The Biography of Famous Personalities of India will tell you about the controversies, the dark sides of a person that you may have never heard of.
Assembly Bomb Case of Shaheed Bhagat Singh
Assembly Bomb Case
If the deaf are to hear, the sound has to be very loud.
In the face of actions by the revolutionaries, the British government enacted the Defence of India Act to give more power to the police. The purpose of the Act was to combat revolutionaries like Azad and Bhagat Singh. The Act was defeated in the council by one vote.
However, the Act was then passed under the ordinance that claimed that it was in the best interest of the public. In response to this act, the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association planned to explode a bomb in the Central Legislative Assembly where the ordinance was going to be passed.
Initially, Chandra Shekhar Azad, attempted to stop Bhagat Singh from carrying out the bombing. However, the remainder of the party forced him to succumb to Bhagat Singh’s wishes. It was decided that Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt would throw the bomb in the assembly.
Bhagat Singh wanted to use the British courts to publicize the cause of independence of India in the world through media by throwing a bomb which should not cause any damage to life and property but should make noise and smoke only and to surrender and face trial in the court to publicize.
On April 8, 1929, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw a bomb onto the corridors of the assembly and shouted “Inquilab Zindabad!” (Long Live the Revolution!). This was followed by a shower of leaflets stating that it takes a loud voice to make the deaf hear. The bomb neither killed nor injured anyone; Bhagat Singh and BK Dutt claimed that this was deliberate on their part, a claim substantiated both by British forensic investigators who found that the bomb was not powerful enough to cause injury, and by the fact that the bomb was thrown away from people.
A statement issued later said : “The Bomb was necessary to awaken England from her dreams. We dropped the bomb on the floor of the Assembly Chamber to register our protest on behalf of those who had no other means to give expression to their heart-rending agony. Our sole purpose was to make the deaf hear.”
The red leaflet was more expressive. It was signed by Balraj (assumed name of Azad) in his capacity as the Commander- in-Chief of the Hindustan Republican Army (The Auxiliary Wing). The leaflet read:
“In these extreme provocative circumstances, the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, in all seriousness, realizing their full responsibility, has decided and ordered its Army to do this particular action, so that a stop be put to this humiliating force and to let the alien bureaucratic exploiters do what they wish, but they must be made to come before the public eye in their naked form.
Let the representatives of the people return to their constituencies and prepare the masses for the coming revolution, and let the Government know that while protesting against the Public Safety and Trade Disputes Bills and the callous murder of Lala Lajpat Rai, on behalf of the helpless Indian masses, we want to emphasize the lesson often repeated by history, that it is easy to kill individuals but you cannot kill the ideas.
Great empires crumbled while ideas survived. We are sorry to admit that we who attach so great a sanctity to human life, we who dream of a glorious future, when man will be enjoying perfect peace and full liberty, have been forced to shed human blood. But the sacrifices of individuals at the altar of ‘Great Revolution’ that will bring freedom to all, rendering the exploitation of man by man impossible, is inevitable.”
After the bomb explosion in the Assembly Bhagat Singh and BK Dutt surrendered to the police themselves as they had planned to publicize the cause of Indian Independence through media during court trial. They were also of the view that they will not be sentenced for long as the bomb they exploded was not a lethal one.
The bombs thrown into the Assembly Hall killed no one. Four or five persons received minor injuries; that was all.
The dramatic demonstration of protest was met with widespread criticisms from the Congress. Bhagat Singh responded – “Force when aggressively applied is ‘violence’ and is, therefore, morally unjustifiable, but when it is used in the furtherance of a legitimate cause, it has its moral justification.”
It was not the revolutionaries’ object to kill anybody. The incident drew the attention of the entire world. The HSRA name became a household word. The British Government trembled to the core.
Trial proceedings commenced in May 1929 where Bhagat Singh sought to defend himself, while Batukeshwar Dutt was represented by Afsar Ali. The court ruled in favour of a life sentence citing malicious and unlawful intent of the explosions.
Shortly after the arrest of Bhagat Singh and trial for the Assembly bombing, the British came to know of his involvement in the murder of JP Saunders. Consequently, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were charged with the murder. Bhagat Singh had decided to use the court as a tool to publicize his cause for the independence of India. He admitted to the murder and made statements against the British rule during the trial. The case was ordered to be carried out without members of the HSRA present at the hearing. This created an uproar amongst Bhagat Singh’s supporters as he could no longer publicise his views in the media.
Soon after the sentencing, the police raided the HSRA bomb factories in Lahore and arrested several prominent revolutionaries. Three individuals, Hans Raj Vohra, Jai Gopal and Phanindra Nath Ghosh turned approvers for the Government which led to a total of 21 arrests including those of Sukhdev, Jatin Das and Rajguru. Bhagat Singh was rearrested for the Lahore Conspiracy case, murder of Saunders and bomb manufacturing. Trial started against 28 accused in a special session court, on July 10, 1929.