It's been over eight decades since revolutionary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh was hanged along with his comrades Sukhdev and Rajguru, but another window into the legendary Shaheed's mind is opening up only now.
A kite maker showing small tri-colour kites carrying pictures of martyrs Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev in Amritsar. Munish Byala/HT
A trail to the second part of Bhagat Singh's famous 'Letter to the Young
Political Workers' has revealed a relationship between him and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, another revolutionary figure of India's freedom struggle.
Ludhiana-based retired professor Jagmohan Singh (retd), a nephew of Bhagat Singh, has painstakingly traced the document's journey from Lahore to Bengal. The document contains notes entitled 'Our Opportunity', 'Gandhism', 'Terrorism', 'Revolution', 'Programme' and 'Revolutionary Party. Jagmohan now wants to popularise this 'notes' section by translating it into Punjabi and getting it printed with the main letter portion.
The first mention
The first reference to the document was found in the British-era official records. Police officer CES Fairweather, who later remained police commissioner of Calcutta from 1939 to 1943, mentioned in a police report titled 'Notes on the Development of United Front Movement in Bengal' in 1936: "Revolutionary programme drafted by Bhagat Singh (hanged) and found in the house search of (detenu) Mrs Bimala Pratibha Devi in Calcutta on 3rd October 1931." Devi was a revolutionary from Bengal who had been arrested.
"And the United Front Movement that Fairweather mentions was actually initiated under the leadership of Netaji on the lines of concepts given by Bhagat Singh in the document." But it was still hard to underline that Bose had indeed possessed the letter before it had seized by police.
Bose read it
This connection was established last year, through the memoirs of Comrade Ram Chandera, who was president of Naujawan Bharat Sabha that Bhagat Singh had served as secretary. Chandera writes on page 173 of his book 'Naujawan Bharat Sabha and Hindustan Socialist Republican Association/ Army': "Bhagat Singh had written a letter on the then political situation…. [The letter] was brought [out of jail] by late Jaswant Singh, a silent and noble revolutionary comrade to me…. I handed over this letter to Subhas in order to get his total commitment to Naujawan Bharat Sabha. Subhas promised to return the letter to me after the Naujawan Session at Karachi (25th March, 1931 along with Session of National Indian Congress). To keep his word he searched for me. But as I had been detained at Karachi, he could not return the letter to me. And then it was lost."
This confirmed that the document had been with Bose, and that is why it was recovered from Bengal.
"The trail of the document draws our attention that how less we understand Netaji. We need to understand Bhagat Singh and him together now," says Jagmohan.