Is there a need to return to Bhagat Singhs methods? He believed in violence, yes, but not for the sole purpose of killing. Violence was to be used if necessary to further the cause of revolution. We also have to remember that it was Gandhis time, so there was this debate about violence and non-violence. What also sparked off the book was a letter I got from Harjinder Singh and Sukhjinder Singh, who were awaiting a death sentence for assassinating former army chief Gen A.S. Vaidya. They questioned the basis on which Bhagat Singh was hailed as a revolutionary and they were branded terrorists. So I wrote to try and show the difference between revolutionaries and terrorists.
The book brings out the fact that many thought Gandhi didnt do enough to try and save the three from being hanged... It tries to show what Gandhi did and did not do. There was the letter Sukhdev wrote to Gandhi a couple of days before the hanging when he heard Gandhi was negotiating with the government for the release of prisoners not convicted of violence while appealing to the revolutionaries to end their movement. Sukhdev asked Gandhi why he was doing so and ended the letter by signing as "Yours one of the many". In his reply Gandhi gave his own reasons as to why he thought Sukhdev wasnt "one of the many" and stressed his method of non-violence. And as I said, Bhagat Singh himself didnt propound violence for the sake of it. They did try and avenge Lala Lajpat Rais death, but even when throwing the bomb in the legislative assembly they took great care not to kill anyone.
Havent events in independent India validated Bhagat Singhs belief in the inadequacy of democracy as long as an exploitative elite exists? Bhagat Singhs idea was of a welfare state, a socialist state. Though the focus was on the events of that time, he did believe that only political freedom didnt mean anything unless the country was economically free as well. In a letter to his mother he expressed his belief that progress meant the destruction of the old, antiquated system. Without that it would merely mean replacing white sahibs with brown sahibs. And thats precisely what happened.
Youve also included an account of the revolutionary-turned-approver Hans Raj Vohra... Yes. Thats something unique about the book. It includes the letter Hans Raj Vohra wrote before his death explaining why he turned approver. It was his testimony that was crucial in the death sentence handed out to Bhagat, Sukhdev and Rajguru - his ex-comrades
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT