BHAGAT SINGH

Bhagat Singh ([pə̀ɡət̪ sɪ́ŋɡ]About this sound pronunciation (help·info), Punjabi: ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ (Gurmukhī), بھگت سنگھ (Shahmukhī));28 September 1907[9] – 23 March 1931[1][2]) was an Indian freedom fighter, considered to be one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement. He is often referred to as Shaheed Bhagat Singh (the word shaheed meaning “martyr“).

Born to a Jat[10] Sikh family which had earlier been involved in revolutionary activities against the British Raj, Singh, as a teenager, became an atheist and had studied European revolutionary movements. He also became attracted to anarchism and marxist ideologies.[11] He became involved in numerous revolutionary organizations. He quickly rose through the ranks of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) and became one of its leaders, and was influencial in changing its name to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA), which emphasises his socialist outlook[12]. Singh gained support when he underwent a 41-day[13] fast in jail, demanding equal rights for Indian and British political prisoners.[14] He was hanged for shooting a police officer in response to a police lathi charge leading to the demise of veteran freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai. His legacy prompted youths in India to begin fighting for Indian independence and contributed to the rise of socialism in India.

 

Anarchism

From May to September, 1928, Bhagat Singh serially published several articles on anarchism in Punjabi periodical Kirti.[11] He expressed concern over misunderstanding of the concept of anarchism among the public. Singh tried to eradicate the misconception among people about anarchism. He wrote, “The people are scared of the word anarchism. The word anarchism has been abused so much that even in India revolutionaries have been called anarchist to make them unpopular.” As anarchism means absence of ruler and abolition of state, not absence of order, Singh explained, “I think in India the idea of universal brotherhood, the Sanskrit sentence vasudhaiva kutumbakam etc., has the same meaning.” He wrote about the growth of anarchism,”the first man to explicitly propagate the theory of Anarchism was Proudhon and that is why he is called the founder of Anarchism. After him a Russian, Bakunin, worked hard to spread the doctrine. He was followed by Prince Kropotkin etc.”[11]

Singh explained anarchism in the article:

The ultimate goal of Anarchism is complete independence, according to which no one will be obsessed with God or religion, nor will anybody be crazy for money or other worldly desires. There will be no chains on the body or control by the state. This means that they want to eliminate: the Church, God and Religion; the state; Private property.[11]

 

Atheism

Singh began to question religious ideologies after witnessing the Hindu-Muslim riots that broke out after Gandhi disbanded the Non-Cooperation Movement.[75] He did not understand how members of these two groups, initially united in fighting against the British, could be at each others’ throats because of their religious differences. At this point, Singh dropped his religious beliefs, since he believed religion hindered the revolutionaries’ struggle for independence, and began studying the works of Bakunin, Lenin, Trotsky — all atheist revolutionaries. He also took an interest in Niralamba Swami‘s[76] book Common Sense, which advocated a form of “mystic atheism”.[77]

While in a condemned cell in 1931, he wrote a pamphlet entitled Why I am an Atheist in which he discusses and advocates the philosophy of atheism. This pamphlet was a result of some criticism by fellow revolutionaries on his failure to acknowledge religion and God while in a condemned cell, the accusation of vanity was also dealt with in this pamphlet. He supported his own beliefs and claimed that he used to be a firm believer in The Almighty, but could not bring himself to believe the myths and beliefs that others held close to their hearts. In this pamphlet, he acknowledged the fact that religion made death easier, but also said that unproved philosophy is a sign of human weakness.[78] In this context he has said:

As regard the origin of God, my thought is that man created God in his imagination when he realized his weaknesses, limitations and shortcomings. In this way he got the courage to face all the trying circumstances and to meet all dangers that might occur in his life and also to restrain his outbursts in prosperity and affluence. God, with his whimsical laws and parental generosity was painted with variegated colours of imagination. He was used as a deterrent factor when his fury and his laws were repeatedly propagated so that man might not become a danger to society. He was the cry of the distressed soul for he was believed to stand as father and mother, sister and brother, brother and friend when in time of distress a man was left alone and helpless. He was Almighty and could do anything. The idea of God is helpful to a man in distress.

Bhagat Singh, Why I am an Atheist

 

Read the rest at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagat_Singh

 

 

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