Sunday, July 03, 2005

Rediscovering Bhagat Singh

I just spent a very fulfilling afternoon reading about Bhagat Singh and some of his written works. I say fulfilling because I am in total agreement with so many of his views and all of them were developed during the same age.

The most interesting thing, which I was unware until I read his scathing attack on religion, was that he was an atheist! This article in which he criticises religion, communalism and superstition was written just a couple of days before he was hanged. More interesting from my point of view was that I went through quite similar process of reasoning in arriving at my conclusion about the non existence and absolute futility of god.

Bhagat Singh was also a voracious reader and spent a "disproportionate amount of his time in the library". He was known to contantly lend his books to his friends and urge them to read. "The sword of Revolution is whetted upon the stone of ideas"; and ideas come from reading.

I wondered then how could someone so well read and intelligent be so careless as to be a reactionary? Bhagat Singh reveals his reasons for some of his actions and also states emphatically that he is convinced that violent methods will not and cannot work in the given situation and also that the reason for the change is his thinking was not prompted by the death sentence he was serving. I urge you to read his written works.

Anyway, I was profoundly saddened that he was hanged. That set in motion so many "what if?" scenarios. What if he had lived to be 70 or 80? There would have been tough competition for Nehru.I really wish he and many of his friends had. They were all consumed by the temperaments of their youth. How badly we miss independent thinkers willing to challenge "established tradition".

No comments: