my mother). He denied a message that was secretly passed to him of his apparent escape plan replying,” haan mein aana jaroor chahta hu, par apne dosto ke bina nahi.” ( Yes, I definitely want to come, but not without my friends)
His last book he thought was a good read, on Lenin. .”.
With Sukhdev on his left and Rajgru on his right, these three inquilabis somewhere in their 20s, proudly and boldly upright without a single shudder and tremble of caution embraced the very ropes that were made to fit their throats…. As the clock ticked the platform was shifted and 3 boys, mind it there, BOYS is what they were, young, honorable, honest were ransacked in body bags and their sacred bodies were THROWN near the banks of Sutlej, half burned, still burning… The locals were pre-informed; they actually took the remains of the body home.
Sorry, I could not include every fact or incident as my grandmother who reads it out from the book for me would often start crying and her voice would subdue in sonority and I didn’t want to overstress a septuagenarian. So sorry, but what still baffles me and inspired me in the very first place to write this was a neglected corner of an esteemed newspaper on an odd page covering news of three gentleman walking all the way from Jaipur to Gateway of India to commemorate Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s Birthday. Their message had to reach all, their efforts however crude they were had to be echoed and yes certainly, how can the cause behind their sacrifice be ever forgotten. What is it that we are so proud of, we posses that gives us the right to forget this, not continue this. Is it money? Politics?, ambition? fear of death? What is it? What is Inquilab?
On this day, let me a menial storyteller, introduce you to three such gentlemen Vijay Rao, Manaram Kadela and Rameshwar Gurjar.who despite of their well-off careers and settled family crossed not just limits of sanity but three state borders to reach Gateway of Mumbai to find an empty spot and have strong breath of satisfaction, to tribute this above mentioned tale and dedicated their walk to Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
Thank you Vijay Rao, Manaram Kadela and Rameshwar Gurjar.
Hope you remember this tale and pass it on and inspire the generations to come. Do watch the video dedicated to them.
A special word of mention for Pinky Sharma who was instrumental in introducing Tejas’ writing skills to this blog.