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Bhagat Singh: An American Perspective
By ANGELA D. HAMON
Angela Hamon is a U.S. Army veteran and a graduate of the Defense Language Institute. She is avidly interested in global issues and contributes to several anthologies and art shows. Angela lives on Lake Livingston, Texas and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sikh Times, Feb. 1, 2003
Photo: Bhagat Singh in jail
American history classes nationwide glorify important figures such as Patrick Henry, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and even Mahatma Gandhi. There is one man missing, though, a Sikh, who deserves a place of honor among secular society. This man, who lives forever in the minds of free men everywhere, is Bhagat Singh.
Singh joined the Hindustan Republican Party and later changed its name to Hindustan Socialist Republican Party. He openly welcomed Muslim brotherhood. Like Jesus Christ, Bhagat taught in parables. According to widely accepted legend, he and his followers performed skits to educate the public, took food to hungry children, and worked in flooded areas after the monsoons.
Singh earned an early reputation as a troublemaker. His college days included writing, distributing pamphlets, and organizing peaceful meetings. Oppressive British rule could scarcely allow him to continue. What a threat it must have been to have one enemy uniting so many!
Bhagat Singh went calmly toward his execution on Mar. 23, 1931. He stayed and surrendered himself after throwing a harmless noise bomb onto an empty section of the Congress floor. He turned over his firearm and, in the absence of free speech, used the court reporting system to speak for him. In testifying against himself, Singh finally discovered a way to voice dissent without facing censorship.
Bhagat Singh inspired generations in a short life of 23 years. If you seek a man with a singular purpose in life like the Dalai Lama, someone who sacrificed his life for his friends like Jesus, a man who demanded liberty or death like Patrick Henry, a statesman who organized the people like Samuel Adams, or someone who wrote like Benjamin Franklin, read about Bhagat Singh. If you love your freedom or if you are still fighting for it, read Bhagat Singh's own work. For anyone who wants to be inspired, I suggest, by all means, read about Bhagat Singh.
Copyright 2003, Angela D. Hamon