Singh was born to Kishan Singh and Vidya Vati
at Banga in the Lyallpur district of the West
Punjab in 1907 (exact date of birth is not known).
Kishan Singh was the eldest of the three sons
of Arjan Singh and Jai Kaur, the two others being
Ajit Singh and Swaran Singh . The former had been
deported to Mandalay along with Lala Lajpat Rai
under the infamous Regulation III of 1818 on the
charge of seditious activities caused by the iniquitous
Colonisation Bill of 1908.
Bhagat Singh was the second of the five children
(four sons and a daughter ) of Kishan Singh,
the others bing Jagat Singh ( died young ),
Amar Kaur, Kulbir Singh, Kultar Singh and Rajinder
Singh. They were a family of Sikh Jat peasant
proprietors, known in the Ilaqa for their self-
sacrificing nature. They associated themselves
with all reform movements, Arya Samaj and Sing
On completion of his primary education at the
village school in Banga, Bhagat Singh was sent
to the D.A.V. High school, and then to the D.A.V.
College at Lahore. Here he came under the influence
of two teachers, Bhai Parmanand and Jai Chand
Vidyalankar, two veteran nationalists, who left
their impress on the plastic mind of Bhagat
Singh. He became the leader of the student community
and founded the college students union. He even
joined the Indian National Congress but, finding
it supine and ineffective, left it.
The execution of the Ghadarite Kartar Singh
Saraba in 1915, the Rowlatt Act and the Jallianwala
Bagh tragedy of 1919 made Lahore a storm-centre
of agitation. Bhagat Singh responded to the
non-cooperation call of Gandhi, left the D.A.V.
College and later joined the National College
founded by Lala Lajpat Rai, from where he graduated
From 1923 to the time of his execution in 1931,
Bhagat Singh dedicated himself to the liberation
of his motherland. In 1923 he associated himself
with the Akalis and Babbar Akalis, who had organised
Morcha at Guru Ka Bagh. The same year he joined
the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association
and was very soon elected as the general secretary
of its central committee. He was entrusted with
the task of co-ordinating the inter-provincial
activities of the Association.
In 1925 he founded the Nav Jawan Bharat Sabha
at Lahore to inculcate a spirit of revolution
among the youth. He came in touch with other
revolutionaries like Sukhdev, Yashpal, Bhagwati
Charan, Chandra Shekhar Azad, B.K. Datt, Surindra
Nath Pandaya, Jatindra Nath Das and others,
who were also working among the youth. Das taught
how to make crude bombs.
In 1926 Bhagat Singh planned with Kundan Lal
and Azad to rescue the prisoners of the Kakori
Case, but the plan fell through. On the Dussehra
Day of 1926, a bomb exploded in Lahore. Bhagat
Singh was arrested and prosecuted, for want
of sufficient evidence he was discharged. In
1928 the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association
decided to open a network of branches in the
Punjab under the leadership of Bhagat Singh.
When the all-white Simon Commission landed
in Bombay on 3 February 1928, the Congress gave
a call of black flag demonstration against it.
A mammoth procession led by Lala Lajpat Rai
greeted it with black flags at the time of its
arrival at Lahore. It was lathicharged by the
police and Lala too was not spared. It was too
outrageous an insult to be left unavenged. The
Lala succumbed to the injury a few months later.
Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Azad decided to kill
Mr. Scott, believed to be responsible for the
lathi blows given to the revered Lala. Taking
him for Scott, they shot at Saunders, a police
on 17 December 1928 and killed him. Bhagat
Singh escaped from Lahore and came to Calcutta
where he opened a branch of his party.
The party now entrusted Bhagat Singh and B.K.
Datt to throw a bomb in the Central Legislative
Assembly in Delhi in order to demonstrate to
the alien rulers the utter disgust and disaffection
of the Indians against their autocratic rule.
On April 8, 1929 they threw a bomb when the
Central Assembly was in session, and later offered
themselves for arrest shouting Inquilab
Zindabad (Long Live Revolution). Bhagat
Singh and B.K. Datt were arrested, and later
Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were tried,
and hanged in Lahore Central Jail on 23 March
1931 at about 7.30 in the evening. Their corpses
were not handed over to their relatives but
were cremated by the police at the dead of night
on the banks of the river Satlej, near Ferozepur.
Justly remembered as Shahid-I-azam
by his grateful countrymen for making the supreme
Bhagat Singh infused life into the youth and
became their hero. It has increased our
power for winning freedom for which Bhagat Singh
and his comrades have died, said Mahatma
Gandhi. Their magnificent courage and
sacrifice has been an inspiration to the youth
of India, said Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,
the then President of the Indian National Congress,
in his tribute. They died so that India may
An ardent nationalist and freedom-loving patriot,
Bhagat Singh was, however, not an anarchist.
It is my firm belief, he said, that
the country will not profit by bombs and pistols-mere
throwing of bombs is not only futile but it
is often harmful, although it may be permissible
in certain circumstances. He justified
the use of force only when it is used
in the furtherance of a legitimate cause.
Besides being a nationalist to his core, Bhagat
Singh was a socialist and a republican. Labour
is the real sustainer of society. The sovereignty
of the people is the ultimate destiny of workers.
For these ideals and for this faith we shall
welcome any suffering to which we may be condemned.
This brings out Bhagat Singh not as a mere terrorist,
which his prosecutors laboured to make out.
He was a socialist, a democrat- all in one.
An example of Bhagat Singhs shrewdness
and resourcefulness can be given from an episode
in the Contributors life. Bhagat Singh
was in jail and the Contributor (Prithvi Singh
Azad) had gone underground in Gujarat, with
a big price on his head announced by the British
rulers. The police and the C.I.D. tried to fish
out some information about Azad from Bhagat
Singh, and Bhagat Singh wanted the same from
them. In this battle of wits, Bhagat Singh gathered
that Azad was in Gujarat.
Through the help of Bhai Parmanand and Dhanwantri,
Azad was traced somewhere in Gujarat,
and a meeting was also arranged between Prithvi
Singh and Dhanwantri and Chandra Shekhar in
a park in Lucknow where later Chandra Shekhar
Azad fell a martyr to police bullets. An automatic
pistol was presented to Prithvi Singh and he
was asked to proceed to Russia on his own resources
to learn the staging of a Bolshevik type of
revolution in India.
It was Bhagat Singhs conviction that
India could be liberated from slavery of the
British by means of a sort of Bolshevik Revolution
in India. Bhagat Singh had read communist literature,
particularly Marxs Das Capital
and also the Communist Manifesto.
Bhagat Singh was the first Indian revolutionary
to start the slogan of Inquilab Zindabad, which
later became the war cry of Indian Independence
Bhagat Singh edited the Urdu paper Kirti from
Amristar. He also edited the Akali at Amristar.
He was a good journalist and for some time contributed
to the Arjun (Delhi) and Pratap (Kanpur) under
the pseudonym of Balwant Singh.