Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s passion for India’s armed forces is quite known. March 23 which is known as Martyrs’ Day (Shaheed Diwas) in remembrance of brave hearts Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, the former India skipper urged the country’s youngsters to remember their sacrifices in India’s freedom struggle.
Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged in a Lahore jail by the British on March 23, 1931.
“Personally it is a very important day for me. The modern day youngsters celebrate different days like New Year’s eve, Valentine’s day, Diwali, Eid and Christmas. At the same time it is also important that we look back into our history to remember what happened on March 23.
“It is a very significant day because Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged by the British. It is important to note that Bhagat Singh was just 23. He wanted to do a lot of things. And in a short life span, he achieved a lot of things,” Dhoni told veteran journalist Sunandan Lele, which was uploaded on his Facebook page.
“It is important to know our history. The freedom that we have today is because of everyone’s contributions. There are many people who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the nation. I want to tell the youngsters March 23 ki zara yaad karo kurbani. If these people were not there, we would not have been able to roam freely like today. “We would not the constitutional rights that we enjoy,” Dhoni said.
“Bhagat Singh was very disappointed after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. That’s when he decided to remove the British from our country. The important aspect in this is that Bhagat Singh was only 12,” stressed Dhoni before speaking about the Central Assembly bombing incident for which Bahagat Singh and his mates had to go to jail.
“It was a well-thought out strategy. He wanted to prove a point. They selected the assembly, threw leaflets and shouted slogan ‘Inquilab zindabaad’.
“They could have easily run from there, but they didn’t do that. They wanted to be treated under law. During the interrogation, he told the lawyer to ask him several questions so that he can reveal to the nation how he made those bombs. That helped other freedom fighters,” said Dhoni.
The country is often divided which was the best option for India’s freedom struggle — Mahatama Gandhi’s non-violence movement or Bhagat Singh’s way which involved violence.
Dhoni said both school of thoughts were important for India’s freedom struggle. “We had two schools of thoughts. There were several on Gandhiji’s side while in the other school of thought we had (the likes of) Chandrashekhar Azad, Sukhdev, Bhagat Singh. Their role was equally important. Yes there was violence, but it all played a part. In freedom movements in other countries, there was a lot of violence. India, of course, was different because we had Gandhiji.
“It doesn’t mean that we ignore the second school of thought. Their contribution was also as important as anyone else’s. They also wanted to do something for the country and were willing to even sacrifice their life for it,” said Dhoni.