Every year we celebrate the ‘Shaheed Diwas’ on 23rd march, in remembrance of the 3 martyrs who laid down their life for the nation. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev & Rajguru were hanged to death on 23rd March 1931. Bhagat Singh deserves all the praise, but we shouldn’t forget the contribution of the other two martyrs. Rajguru & Sukhdev were both members of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association.
Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) was a revolutionary organization also known as Hindu Socialist Republican Army established in 1928 at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi by Chandra Shekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev Thapar. Previously it was known as Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) whose written constitution and published manifesto titled ‘The Revolutionary’ were produced as evidence in the Kakori conspiracy case of 1925. The Kakori train robbery carried out by the HRA was also shown in the movie Rang De Basanti.
Since most of the Martyrs from the HSRA to the history books, it was time we spoke about the less glorified heroes. Shivaram Hari Rajguru (24 August 1908-23 March 1931) was a key member of the revolutionary organization HSRA. The revolutionary from Maharashtra was mainly known for his involvement in gunning down a British Raj officer. Rajguru was born at Khed, near Pune. He wanted India to be freed by the British Raj. He believed violence could only be countered with violence & not Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of non-violence.
Rajguru became a colleague of Bhagat Singh & Sukhdev and took part in the termination of British police officer JP Saunders in 1928. Their actions were to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai who had died a fortnight after being hit by the police while on a march protesting the Simon Commission. The three men & 21 co-conspirators were tried under the provisions of a regulation that was introduced in 1930 specifically for the purpose. All the three revolutionaries were convicted of the charges & hanged on 23 March 1931. They were cremated at Hussain wala at the banks of the Sutlej River in the Firozpur district of Punjab. His birthplace of Khed has since been renamed to Raj Gurungar in his honor. Rajguru Market, a shopping complex at Hisar, Haryana was named in his honor in 1953.
Sukhdev Thapar was born on 15 May 1907 in Ludhiana, Punjab to Ramlal Thapar & Ila Devi. His father passed away soon and he was brought up by his uncle Lala Achint Ram. After the Central Assembly Hall Bombings in New Delhi on 8 April 1929, Sukhdev, Rajguru & Bhagat Singh were arrested & convicted. Not many people know that Chandra Shekhar Azad, the leader of the HSRA tried hard to save the 3 great patriots. But since they valued the nation above everything else, they laid down their lives.
The congress party which has only credited the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty rule for India’s freedom has always failed to acknowledge the contribution of these great men. But, the youth of today know more about Chandra Shekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev & Rajguru than Gandhi & Nehru. People understand that non-violence would have got us nowhere. Salute to the legends!