Bhagath Singh was born on 28th September 1907 in Punjab at Banga, which is in present-day Pakistan, and studied in National College Lahore. His father and paternal uncle were also involved in the freedom struggle.
He was motivated by the Gadhar leader Sardar Kartar Singh Sarabha. His ultimate sacrifice in the process of starting a mutiny against the British rule in the time of the First World War made him motivated.
An incident which moved him:
Julian Wala Bhag incident and that brutal killing moved him. He took the blood-soaked soil of Jallianwala bagh and kept it in the god worshipping place in his home. That was the spirit he had. He wept for the people who died for their motherland and for those who were killed by the atrocities of the British.
He was involved in the revolutionary activities from his college days and once he was caught by the police and was brutally tortured. The fine which was a heavy amount was paid by his family and was released. His parents planned to get him married and looked like a nice girl but he was determined to work for the country and its freedom. He wrote a letter requesting his parents to forgive him for not obeying their wish to get married and left home. He met Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, a revolutionist and a journalist who used to run a magazine called Pratap. He was so kind-hearted. Bhagath Singh was younger to him and took residence in the press office of Pratap and used to distribute and sell the Pratap magazine and used to write articles for this magazine. Later, Bhagath Singh met Hindustan Republican Association which was a revolutionary organization run by Ram Prasad Bismil and others.
After Kakori train robbery:
The Hindustan Republican Association was run by Indian revolutionists like Roshan Singh, Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashpha Khulla Khan, and Chandra Sekhar Azad, etc. Bhagath Singh also joined the revolutionary party.
The senior leaders made a raid on the Kakori train and robbed the government’s chest of money. This infuriated the British government. They caught all the revolutionaries except Chandrasekhar Azad, who were involved in the robbery and punished all of them. Ramprasad Bismil, Alpha Kulla Khan, and Roshan Singh were punished by hanging to the neck till their death.
Hindustan Republican Association as Hindustan Socialist Republican Association:
The revolutionaries like Chandra Sekhar Azad, Bhagath Singh, Sukh Dev, Raj guru, Batukeshwar Dutt, and Jatindra Nath Bose, etc. were joined together and according to the resolution, they changed the name from Hindustan Republican Association to Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. Through the name, he conveyed the message to the people of India that his party was a socialist party that treats everyone equally.
The death of Lala Lajpat Rai:
Lala Lajpat Rai, Punjab Kesari protested against the Simon Commission and Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, supported Lala Lajpat Rai. During the protest, Lajapathi Rai was brutally beaten in the lathi charge. After a few days, Lajpat Rai succumbed to injuries.
Avenging the death of Lajpathi Rai:
Bhagath Singh, Azad, and other party members planned to take revenge against the death of Lajapathi Rai. So, they devised a plan to assassin the British police Superintendent James Scott, who was responsible for the lathi charge, which led to the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, but by mistake Raj Guru and Bhagath Singh assassinated John Saunders.
Bomb explosion in Parliament:
Bhagath Singh and his colleague Batukeshwar Death planned to explode the bomb against the “Trade Dispute Bill” and “Public Safety Bill” which were about to pass by the special powers of Viceroy though these bills were rejected in the Assembly.
At first HSRA members including Chandra Sekhar Azad opposed the idea of participation of Bhagath Singh due to the case of Saunders’s murder against him, which wasn’t closed by that time. They knew that it may lead to his execution. Bhagath Singh convinced all the members and went to execute the plan.
However, both of them exploded the bomb without harming anyone in the parliament and raised slogans, “long live revolution” and “Down with imperialism” and later surrendered with their weapons.
The court hearings:
The court hearings continued through the court, he sent his messages to the people. His ideology reached people and his court hearing motivated many people to join the revolution.
All were caught except Chandra Sekhar Azad and kept in jail in Lahore. The search was on and Azad wasn’t caught.
The Hunger Strike:
Bhagahth Singh and his colleagues led a hunger strike for proper food and clothes and other basic amenities but were rejected at the beginning and were accepted after 50+ days of struggle. During this hunger strike, Jatindra Das died starving. The jail conditions became better eventually.
Chandra Sekhar Azad’s death:
Azad met Nehru and went to Alfred Park, an old companion turned traitor Veerabhadra Tiwari informed the whereabouts of Azad. Police surrounded Alfred Park and in the gunfight with the police, Azad was injured, he took an oath that he would prefer to commit suicide instead of being caught and killed in the hands of the British government. He shot himself and committed suicide. Before committing suicide, Azad saved another companion with him Sukhdev Raj, and killed three police and injured many.
The death sentence of Bhagath Singh Sukhdev and RajGuru:
The death sentence was given by the court and ordered to hang three of them by 24th March 1931.
The British officers planned to execute three of them, 11 hours before the actual execution time i.e. on 23rd March 1931. Their death warrant was expired and there were no magistrates available, so the death warrants were signed by an honorary Judge and in his supervision, the execution of hanging was done.
The British police took the bodies by breaking a hole in the wall behind the Lahore Jail and cremated at the outskirts of Ganda Singh Vala village and then threw the ashes into the Sutlej River, about 10 kilometers from Firozpur.
Gandhi had signed a pact with the viceroy of India, Irwin. Gandhi had released many political prisoners who were not connected to the Satyagraha movement. There is a controversy that Gandhi would have saved Bhagath Singh Sukh Deva and Rajguru, but he did not ask Irvine about that. However, it remained an unresolved controversy between Gandhians and followers of Singh and Azad.
The influence of Bhagath Singh spread all over India. In a small and peaceful city called Cocanada (now Kakinada) of Madras Presidency (Now Andhra Pradesh) a person called Prativadi Bhayangkara Venkatacharya and his friends Kakarala Kameswara Sastry, Appanaboina Sundaram, Chilakamarri Narasimhacharyulu, etc. were influenced and fought against British officials and unsuccessfully tried to kill the then SP Musthafa Ali by bombing but caught. If they weren’t caught, their next move was to break a hole behind the Rajahmundry Jail and bring out the Lahore Conspiracy case convicts. Those all were Bhagahth Singh’s colleagues in revolutionary activities.