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31st July (1940) in Dalit History – Death anniversary of Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh


31st July (1940) in Dalit History – Death anniversary of Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh

Why don’t governments give importance to Saheed Udham Singh? Is it because he was Dalit? Why does government give so much importance to Bhagat Singh and his colleagues, is it because he was Jat Sikh, who consider themselves as par with upper castes and better than other Sikhs? Rajguru was from Maharashtra and belonged with Deshastha Brahmin community. Sukhdev Thapar was Khatri Sikh again they consider themselves nothing less than kshatriyas! Saheed Udham Singh suffered so much in life but has been ignored by governments.

Check also – Video traces Shaheed Udham Singh’s life

31st July

Check also –  26th December (1899) in Dalit History – Birth Anniversary of Saheed Udham Singh

Udham Singh (26 December 1899 – 31 July 1940) was an Indian revolutionary and a brave hearted man best known for assassinating Michael O’Dwyer on 13 March 1940 in what has been described as an avenging of the Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre.Singh is a prominent figure of the Indian independence struggle. He is sometimes referred to as Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh.

Udham Singh (second from the left) being taken from 10 Caxton Hall after the assassination of Michael O'Dwyer

Udham Singh (second from the left) being taken from 10 Caxton Hall after the assassination of Michael O’Dwyer

On 13 March 1940, Michael O’Dwyer was scheduled to speak at a joint meeting of the East India Association and the Central Asian Society (now Royal Society for Asian Affairs) at Caxton Hall. Singh concealed his revolver in a book, entered the hall, and stood against the wall. As the meeting concluded, Singh shot O’Dwyer twice as he moved towards the speaking platform, killing him immediately.

On 1 April 1940, Singh was formally charged with the murder of Michael O’Dwyer. While awaiting trial in Brixton Prison, Singh went on a 42-day hunger strike and had to be forcibly fed.

When asked about his motivation, Singh explained:

I did it because I had a grudge against him. He deserved it. He was the real culprit. He wanted to crush the spirit of my people, so I have crushed him. For full 21 years, I have been trying to wreak vengeance. I am happy that I have done the job. I am not scared of death. I am dying for my country. I have seen my people starving in India under the British rule. I have protested against this, it was my duty. What a greater honour could be bestowed on me than death for the sake of my motherland?

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Did you know?

Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh had changed his name to Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, symbolizing the equality of all faith and of the three major religions of India: Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism.

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Filed under Dalit Bahujan Ideals, Dalit History, Dr B R Ambedkar, Latest, Today in Dalit History

On Khushwant Singh and his father’s role in Bhagat Singh’s death


In last two weeks, I have read three articles (two in HT and one in Ajit newspaper) by Khushwant Singh and all of them are about ‘clearing the air on his father’s – Shoba Singh – role in the testimony of Bhagat Singh.’ i.e. Sobha Singh identified and testified against Bhagat Singh in Lahore court. Khushwant Singh has already many a times denied that his father’s testimony led Bhagat Singh to death.

The recent controversy came into picture when Khushwant Singh asked to name one of the roads in the Delhi after his father’s name. In the recent article, he has again said almost on the same lines and asked ‘is speaking a truth crime?’ and in another article he as emphasized his father’s role in building the Connaught Palace of Delhi, hospitals, schools, pingalwara in Amritsar and many more buildings and trusts. (Yes, his father was builder and people used to say he owns half the Delhi). In another article he said his father was sitting in the court where Bhagat Singh and his friends planted bombs and police arrested his father also. His father’s role was to identify the persons who blasted in-front of him and his father did the same. There is another fact that his father was ‘Knighted’ after almost 15years of the Bhagat Singh’s death and some people believe that his father got it for testifying against Bhagat Singh. I didn’t know the fact about the testimony till last week but I’ve seen many “Sikhs” don’t like Khushwant Singh and I was naive to think that Sikhs dislike him because Khushwant Singh supported ‘Emergency’ and because of his Sardar jokes! But here was another reason – his father’s testimony against Bhagat Singh – that might have led Sikhs to dislike him. I don’t understand why people consider his father responsible for the death of Bhagat Singh. Records have shown that Bhagat Singh himself have pleaded guilty then where is the question of Khushwant Singh’s father’s testimony?  Also, when from the childhood we Indians teach our kids not to lie then why people are demanding any explanation for speaking the truth?  I believe Khushwant Singh’s writings against the saffron people have led him into all these controversies.

I’m very much fond of Khushwant Singh’s writings and first time I’m seeing him helpless in his writings – defending his father. I’ve read many books written by Khushwant Singh such as ‘Gods and Godmen of India’, ‘Company of Women’, ‘Train to Pakistan’, Joke Books etc and many articles written by him for various newspapers. I’ve never seen such a pain in his articles as I read in last three. I want old ‘mischievous’ man be spared from all these controversies and people should recognize him as one of the best writers of Indian history. His father was visionary and a great contractor, builder –who build the Delhi. Give them the due credit!

(Written on 18/08/2011 at 9:15am)

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Filed under Equal Rights, India