What’s the significance of “23 March “?
In 1931 that day Bhagat Singh, RajGuru and Sukhdev were executed. 46 years later I was born and 29 years after that we’re here today. Wow! Slow down there might have been more to it. Lets Google! To mention a few,
1839 – First recorded use of “OK” as an abbreviation for “oll korrect” in the Boston Morning Post.
1903 – The Wright Brothers apply for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful airplanes after much hard work.
1931 – Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev embrace the gallows during the Indian struggle for independence. Their request to be shot by a firing squad is refused.
1933 – The Reichstag passes the Enabling Act, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.
1942 – World War II: In the Indian Ocean, Japanese forces capture the Andaman Islands.
1956 – Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic in the world.
1965 – NASA launches Gemini 3, the United States‘ first two-man space flight (crew: Gus Grissom and John Young).
Thanks to “Wikipedia”, there are many more events that took place some significant and some insignificant.
As far as I can remember one thing was etched on my mind, don’t know what the source was though “those three martyrs were executed the day I was born, and they gave their lives for the freedom of this country, India,with a smile on their face” it filled my heart with the greatest honor for them. I did not get to know more about them completely until I grew up. I got a clear picture once I saw the movie “The Legend of Bhagat Singh” thanks to Rajkumar Santoshi for making such a dedicated attempt. While not even a single News paper or Television channels even paused to mourn them in past 75 years.
One thing was always bothering me, ‘there should be some reason, some significance that I was born on this day’. This morning I read an article by Prem Bhatia (1912-95) [By the way that was the only article I could find in any newspapers about Bhagat Singh today]. Prem Bhatia grew up with Bhagat Singh until the later fled to serve his nation. He never saw Bhagat Singh again, but used to listen how he was growing on the country from newspapers, near and dear. On 22 March 1931 Prem Bhatia’s parents got a message that Bhagat wanted to see Prem Bhatia, they were unaware of the fact that they would be executed, they couldn’t make it for some reason. On 24 March 1931 when Prem Bhatia was getting ready for college he heard from the paperboy “Bhagat Singh, RajGuru and Sukhdev have been executed”. His world shook and so did for many more to come. And I thought I was the only person bothered.
No offense but thanks to Mahatma for out-casting Bhagat as a revolutionary we’ll never even talk about him in public or mourn.
Let me tell you one more thing, I was watching news (The actual NEWS and not the garbage the main stream media feeds us daily) about how 15 civilians near the western town of Haditha on November-19 2005 and 11 civilians near Balad last week on March 15, were executed in Iraq. My mind was churning with creative ideas about vengeance, then I saw a relative mourning in front of the coffins suddenly burst out, I couldn’t hear or understand what he was yelling but sure I understood he would one day think how to avenge. That’s what any hot blooded youth will do “defend & protect their Mother, Motherland”.That was during the freedom struggle movement and Bhagat was a direct witness of Jalianwala Bagh Massacre. Not everyone was in a situation to show their second cheek.
Then why do the media and so called leaders of our nation pretend that these martyrs never even existed. Are they afraid that knowing about these freedom fighters will agitate the youth while they are trying to put them into a deep slumber of this globalization, pop culture? Well you can contain them for the time being, but once those walls break its going to flood the world.
Thanks to Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra for another master piece “Rang de Basanti” not to mention ManiRathnams “Yuva”, but will it surely add color to today’s youth, metaphorically speaking. I haven’t heard much besides Paritrana (http://www.lokparitran.org/) these days; have to see where this will take us. But seriously what is every single young person, ‘Youth’ doing & thinking these days.
Bhagat Singh, RajGuru and Sukhdev were hardly 25 years old when they gave their lives for the freedom of a nation called India. What is the mental, intellectual state of mind of an average 25 year old Indian now that we have stepped into the 21st century? And why? I urge you to visit www.shahidbhagatsingh.org where they have an extraordinary compilation of Bhagats letters. He wasn’t discussing about what brand of apparels were cool, what was the movie on the block. He was discussing about the future of a nation. Hardly in his early twenties he raised the slogan of “Total Independence” which didn’t even struck the veterans of National Congress back then?
How many of us know about “Tiananmen Square protests of 1989”, “Telangana Student movement December 6, 1968” and other struggles spearheaded by youth in the 60’s, to mention a few. Well we don’t know because it’s not being taught in our history classes. Not to blame, but our education system too is rotting. Hardly are the teachers interested in building a student and so is the curriculum where the facts are based on the interests of the bureaucrats and the policy makers, not to mention the intervention of the corporate college culture. Of course we also have a tradition of branding the progressive teachers as a revolutionary so that he has to think thousand times to choose between his career or the future of those hundreds of thousands.
So what will it be?
Where will all this (ignorance, negligence) end?
When and where do we have a (progressive) start?
“I am a man and all that affects mankind concerns me” — Shaheed Bhagat Singh