Bhagat Singh was around twelve years old when the Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place. He used to read the revolutionary books of his uncles and wondered whether their path was right or not at this age. Once Gandhi launched the electric non cooperation movement, Bhagat Singh began to wonder whether to choose the non-violent ways of Gandhiji or the violent methods. Gandhiji called off the movement due to reported instances of violence. Plenty of enthusiastic youth got disheartened with this decision of Gandhiji. Bhagat Singh was one of them. Although Bhagat Singh respected Gandhi but he did not fully support his tactics. He opted an alternate path with an aim to gain independence from imperialist rule.
He started participating in the processions and actively participated in the activities of revolutionary parties. Chandrashekhar Azad, Sukhdev, Rajguru were among the prominent revolutionaries of his age.
Hanging of 7 revolutionaries in Kakori case and imprisonment of 18 others by the colonial government had infuriated Bhagat Singh. Subsequently Bhagat merged his organisation, Naujawan Bharat Sabha into Hindustan Republican Association. Bhagat Singh gave it a new name in 1926, Hindustan Socialist Republican Association.
Bhagat Singh remained in prison for nearly 2 years. He used to write articles and express his revolutionary views. He continued his studies in jail as well. Bhagat Singh has described the capitalists as the oppressor of working class in many ways. He believed that anyone who exploits the workers is an oppressor irrespective of his skin colour. Bhagat Singh and his colleagues went on a historical hunger strike of 116 days in jail also.
British court convicted Bhagat Singh under sections 129, 302 of the Indian Penal Code and sections 4 and 6F of the Explosive Substances Act and section 120 of the IPC on August 26, 1930. Court gave a 68-page judgment in which Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were sentenced to death on October 7, 1930. After the martyrdom of revolutionaries, colonial government imposed section 144 in Lahore. An appeal was filed in the Privy Council for the forgiveness of Bhagat Singh’s execution. British regime cancelled this appeal on 10th January 1931.
Congress President Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya also made an appeal to the Viceroy on 14th February 1931 for shuffling the sentence. Malviya excercised his privilege to waive his death sentence on the grounds of humanity. Gandhiji himself spoke to the Viceroy on 17 February 1931 to pardon the death sentence of Bhagat Singh. Moreover Mahatma Gandhi made an appeal to the viceroy for an amnesty with various arguments on 18 February 1931 also.
But Bhagat Singh, and all other valiant revolutionaries did not want to escape the gallows themselves. Bhagat Singh even wrote a letter to viceroy titled as “No hanging, please shoot us!”. Meanwhile leaders filed these mercy petitions against Bhagat Singh’s will. Eventually, Bhagat Singh and his comrades Sukhdev and Rajguru attained martyrdom at around 7.33 pm in the evening on 23 March 1931. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru remain the symbol of revolutionary nationalism for countless youth of India even today.