Did Mahatma Gandhi really try to save Bhagat Singh, What letter did he write to the British?

It is the 110 birth anniversary of legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, the man who sacrificed his life for the country. Most of us at 23, would probably be enjoying our lives with parties, friends and colleges. But here was a man who at a small age knew what India wanted and fought for it.

While many young generation today feel bored to even read Newspaper or know about country’s situation, this man thought about the future of India and Indians. While he was only 12, he promised to himself that he will avenge the murderers of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. He was a man who gave sleepless nights to the British, sowed the seeds of patriotism in Indians and motivated them to live and die of the country.

As we say, probably India is not the right place for patriots, his fight against British did not get support from the so called freedom fighters in Congress. He was hanged along with Rajguru and Sukudev on 23rd March 1931 by the British.

The big question is why did not Mahatma Gandhi whom the British respected did not FIGHT for his release?

Although many people defend that Gandhi did write letter to then Viceroy Lord Irwin requesting him release Bhagat Singh, the letter was more a formality and was not emotionally included in saving Bhagat Singh. Gandhi defended himself that the decision to spare Bhagat Singh was in the hands of the British and not him.

Here are 2 letters of Gandhi, which shows how much Gandhi really helped Bhagat Singh….

On May 4th 1930, a year before Bhagat Singh’s execution, Gandhi had written a letter to Viceroy stating….You have found a short cut through the law’s delay in the matter of the trial of Bhagat Singh and others by doing away with the ordinary procedure. Is it any wonder if I call all these official activities a veiled form of Martial Law?”

After the first letter yielded no result, he wrote the second letter just few months before Bhagat’s execution on 31st January 1931…“Those under a death sentence should not be hanged. My personal religion tells me not only that they should not be hanged but also that they should not even be kept in prison. However, that is my personal opinion and we cannot make their release a condition.”

The last line clearly indicated that Mahatma Gandhi did not put the release of Bhagat Singh as a condition but rather implied that releasing Bhagat Singh was only his personal opinion.

Mahatma Gandhi even defended his stand and said….

“If I had a chance to speak to Bhagat Singh and his comrades, I would have told them that the way they pursued was futile and wrong. We cannot win Swaraj for our famishing millions by weapon. The way of violence can only lead to adversity and perdition. I shall explain to you why – Do you think that all women and children who covered themselves with glory during the last campaign would have done so if we had pursued the path of violence? Would our women known as the meekest on earth have done the unique service they did, if we had violence in us? And our children – our Vanar Sena; how could you have had these innocent ones who renounced their toys, their kites, their crackers and joined as soldiers of Swaraj – how could you have enlisted them in a violent struggle?”

After the execution of Bhagat Singh on 23rd March 1931, Mahatma Gandhi’s words on Bhagat Singh’s sacrifice was indeed shocking!

“Bhagat Singh did not wish to live. He refused to apologize, or even file an appeal. Bhagat Singh was not a devotee of non-violence, but he did not subscribe to the religion of violence.  He took to violence due to helplessness and to defend his homeland. In his last letter, Bhagat Singh wrote –” I have been arrested while waging a war. For me there can be no gallows. Put me into the mouth of a cannon and blow me off.”  These heroes had conquered the fear of death. Let us bow to them a thousand times for their heroism.

But we should not imitate their act. In our land of millions of destitute and crippled people, if we take to the practice of seeking justice through murder, there will be a terrifying situation. Our poor people will become victims of our atrocities.  By making a dharma of violence, we shall be reaping the fruit of our own actions. Hence, though we praise the courage of these brave men, we should never countenance their activities. Our dharma is to swallow our anger, abide by the discipline of non-violence and carry out our duty.

Hence, though we praise the courage of these brave men, we should never countenance their activities. Our dharma is to swallow our anger, abide by the discipline of non-violence and carry out our duty”.

It is unfortunate that a great revolutionary fighter got no support and was left in the hands of the British.


Did Mahatma Gandhi send Bhagat Singh to the Gallows?

Aishwarya S