Mao:Man, Not God-Memoir of personal bodyguard

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Mao-Man not God

 Mao and his daughter Ni

  1. Mao Zedong: Man, Not God, Quan Yanchi,, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, English translation Wang Wengjiong, 1st ed. 1992, sixth reprint 2009, pages 214, price 45 Yuan

 

     Li Yinqiao, the narrator of this book was Mao Zedong’s personal bodyguard for 15 years, as per his own version, Mao trusted him so much that he told him once to tell the true story of Mao family, after his death, but not before. Lin Yinqiao’s memoir of Mao as the peasant’s son, husband, father and comrade in arms have been presented here by Quan Yanchi, a member of Chinese Writers Association. The author opines that Mao himself would have given this title to this book. Mao has been presented as China’s dynamic leader and world statesman by the author.                           

                               In his brief preface to the book Quan Yanchi has described that how he got responses to his queries on Mao’s life from many people, but more importantly from Li Yinqiao. Publisher has claimed many new and unseen photographs of Mao and author has opined that ‘Mao is the greatest man China has produced in this century.’

    Book is divided into twenty chapters, through which Lin Yinquao’s memoirs have been given the shape of the book. First and introductory chapter is about how Lin became bodyguard of Mao. He was working as bodyguard to Chou En Lai, when Communist party had headquarters in Yan’an, there was a need of new bodyguard for Mao. Li has joined Chou Enlai as bodyguard in 1947, in the final phase of liberation war, fought during 1946-49. Chiang Kai-shek’s army of 2 lakh thirty thousand men led by his favorite General Hu Zongnan had pushed itself on Yan’an. Communist party headquarter at that time. Communists had to leave its HQ at Yana’n and fight guerrilla war against Chiang click. It was toughest period of war and Communist forces reached Yellow river. There were torrential rains in August and party wanted to cross river and reach at safer place, but Mao was in angry mood and did not want to leave before defeating Hu Zongnan forces. Li Desheng was Mao’s party name at that time. Li’s observation about Mao is that’ Mao always meant what he said; he was a man not to be expected to give in easily to opposition, or change his mind’.(Page 1)

    Party wanted Li Yinquao to become bodyguard of Mao, as an earlier bodyguard was dismissed by Mao. Here Li narrates that he joined People Liberation Army at the age of 11 years and worked as orderly, guard and bodyguard in ten years’ time. Li is frank in telling Mao that he does not like change from Chou and Mao likes his frankness. Both make an agreement to spend six months together, which was extended to another six months, before finally making it regular arrangement. In the due course of time Li is promoted as head of bodyguard team for Mao. He does not wish to leave Mao, who convinces him to accept higher position 15 years later and not to block his career. In the very first month, Li Yinquao is impressed by Mao’s fearlessness, who does not get perturbed, when enemy bomb explode even in front of him. Li is also impressed by Mao’s concern for other comrades, as when they had to cross the river and want Mao to cross first, Mao insists every other comrade to cross first and taking his turn last. Li is further impressed that Mao talks to him at personal level and when told that Li’s mother was a Buddhist, comments that ‘Buddhists are kind hearted and compassionate people.’(Page8) In 1956, Li was promoted as commander of Mao’s bodyguards and he stayed on till 1962, when despite Li’s reluctance to leave him, Mao persuaded him to join at higher position in Tianjin province. Their parting is sad and emotional as described by Li that he cried a lot and Mao also took him into his arms and cried by saying-“After I die, don’t forget to come to my grave…once a year.” Mao also told Li that-‘I see my children only a few times a year. You are the only one I saw every day, so you are closer to me than my own children are. But I had to think of your future….’(Page12)

       Mao Zedong was vilified by his so called personal doctor Li Zhisin in a book published by Random House under the title-‘The Private Life of Chairman Mao’, though so many scholars and members of personal staff of Mao contradicted his ‘authentic’ claims, who dubbed Mao as ‘womanizer’ etc. This book, though written in very simple narrative and somewhat emotional style by one of the persons, who had to be with Mao most of the time, due to the nature of his duties. He had to perform even most private duties like taking care of Mao’s dressing up or helping him to sleep etc. can be definitely more true account of Mao’s life, as the book has been published by the official organ of Chinese Communist Party, it could be having official sanction also. The author, not to upset present Chinese leadership has at the end of the book criticized Mao on his concept of ‘Cultural Revolution’, but has also tried to reveal Mao’s abiding human qualities in a moving manner. This is one of the rare books in post Mao China that one could find reference to Jiang Qing, Mao’s persecuted wife as part of so called ‘Gang of Four’ and tried to be eliminated from Chinese history, the reference to Jiang Qing are not exactly as villainess, as she had been projected as part of ‘Gang of Four’. The book even contains a rare photograph of Mao and Jiang Qing daughter Li Ne, hugging her father fondly. Li Ne was sent by Mao himself to work in rural side as part of Cultural Revolution campaign of ‘city intelligentsia working in farms to learn’. Author has not mentioned Mao sending Li Ne to sending to work, as the book covers 1947-62 period only, whereas Cultural Revolution was post 1966 phenomenon. However author has mentioned in detail that how Mao has not allowed his children to take any advantage of his position, thus Li Ne, who almost starved in her school mess, was not allowed having any other food than served to all other students, which was a standard meal for a common poor peasant of China. Only when she visited home, she could take full some food at dining table. Mao even snubbed his body guard for showing her any special favor, when he came to know that his official car was used to take her to school or some such thing. She was to travel on public transport; at best she was given a bicycle at his body guard’s persistence. Jiang Qing never pleaded for any favor to her daughter. Same is true of Mao’s two sons from his first wife, who was killed by Kuomintang for not disclosing Mao’s whereabouts. One of these two sons was sent to Korea war in 1950, where he was killed in November 1950 at the age of 28 years only. Mao Zedong was upset, but did not shed a tear and also did not seek his body back home for burial. He said that Mao Anying belongs to the every land of the world and he should be buried, where ever he gave his life for a cause. The memorial is built for Mao’s son in North Korea and his just few month married widow had been visiting every year to pay homage. Li’s book brings many such aspects of Mao’s life to the fore. Mao remained in touch with his in laws from first wife, but told them not to seek any favour from Government. In many cases, Mao financially helped some needy friends or acquaintances from income on his books, but showed no favour at Government level

      In second chapter with apt title-‘Mao Enjoys a Challenge’, the very first para of this chapter is worth quoting in full-‘The most outstanding trait in Mao’s character, as his writings attest, was his readiness to take on a challenge. He responded to challenges from Kuomintang with counter-challenges, never conceding an inch. A winner all his life, as far as I know, never admitted to feeling overwhelmed by his adversaries, nor retreated in face of heavy odds against him. Whatever he did, he never quit, short of total victory.’(Page 13)

    Li Yinquao proves his point with concrete examples. In 1947, when Mao’s commanders decided to quit Yan’an headquarter of the party in face of two lakh thirty thousand strong Hu Zongnan’s army advance, Mao refused to leave till he saw Hu’s forces and everyone else had left. Chou En Lai assured him. Mao left at last, but making it sure that two boxes of his books reach at safe place, while leaving Marxism Leninism books for enemy troops, as it would be ‘good for them’. Many times Chou Enlai had to use tact to persuade Mao to leave the place of imminent danger. Finally only 20 thousand People’s guerrilla army of Mao Zedong decimated two lakh plus army of Chiang Kai-shek. Li has narrated details of many battles, which Mao won by his sheer confidence and tactics against Chiang armies. Mao’s love of challenge was expressed in his adventurous swimming of dangerous seas and rivers of China. Even as head of state, when he was not allowed free movement, Mao would announce his decision to swim across dangerous rivers or sea and his personal body guards and doctors will be in tough condition. Mao will never retreat, once he decided to swim and his swimming at 70 plus age has legendary tales now. In one instance Mao angrily told his security in charge Luo Ruiqing, when he tried to stop Mao from swimming in Yangtse river-‘All that worries you is that I may drown in that river, but what is this safety business all about? You may get killed by bombs right in your own room.”

   In a chapter-‘When Bombers Came’, Li narrates that how Mao never lost his composure in face of death. Death crossed him on close quarters many times, yet it could not deter Mao from the work he was engrossed in. It is revealing to know that attempts were made on Mao’s life in post-revolutionary China too, in 1952 and 1958 by Kuomintang, the conspiracies exposed in time.

  Mao’s humanism comes out in ‘Things that upset Mao’ and ‘Mao in Tears’ like chapters. As per Li’s account, Mao could not bear poor people crying, if he saw them in tears, he could not hold his own. During Yana’n days, on road, while traveling in a jeep, he saw a poor girl dyeing in her mother’s lap. Mao asked his doctor to take her along and told him to use only one emergency bottle of penicillin to save the girl. And girl was saved. He stopped red guards from shooting birds in his complex. Mao was fond of Peking Opera, a very powerful vehicle of China’s art. While Mao did not like to watch films much, he enjoyed watching Opera and liked many performances. His last wife Jiang Qing herself was a theater performer. What affected Mao in opera was his emotional bonding with characters, in one occasion, as per Li’s account, even as Chairman of Chinese state, Mao broke into tears in full public view after watching an opera. Not only that, while watching opera, Mao had unshackled his belt and while getting up emotionally to cheer the actors, his pants came down and Li had to take care of pulling up his pants. (This incident has also recently been narrated by novelist Cao Zhenglu, author of Lessons in Democracy in an interview published in October 2013 issue of Monthly Review.)

  Mao took personal interest in the lives of his guards and help them by his advice also. According to Li, Mao wore his heart on his sleeve. He wrote a poem for Li at the time of parting, as requested by him. Mao flared up in temper, when he could not sleep for many days. Sometimes he worked for 2-3 days and nights without sleeping and then he needed sleeping piles and if some disturbance made him wake up, he will flare up at such occasions. Mao liked snow and loved to walk and watch it, but he hated money so much that he will even not touch it. Mao said-‘Money is a lousy thing. But there is nothing I can do about it; nothing anyone can do, not even Lenin. We just can’t manage without it.’(Page76)

   Mao liked Stewed Pork and also brandy some time, chain smoker he was. Mao , according to Li, sometime liked the slogan-Long Live Chairman Mao, by implying that it is for Chinese Communist party, but sometime he disliked it. Mao’s habits were from his peasant background-rustic. Constipation and insomnia were Mao’s perennial problems. Li has interesting details of Mao’s founding day routine of People’s Republic of China, when he slept till 1 pm and Li made him ready in time to be with other leaders at Tiananmen square by 3 pm and he stood for seven long hours there, responding to peoples slogans of victory, with counter slogans-Long Live Chinese People..

   Mao remained concerned to know the reality of people’s lives and the impact of his projects. He will ask his guards, when they went for holiday , the real situation of their areas. As Chairman, his security arrangements were in the hands of Government, so he was not allowed free movement, sometimes, Mao will rebel and make a trip here or there on his own. He also remained worried about factionalism in party. While he himself did not ally with any faction. According to Li, Mao was warmer with non-party writers/intellectuals, while with party people, he kept a distance or aloofness and work like relations. He was suspicious of deviations in the party as early as in 1959 and remained suspicious till the end. The Cultural Revolution came out of these suspicions only, as Mao was worried more and more about rightist tendencies in the party itself, which proved true after his death.

    What comes out of Li’s memoirs and elsewhere in the world, Communist leaders in all countries after revolution become so much imprisoned in their shells that they don’t move among people as in liberal democracies. In one such instance when people came to know that Mao is visiting a hotel, thousands of people gathered to see him, greet him, but rather than Mao coming out and greeting people, he remained confined inside for hours, till security people got him out, clearing the way. This happened in all countries. They will address lakhs of people from high risen podium, but will not meet people on roads. Perhaps attack on Lenin in such meetings, made the Communist party super sensitive to the security of their leaders, be it Castro in Cuba or at other places. Attempts on Castro’s life by US agencies have further worsened this situation. At one time in China, Chou En Lai cycled to his office, so was with Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, but later day developments made the communist countries much more security conscious than even bourgeoisie countries.

 Li has devoted one full chapter to Mao’s life with his wife Jiang Qing. They slept in separate rooms, but when guards had difficult problem, they will share it with Jiang Qing, who will handle the situation then. As per Li account, Jiang was caring of Mao and their children, even step children from Mao’s other wives. Li has tried to say Jiang was intemperate and quarreled a lot, even with guards, but as per Li’s own account, he never bothered about her and could even shout at her during dispute. Li Yin Quao acknowledged that both of them despite quarrels, loved each other lived happily during his 15 year stint as body guard. Li acknowledges her other qualities like excellent handwriting, a part of calligraphy as an art in China, good stage performer, liked by all members of central committee of Communist party. If Mao like to tame fiery rivers by his swimming, Jiang liked to tame fiery horses, even the wildest one. She was good in knitting as well and made good dresses. Interestingly she was fond of playing cards and played with guards too. Mao was irritated some time, when her quarrels with guards reached him and admonished them all for playing cards, advising them to study Marx and Lenin in their free time. From Li’s memoirs, another problem of feudal background of China comes to the fore. Perhaps there was little interest for reading among even Chinese Communists, Mao was most voracious and updated reader. Newest books will reach him in his cave at party headquarters in Yan’an. There have been party schools in party headquarters, where emphasis will be given to ideological orientation to the party cadres and leaders. But it seems, no other Chinese communist leader has as much interest in ideological issues of Marxism Leninism as Mao had, that is how he remained undisputed leader of Communist party during pre-revolutionary period and his ideas given the pre fix of Mao Zedong Thought, added to Marxism Leninism. Mao remained committed to the study and development of Communist ideology even after revolution and contributed many more philosophical essays, but after coming to power, many factions in Communist party seems to have lost interest in ideology and became involved in issues of governance, many of them losing their commitment and sincerity as well. Li seems to have some exaggerated accounts of Mao and Jiang exchanges and could have been putting words in Mao’s mouth as per his own perception. Though not vilifying Jiang, Li had projected a picture of Mao and Jiang as unhappy couple.

      In a chapter Mao’s relations with people he knew, Li describes Mao’s literary interests, as he was a poet himself. With Chen Yi in party, he had close relations. Mao will occasionally meet eminent Chinese writers like Gu Mo Ru, Zhang Li or Chen Shutong. Mao lost six of his kinfolks in Chinese liberation war and after.  Though caring father, Mao was strict in discipline with his children, when his on Mao Anying wanted to marry in hurry, Mao told him-‘You are Mao Zedong’s son, who will stick to regulations, if you don’t?’(Page 170). As his children suffered harshness of life, Mao would say that ‘it is tough luck for them as they are Mao’s children!’. At the time of Korea war, when China decided to send its troops to Korea, Mao sent his son also and said-‘He is Mao Zedong’s son. Who would go if he did n’t?’ From the earlier phase of Chinese people’s republic, Mao disliked those who had started looking for material comforts after the revolution and he made no secret of his feelings-‘A man who vies with others for material comfort and not for service to the revolution is contemptible!’(Page175). Li Ne, Mao’s youngest daughter and very close to him, was never allowed to have any extra food, apart from what she got in her school mess.

    After Mao’s death and Jiang Qing arrest, Li Ne also went through tough time, she was separated from her husband. In 1980, Li met Li Ne, who was living alone with her son and was in bad shape. When suggested of remarriage, Mao’s daughter said-“Who would marry a woman, whose mother is member of Gang of four?” Though she was married again and was more comfortable than before, but it shows that how the new Chinese Communist leadership, whose own kith and kin are now playing in billions, treated Mao’s children after his death. Though Mao’s photo is the only one to don at Tiananmen Square, perhaps only its size has been reduced, it was bigger earlier, and Chinese currency also carries Mao’s photographs. Mao’s mausoleum is also taken care by Chinese government, which still attracts long queues of people, yet Mao’s successors have already buried Mao legacy deep in sea and don’t want to even any memory of Mao’s moral legacy to be remembered by people In two small chapters, Li has focused on Mao’s sense of humor and also his love for books. Mao encouraged all his staff to study and personally set up spare time school at Zhongnanhai and selected teachers personally. Rather than his own books, Mao will encourage his staff to read books by Marx and Lenin.

  According to Li, Mao probably had two regrets in life, the things which he could not accomplish in his life time- one, he was never able to swim Yellow River, though he yearned and tried for it, secondly, he could not see the liberation of Taiwan and its integration with China. Hong Kong and Macau, also got integrated with China only after Mao’s death, but Taiwan was different.

      After revolution Mao went to seek help from Soviet Union and spent almost ten weeks there during Stalin’s time, but got very little help. Later Khrushchev started demanding its repayment prematurely, that soured Sino-Soviet relations. Though Mao described Stalin as The greatest friend of China, later the relations, which took ideological conflict also, became very tense. There is a reference to India too in the book, ascribing Five Principles of peaceful co existence-Panchsheel- as Mao’s brain child, promoted by Chou En Lai in 1955 Bandung conference. The claim of these principles is made by Nehru also.

     Li Yinquao does not indulge much in political debates of Communist party, but to keep the present rulers on his right side, he describes Mao’s concept of Cultural Revolution as a ‘mistake’–’Mao merely made a ‘mistake’, but Gang of four committed crimes’– but his observations in this regard are interesting, coming from a common man-

“Mao’s intentions regarding the ‘cultural revolution’ were honorable; he wanted to rid the Communist Party. Amongst other things, of bureaucratic practices and corruption.”(Page 212). Li continues-‘Mao was a dead enemy of bureaucracy and corruption.’ In 1950’s also he campaigned against bureaucracy, waste and corruption, he was so serious about it that he will ask his staff pointedly that if any of them pocketed government money? He will always tell them not to fall for ‘sugar coated bullets’ and resist temptations. He always appreciated honesty and will tell that ‘don’t expect to make big money for working in government’. He will tell the staff leaving him for other job that—‘Be modest and remain true to revolution, without losing your drive or becoming decadent.’(Page 213)

    The last para of the book needs to be quoted in full-“Mao did not find everything about the Communist Party or the nation which he had founded to his satisfaction, and he always tried to do something to rectify it. In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why he initiated the ‘cultural revolution’.

     Li takes umbrage in Chinese official line in next lines-‘unfortunately for the Chinese nation, this ‘something’, which he did, turn out to be a mistake which triggered ten years of catastrophe.

   This was Mao’s ultimate regret and the regret of history as well’ (Page 213)

     The book ends with these official words, but what history is now proving, seeing the tide of corruption and reversal of revolution and restoration of not only capitalism, but multinational corporate crony capitalism, ironically proves Mao Zedong to be correct in his assessment that China needs not only one Cultural Revolution, but Cultural Revolution every twenty years, if socialism has to be built and protected/promoted. But he was as much aware of Chinese Communist Party’s inner composition, where capitalist roaders led by Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping always held control over government and state, where Mao was just kept as figure head and show piece of Chinese Revolution. Chinese Communist Party could not do without Mao, even now, as his prestige in leading the Chinese revolution is so high that no one can contest that without Mao’s leadership Chinese Communist party could never make a revolution. Mao was so incensed with rightist elements in the party that he had to issue the personally written poster on 5th August 1966 under the title-‘Bombard the Headquarters’, sitting where Mao himself was feeling suffocated. It was another tragedy of history that due to lack of proper ideological training and also due to deep factionalism in Chinese Communist party, even among so called ‘leftist’ elements like Lin Bio and Jiang Qing, cultural revolution too resorted to excesses, which became a tool in the hands of rightists to grab power and put China back to Capitalist road, fruits of which are now there for everyone to see. In the name of Communist Party, a society has been created in China, which is much worse than even Nehruvian model of ‘mixed economy’!

    Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro etc. had conceived Socialism, not just an economic system, they had conceived it as a model of creating a ‘new man’, different from man created by capitalist society. This ‘new man’ did come into being in the initial phases of Soviet, Chinese, Vietnamese and Cuban societies and is still cringing to survive in Cuba, but no more exists in other places, Chinese creating the worst ‘consumerist’ gloated man running after ‘money’ like mad man!

      Written in student like innocent narrative style, this book does bring out Mao Zedong’s personality as a fascinating human being, as much fearless and with absolute commitment to the cause of human liberation from all kinds of oppression as were Lenin, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh or Bhagat Singh! Mao Zedong may had made ‘mistakes’ in the cause of liberation, but he made absolutely no mistake in understanding Chinese people, Chinese Communist Party and rightist tendencies in it!

Why and whom I voted? My wish list for Lok Sabha

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March2, 2009 Atul Kumar Anjaan, CPI leader. Photo  Arvind JainAmarnath YadavDr-Dharamvira-Gandhi-AAPDr. Daljit Singh Book Hindisonisoriimages.jpg-Rajmohan GandhiAnand Kumar_npatkar1_650_010914072942  Arvind Kejriwal jpgprofile-cheema-1_325_071112124109S R DarapuriMohd SalimSubhashini Alijpgrajo dRajender Prasad CPI         Manpreet Badal jpg 

Above are some of candidates whom I wish that they should win and reach Lok Sabha. Profiles of some are given below-In order of pasting candidates are-1.Atul Anjan-CPI2. Amarnath Yadav-CPIML3. Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi4. Dr. Daljit Singh5. Soni Sori6.Rajmoohan Gandhi7Prof. Anand Kumar8Medha Patkar9Arvind Kejriwal10Yogender Yadav11.Balli Singh Cheema(All Aam Aadmi Party(AAP), 12.SR Darapuri13.Mohd. Salim14. Subhashini Ali(Both CPM)15. Rajinder Singh(CPI)16. Manpreet Badal(PPP)

 

                                                    

                                                                                          Profiles of Lok Sabha candidates

  1. Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi—The earliest memory of Dharamvir seems to be, visiting him ,when  he was a MBBS student in Amritsar Medical college. Probably I stayed with him a night in hostel. I may have gone for some Gursharn Singh event in Gandhi grounds, the whole night discussion on cultural issues. In one such all night meeting, perhaps Bhagwan Josh had come, Amarjit Chandan was there too. This was between 1972-75. On one of these visits, probably Dharamvir took me to introduce Dr. Daljit Singh, who was still working with Govt. Medical college. As Dr. Gandhi told me that when he spent about six months in prison during emergency, it was only Dr. Daljit Singh, who will visit them in jail. After completing MBBS and remaining Punjab Students Union (PSU) activist, which was led by Pirthipal Singh Randhawa, Dr. Gandhi joined govt. Service as medical officer at PHC Bilaspur, Bhindrawale’s wife’s village. I had joined JNU,but used to visit Punjab a lot and visited Bilaspur many times. Used to stay with Dharamvir in his official residence on hospital campus. Dharamvir got married in these days with Padma, it was perhaps arranged marriage, but Padma got absorved in Comradely life of Dharmavir quite soon. She was working with Food Corporation of India(FCI), where she was  not burdened with much work and she could spare time. They had two children-one son and a daughter. I had seen children in their early age, but not since many years. Dr. Gandhi told that daughter is doctor in USA and son is with him in his clinic, he has also done medical degree. Padma has retired from FCI, before that Dr. Gandhi had taken voluntary retirement in order to open his own clinic.

                    In 1978 Dharamvir went to Bilaspur, Health centre, where he continued with breaks till 1988, almost a decade. He was popular in the whole area, in surrounding villages.In Govt. Hospitals, generally free medicines were not supplied to patients. Dharamvir saw to it that patients get medicines from dispensary. Though his consultation hours were limited in morning and evening, he was available to patients all times, as he was staying in flat on campus. Even during late night or odd hours, any family had any problems, they could come and call Dr. Gandhi and he was readily available. This made him so popular, that when he was transferred due to his anti-Govt. Campaigns in the area, people from 2-3 villages went to Chandigarh Punjab secretariat and returned only after getting his transfer cancelled. In 1979, he was elected founder General Secretary of Association for Democratic Rights(AFDR), the position he held for many years and brought AFDR to all India map. This mass organisation for civil rights was inspired by Nagi Reddy group of Communist movement and after the group split, Dr. Gandhi left the organisation and became active in other democratic movements. In fact Nagi Reddy group has decided that Pirthipal Singh Randhawa, a very popular student leader and general secretary of PSU to organise AFDR, but he was murdered brutally by Akali patronised goons in July 1979. Randhawa was considered a good organiser, so the mattle fell on Dr. Gandhi, whose organisational skills were equally good. Dr. Gandhi joined Rajindra Medical College Patiala for his post graduate studies and later became Asstt. Professor in Cardiology deptt. where he spent another decade, attending patients in large numbers. In year 2001, he set up his own Dr. Gandhi Heart clinic, on the pattern of his teacher Dr. Daljit Singh’s Eye centre in Amritsar, where nominal fees was charged from poor patients. Dr. Gandhi kept differential fee/expense structure for patients and offering free service to very poor patients and clinic became as popular in Patiala and its surrounding rural areas, as he was popular in Bilaspur area, where even Bhindrawale’s in laws family held him in high esteem. This continued till 2011-12, when he again jumped into mass movement with Anna-Kejriwal mass movement. And he became a Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Patiala constituency with a bang. I was not bit sure about whether he would be able to organise big campaign against a formidable candidate-Central minister Parneet Kaur, whose social reputation is much better than her husband Amrinder Singh, who is foul mouthed and arrogant in his feudal background style. It was easy to defeat him, if he was a candidate in Patiala. Dr. Balbir Singh, a common friend and incharge of Dr. Gandhi’s campaign invited me for discussion, in which Dr. Gandhi also joined for some time. We revived our past warmth and I expressed my solidarity and offered some suggestions. Dr. Gandhi’s presence made the Congress and Akalis unnerved and Akalis made a cowardly physical attack on him on Election Day, injuring him seriously, the writing of wall was too difficult for them to bear. Dr. Gandhi fought back and forced Akali supporter SSP and administration to arrest the culprit. I have been critical of AAP on many issues and continue to, but presence of Dr. Gandhi, Medha Patkar, Dr. Daljit Singh and Soni Sori like candidates, put me in dilemma. Also the growing danger of Moditva fascist trend, weakness and discredited character of so called middle parties like JD(U), Samajvadi Party, BSP; marginalisation of left parties, made me realise that perhaps it is only AAP, which has caught people’s attention and despite its inherent contradictions, I should support its creditable candidates and Dr. Gandhi was the first one with whom I expressed my solidarity openly and clearly.

  1.  Dr. Daljit Singh-Teacher of Dr. Gandhi, Dr. Daljit Singh is known in leftist circles since early sixties, when he was Doctor in eye deptt. at Rajendera Medical college Patiala during 1967-72. Dr. Pyare Mohan, Surjit Lee etc. were in touch with him in early phase of Naxalite movement in Punjab, but Dr. Daljit Singh had relations with earlier Communist movement as well, with Satya Pal Dang etc. He used to help and support young student rebels of Punjab Students Union and their mentors like Surjit Lee and exchanged literature. From the very beginning of his medical career, he had the idealist streak in him, possibly got in from his respected Sikh scholar father Bhai Sahib Singh. He served Medical College till 1976 or at Amritsar, before establishing his own Dr. Daljit Singh Eye Hospital. I was probably introduced to him either by Surjit Lee or Dr. Gandhi in 1972-75 period, but later when I had to undergo cataract surgery in 1990 or so, Poonam Preetlari accompanied us to Dr. Daljit Singh. We stayed at Poonam house in Amritsar then. Dr. Daljit Singh has a practice of charging not only no fees, no expense from Punjabi writers. So from Gurdial Singh down to lesser known writers availed his generosity. Dr. Daljit Singh himself has a flair for writing, not only on his professional subject-eye care’, that too in Punjabi language, but in other fields of writing as well. He writes prose on American oppression of the world and with documents showed that how 9/11 was USA’s own planned act to push the world into a fire of hatred and violence. He is a poet and had two collections of poetry to his credit in Punjabi. My way of paying to his generosity was to translate his poetry in Hindi, which I did with pleasure, which was published by Kulwant Singh Suri, son of eminent Punjabi writer Nanak Singh. A release function on the book was also organised in Amritsar. When in 2002, I had another retinal detachment, after losing much vision in first detachment in 1992 end in Delhi, at the recommendation of Dr. Balbir Singh, an eye surgeon friend at Patiala, we rushed to Amritsar. This time Dr. Daljit Singh personally took care of the surgery done by his daughter in law Dr. Indu Singh, retinal expert in his eye hospital. This time we were hosted in his new hospital cum patient accommodation rooms, again charging no expense, despite my request that my University would reimburse me. And when in 2004 or so, my daughter had serious eye problem, Dr. Balbir again sent us to Amritsar and this time too Dr. Indu Singh not only treated her, she gave her so much affection as well. I have been sending my books on Bhagat Singh to Dr. Daljit Singh, who is also his fan and wrote even a poem on him. And when his candidature was declared from AAP, I expressed my solidarity with pleasure. Dr. Daljit Singh enjoy so much respect in Amritsar that he went even to Congress and BJP rallies and distribute AAP caps and people accepted. Despite being personal doctor of Presidnet of India a t one time and receiving Padam Shri honours in 1987, he never referred these things in his campaign as candidate.He was the only candidate to visit slum areas of the city and also poor Dalit areas in rural side, where no Congress/BJP candidate went. In light mood, when I phoned him to express my solidarity, he said half jokingly ‘we may even win!’ In two bullish candidates fighting a dirty campaign, Dr. Daljit Singh’s campaign was cleanest to the core and my strongest wish is his victory! He is nearly eighty years now and had been working since more than five decades with such discipline-getting up at 3 am, reaching operation theatre by 4 am, performing surgery till 7 am, then with little break, reaching OPD and attending to patients till almost 2 to 3 pm before lunch break. After an hour or more, again going to ward to look after morning operated patients. Sitting on computer from early nineties, when few people had such excess and competence.
  2.  Medha Patkar-  My interaction with Medha Patkar began in year 2006, after I joined JNU faculty in 2005. I was Vice President of JNU Teachers Association during 2006 period, when she had big agitation in Delhi at Jantar Mantar in which JNU Students Union; many faculty members participated, apart from many other sections of society in Delhi. Even actor Amir Khan came and sat on dharna for some time. She observed 21 days hunger strike and was very week, when I will hold her hand and listen to her soft voice in extreme weakness. In her team, there is a gentle Punjabi young man Simpreet, to whom she will call as ‘our chhota Bhagat Singh’-our little Bhagat Singh. I had gifted my book on Bhagat Singh to her and she had been an ardent admirer of the martyr. I was not totally attached to her long drawn Narmada movement, but always admired her simplicity and dedication. So when she also decided to contest on AAP ticket, I happily extended my solidarity to her.
  3. Soni Sori- I have never met Soni Sori, but have been reading a lot and supporting her through her sufferings at the hands of Chhatisgarh police. I refused to attend a literary meet patronised by then Chhatisgarh DGP Vishvranjan Singh, whose hospitality was accepted by many known Hindi writers. He was the main culprit of torturing Maoist sympathisers in state, which included simple adivasi school teacher Soni Sori and her nephew. The way so called President medal winner SP Aggarwal has caused inserting stones in her vagina had been the vilest act. She was given relief by Supreme court very late and that too reluctantly. AAP activist advocate Prashant Bhushan has been fighting her case in courts and probably he got AAP ticket for her to contest elections. I respect Prashant Bhushan for his radical stand on many issues like on Kashmir and has been critical of AAP for keeping away from him, when he faced attacks from BJP, even physically attacked. It was but natural I would have supported Soni Sori.
  4. Balli Singh Cheema-a poet and cultural activist from Nainital area is personally known to me since 1994-5, when I had gone to Nainital for Punjab Languages Deptt. function. Balli Singh was known through his poems and Gursharn Singh team has popularised his song-Le Mashale Chal pade hain log mere gaon ke/ab andhera chir denge log mere gaon ke’(People of my village have come out with fire lights/tjey will now tear up the darkness). I met him and Zahoor Baksh, another poet from Nainital and spent some time together. On my return talked about his personality to Sarabjit Dhaliwal-Tribune reporter in Patiala then and now senior journalist in Tribune office in Chandigarh. His profile was published in Saturday or Sunday magazine of Tribune then, but probably he himself has forgot it, as I did not see any of his reference or write up on Balli Singh Chema during the election campaigh. He was arrested by Nainital police to dampen his soirit on a trumped up charge.He could have come out on bail, he refused and fought back from inside jail. Probably he may make as the people’s spontaneous response to AAP has exploded at many places.
  5. Prof. Sadhu Singh- He is contesting from Faridkot constituency after retiring from Govt. College Faridkot as lecturer in English some year back. I don’t remember meeting him, but I may have met him, as I had many friends there in seventies-Prem Pali, T R Vinod, Gurdial Singh, Gurmit Singh. After young girl Shruti abduction case, Akalis need to be taught a lesson here and Prof. Sadhu Singh may be able to achieve that.
  6. Bhagwant Mann- I may have met Bhagwant Mann,  known as comedian in plays and films, but cannot claim any close encounter, still I think he is better candidate to enter Lok Sabha than others in contest.
  7. Prof. Rajmohan Gandhi- I have not met him, but his recent book on Punjab-From Aurangzeb to Mountbatten-has been appreciated a lot. His earlier writings also I have been reading occasionally. He never used his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi’s name for his campaign and he has been losing earlier. Given his gentle and liberal personality, I think he deserves to win from Delhi!
  8. Prof. Anand Kumar-We are known to each other perhaps since 1977, the year I joined JNU as student and where Anand Kumar, Samajvadi Yuvjan Sabha activist was known as giant killer, as he had defeated Prakash Karat in JNU student union elections, who had also defeated him once. He had been BHU student union President earlier. He went to USA on fellowship, leaving his President ship in between, that was a bit of reflection on him. Later he joined faculty of BHU and later in JNU, few years before I joined. In JNU faculty, he remained JNU Teachers Association(JNUTA) President for one term and when I was also elected as JNUTA President for 2006-7 term, looking at my hyper activity, used to joke that ‘perhaps I want to be known as best JNUTA President’! We remained in constant touch on many academic and social issues and supported JNU students struggles together many times. He remained committed to his Lohiate socialist ideas, occasionally appreciating my writings on Bhagat Singh. During first elections to JNU Executive council, he supported CPI candidate Kamal Mitra Chenoy against me, but telling frankly that he is supporting him, as were Prabhat and Utsa Patnaik, telling me clearly about their support to Chenoy. I never felt bad about it and when Anand Kumar was put up as AAP candidate in Delhi, I extended my greetings and solidarity. Incidentally Chenoy left his four decade old membership of CPI to join AAP, he was their Central Committee member.
  9. Arvind Kejriwal-I have just one meeting with Kejriwal. When I was President to JNUTA in year 2007, I was invited by my friends-Prof. Amit Bhaduri and his Diplamat writer wife Madhu Bhaduri to join a protest against Information Commission at JNU old campus, which was its headquarters then. When I joined them, then I saw Arvind Kejriwal, who in a way was leading the delegation. I think RTI activist Shekhar Singh was also there, who later became one of the commissioners. That particular day Chief Information Commissioner, perhaps Wajahat Habibulah was not present in office, so the delegation including me and Bhaduris met one of the commissioners, who to my impression was playing smart. Kejriwal was very tough with him and somewhat aggressive too and that man was put on defensive. Since Bhaduris and other civil activists were supporting Kejriwal and one can now observe that Kejriwal did show spark in his personality in earlier days of his RTI activism that his present chrisma can be understood. But Kejriwal is not radical like Prashant Bhushan or Medha Patkar or D. Gandhi. He is ‘practical’, as he himself defined himself, ‘neither right nor left’! This is dangerous proposition; he could turn into rabid rightist also in future, as his resort to religious symbolism indicates! Yet in present political scenario, I support him from Varanasi constituency to defeat Narender Modi. Even if Modi is defeated by Kejriwal, the strength of BJP is not going to be affected and Modi may still become Prime Minister. But this symbolic fight is crucial for the future of the country. Modi’s defeat will be the defeat of fascist design of Modi. His victory from Gujarat is almost certain, but his defeat in Varanasi shall convey a strong message to BJP and Modi both that Moditva kind of fascism will not be tolerated by Indian society and if he still tries to push that agenda, the people will fight resolutely, that is the meaning of Kejriwal victory and Modi defeat from Benaras. I wish that CPM, SP and BSP could also understand this and withdraw their candidates and extend support ot Kejriwal, despite their reservations and political rivalry, as has been done by JD(U).
  10. Yogender Yadav-We know since our JNU student days in 1980’s later Yadav was teaching in Panjab University Chandigarh for 6-7 years, when I also joined Punjabi University Patiala. We met occasionally and had common friends like Jasvir, but we were never close. Under present circumstances Yogender Yadav’s victory is important, as he and AAP can emerge as viable alternative to Congress, LOk Dal, BJP and HJP etc. all discredited.

12-14-Some other AAP candidates like Dayamani Birla, Alok Aggarwal and SP Udai Kumar, I don’t personally know, but have been reading about them and their participation is people’s interests struggles like Udai Kumar’s struggle against nuclear plant in Tamilnadu, Alok Aggarwals’s Narmada struggle and Dyamani Birla’s struggle for tribal rights in Jharkhand. They have been imprisoned as well. If they win, that will be good for people’s mass struggles all over the country.

15. Mohd Salim-CPM-We became friends in 2007, when he as MP came to release of my book on Bhagat Singh by publication division. Since then we have been interacting on email, meeting occasionally. On my last visit to Kolkata for a seminar on Ghadar party centenary, Mohd Salim to came to visit me with his two sons-named Titu and Mir-both freedom fighters- at Kolkata University campus near National library. I gifted his sons copy of my latest book-Understanding Bhagat Singh and also Ghadar party hero Sarabha. On that day there was  CPM election rally also. Mohd. Salim is ardent fan of Bhagat Singh, Ashok Singh is our common friend. Recently he was targeted by West Bengal CM Mamta Bannerjee, when his doctor wife having govt. House was asked to vacate govt. Accommodation in rough manner, with the excuse that ‘your husband(Mohd Salim) lives in govt. House with you”, so vacate! I wish him victory in elections, which he lost in 2009.

16. Subhashini Ali-daughter of legendary Laxmi Sehgal and Premnath Sehgal of INA, comrades of Netaji Subhas Bose, she is contesting from West Bengal this time on CPM ticket. She had once won from Kanpur, where Dr. Laxmi Sehgal lived. We shared dias, when I was invited to deliver lecture on Bhagat Singh during his birth cenetary in year 2007 and Subhashini came with her mother, who presided over the function.Both of them spoke also. She was in Rajya Sabha also. She delivered annual lecture in Ghadar party centenary year at Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall Jalandhar on 1st November 2013. I wish her success in these elections.

  1. From Siwan constituency in Bihar I wish that CPI ML candidate Amarnath Yadav tto inflict crushing defeat on JNUSU Popular two times AISA President Chandershekhar’s murder accused Shahabudin’s wife and other candidates. And to pay tributes to martyr Chandershekhar in this victory.

17-19-PK Biju from Kerala, Amra Ram from Sikar in Rajsthan and Jagat Ram from Shimla are few other strong candidates. I don’t know them personally. PK Biju, SFI leader once has been email communicator. Amra Ram is veteran respected MLA. Shimla mayor ship was won by CPM for first time, so Jagat Ram can give good fight. Wish all these candidates victory.

20. Atul Anjan-know him since years, but no closeness. Ghosi once has been communist stronghold, now ground lost. Still wish him victory. I wish him to inflict crushing defeat to Mafia don Mukhtar Ansari.

21. Rajender Prasad Singh-CPI candidate from Begusarai has remained MLA for long and has been active, met him on my last visit to Begusarai to deliver lecture on Bhagat Singh, was invited by Shatrughan Prasad Singh, ex MP of CPI.

22. Com Prakash Reddy-CPI candidate from Mumbai is face book friend, don’t know much, still as face book friend wish him well

23. S R Darapuri-Lok rajneeti- He is retired IPS officer, active on social media on Dalit issues, enlightened tries to combine Marxism and Ambedkarism. Contesting from Robertganj against big parties, I shall be too happy if he could put to mat them! Darapuri comes from Punjab, but got UP cadre and settled in UP. I met him Benaras Hindu University seminar on Guru Ravidas in February 2013 and formed good impression about him.

24. Manpreet Badal-Punjab People’s Party, contested on Congress symbol with support from CPI as well. His victory will symbolise the defeat of not just Harsimrat, present MP and wife of Sukhbir Badal, sister of Bikramjit Majithia, it shall be the biggest slap at Sukhbir and Bikram highhandedness. AAP candidate is not strong enough to defeat Harsimrat. Manpreet’s real maternal uncle Harpal is Marxist Leninist and editor of Lalkar from London. Manpreet is admirer of Bhagat Singh, drives his own car, does not carry corruption blot. Manpreet’s party’s mny people like Bhagwant Mann, Abhai Sandhu, nephew of Bhagat Singh were in favour of Manpreet contesting from AAP, but Manpreet miscalculated about Congress strength, had he known earlier that AAP will get such spontaneous support of common people in Punjab, he would have opted for AAP platform, which would made him win the seat surely and made him more relevant in Punjab politics, now he is risky situation. Though he made wrong statement on Bhagat Singh once, which I rebutted in The Tribune, yet his victory symbolises the defeat of oppression let lose by Badals/Majithias!

25. Lastly I do wish the victory of only Congress candidate Mani Shankar Aiyer, despite insult heaped by him on me. I have heard and met him casualy in functions and gifted him copy of Understanding Bhagat Singh, which he sold to Kabadi in garbage. He never replied to my mail in this regard. The book was purchased by eminent Urdu writer Balraj Komal. I wish him to be in Lok Sabha, despite this incident, because he is the only Congress man, who takes on the bull by its thorns-meaning attacks BJP most strongly and can take upon Modi too!So I wish his victory.

                                     As I have earlier mentioned that I do wish victory of all those left and liberal candidates, who are strong in their constituencies-from CPI-ML, SUCI, Forward Bloc, RSP etc.

    Under present circumstances defeat of Modi and Moditva should be the prime task of all leftists and liberals, one could tolerate ‘corrupt’ for a while, but one must not tolerate ‘Communal fascism’ even for a minute, as it can repeat such tragedies, as had happened earlier in Germany by Hitler, Italy by Mussolini, Indonesia by Suharto, Chile by Pinchot. Modi can take India to that detestable list and he must not be given any chance for that. Only 16th May will tell what turn India will take-towards Barbarism of Moditva or somewhat space for liberal/left parties! Socialism is far away, India needs time for liberalism to organise struggles for socialism!

In Punjab and at some other places, polling for electing 16th Lok Sabha was held on 30th April. In March or April beginning, it was clear that D. Dharamvir Gandhi is going to be Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Patiala seat. I have been keeping an attitude of critical sympathy for AAP. What they did in Delhi that invited mixed emotions. Some of their activities were appreciable, but some actions, particularly of people like Somnath Bharti was quite obnoxious. Many of my friends had become part of AAP in beginning, but later felt disillusioned like Madhu Bhaduri. But looking at the rise of Narender Modi, openly fascist looking Prime Ministerial candidate, and the miserable condition of Congress party, plus pitiable condition of so called third front parties and left front, made me think seriously. In non-parliamentary arena, the questionable conduct of Maoist parties was also not reassuring as alternative form of resistance to fascist threat looming large over the country. In this situation, despite many opportunist activities by AAP leader like resorting to religious symbolism by Arvind Kejriwal, despite being remained atheist some time, sidelining Prashant Bhushan like radicals and promoting Kumar Vishwas and Somnath Bharti like questionable persons, I felt that political space being vacated by left and democratic movement is either going to be appropriated by BJP like fascist party or may be by eclectic Aam Aadmi Party, which became an open platform for all streams of political thought, as at one time during freedom struggle, Congress party was. Thus not only extreme leftists joined the platform, extreme rightists too found a place in this platform. Of course the biggest chunk came form centrists like-Lohiates of Yogender Yadav, Anand Kumar variety, Gandhians like Rajmohan Gandhi and few more, social activists like Medha Patkar, Balli Singh Cheema. Many from established Communist parties activists like Kamal Mitra Chenoy from JNU also joined. Its policies also did not reflect any radical shift like that of Chavez in Venezuela, which I wished to happen. Arvind Kejriwal has strong nerve and confidence to face the established ruling cliques and his agitation with Anna Hazare gave him empty political space to occupy and in hurried manner he declared formation of AAP and within few months, he created history by capturing Delhi state in his very first public test. His 49 days experiment as Chief Minister also helped him, though his impulsive resignation damaged AAP also, which gave it jolt in 10th April polls, when AAP probably suffered losses in Delhi and Haryana, where it was hoping to gain most. But AAP’s aim was clear and well thought out. Its intellectual leadership of Yogender Yadav-Prashant Bhushan etc. could foresee the downfall of Congress party and incompatibility of left and so called third front parties, all getting discredited in last two decades. It foresaw for itself the space being vacated by Congress party and prepare for long term politics. It was not aiming many seats in 2014 elections; it wished to spread all over India and it put up candidates in 437 seats, second only to Congress party, who put up 457 candidates or so. BJP may have put up 400+- candidates. It was a calculated risk. While in 50 seats or so, it could get many socially known candidates like-Medha Patkar, Dayamani Birla, Anand Kumar, artists like Bhagwant Mann, Balli Singh Cheema etc. in other areas, it picked up local known and respected candidates like Dr. Daljit Singh, Dr. Gandhi, Rajmohan Gandhi etc. AAP’s organisational structure is yet to be properly established, but spontaneous response of the newly emerged large sized middle class was such that at various places, the elementary structure got set up by enthusiastic supporters. 49 days Delhi government experiment gave it further boost, despite negative publicity after hasty resignation of Arvind Kejriwal.
Why AAP got such big response? The reason is simple, in last two decades in neo-liberal economic policies, the political class became not only too corrupt, it became very arrogant as well. Singur movement and Mamta Bannerjee’s meteoric rise discredited left’s public image of simplicity and people friendly conduct. AAP made appeal to that injured mind of common people, which expected from political class to be at least courteous and respectful to it, as the political class was till Indira Gandhi’s emergency. MLA’s and MP’s could be seen travelling on buses, trains, mixing with people, ministers could be seen walking on Shimla Mall like places. All this changed in post 1977 situation, even Janta party government could not win over people’s trust, so India Gandhi was back with a bang in 1980 and with the advent of neo-liberal regime, the overall conduct of our Parliamentarians became power and money hungry and it distanced itself from people. It was only left parties, which could sustain pro-people image during 1977-2007 period, but with CPM led left front government in West Bengal going for neo-liberal policies, acquiring forcibly lands from poor peasants for super rich corporate made them also culprit in the eyes of people and they were thrown out from power by Mamta Bannerjee’s demagogic whirlwind. Maoists also jumped on her bandwagon, only to regret later with brutal killing of Kishan ji like its prominent leaders, who gave open call to support Mamta.
In post 2012 conditions a political cauldron started boiling, in which lot many actors jumped-Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Agnivesh and many more. Congress was being cornered from all sides; BJP was playing smart games, putting its cadres in Anna like movements, where leftist youths were also there. Here Arvind Kejriwal made the smart move of forming a political party, almost unexpectedly and nobody was prepared to accept its possible outcome, taking and deriding it as NGO party, not emerging out of grounded political struggles. AAP proved political pundits wrong by attracting largest number of youths to its fold and it fastly turned out to be an alternative political platform-a centrist political platform. On the other hand BJP was spreading its fangs by bringing Narender Modi to centre focus, finding its time to capture power. Narender Modi’s past conduct in 2002 Gujarat communal violence against Muslims and his aggressive posturing made all the leftists and some democratic minded individuals to come out of its slumber and the social media-like twitter and face book became super active to counter this trend. On ground level, not finding an credible left platform, even CPI-ML could not become an alternative left platform, the left intelligentsia and middle class youth, minorities and other oppressed sections turned to Aam Aadmi Party and that was my dilemma too.
At one time, I was also feeling to contest on AAP ticket, if it has offered or invited me to contest from Bathinda, my home district in Punjab, against Punjab CM’s daughter in law; where in seventies, I had worked in my youth as left trade union and cultural activist, but at the same time, was feeling that my temperament is not fit for it. Neither AAP tried to tag me nor I took any initiative to join their bandwagon, though kept on greeting and sending good wishes to my acquaintances like Medha Patkar, Anand Kumar, Dharamvir Gandhi etc. But when Dr. Gandhi declared his candidature and our common friend Dr. Balbir Singh invited me for expressing solidarity with him, I could not become too stiff like our traditional party cadres and joined and expressed my solidarity with Dr. Gandhi, making my humble contribution with gifting some of books on revolutionaries and a token fund and offering views on certain organisation issues of campaign. Of course voted for Dr. Gandhi on 30th April at Patiala, though it was just third time or so in life that I have voted! First time I voted in 1967 elections for Master Babu Singh of CPI for Punjab Assembly.
Later when Dr. Daljit Singh, a renowned eye surgeon and Dr. Gandhi’s teacher in Medical College Amritsar, from where he did his MBBS in seventies and with whom I had very long association and to whom I call ‘custodian of my eyes’, as he has been taking care of these since 1990 or so, I could not remain silent spectator and did express my solidarity with Dr. Daljit Singh, though neither I could go to Amritsar, nor contribute to his campaign in any manner. Medha Patkar was already announced a candidate earlier, with whom I took part in some Delhi agitations, stood by her in her 21 days fast at Delhi during 2006-7, felt always regard for her. Soni Sori, I did not know personally, but she suffered immensely at the hands of police, so my solidarity was with her without question.
On the other hand from traditional left parties, Mohd. Salim CPM MP in 2004-09, had developed good rapport with me during 2007 release of my book on Bhagat Singh, during Bhagat Singh centenary and we remained in constant touch occasionally, with Ashok Singh, a lecturer in Hindi at Kolkata college and dedicated CPM worker being a common friend, met during a seminar in Kolkata in February 2014 and his being a candidate in these elections, made me express my solidarity with him as well. Same way Subhashini Ali, daughter of legendary INA heroine, is also contesting from West Bengal, for whom I have all regard
Looking at the socio-political-economic conditions, which otherwise indicate towards the futility of Parliamentary drama of elections, completely controlled by corporate world, corrupted and made more oppressive than even British times, why 2014 elections became important? Firstly rise of BJP as potential fascist party, looking at economic conditions, Congress was already sold out, the decline of the left movement and limitation of Maoist alternative, all made me think that perhaps to stop the “Rath of Fascism” was an urgent task and to work for creating such balance of political forces, in which fascist tendencies get weakened and some space sustains for the continuation and growth of democratic movements in general, so that working class and peasantry is not out rightly crushed. In that situation AAP seems to be providing that trend, by strengthening which, the balance of forces, may go against fascist BJP and its opportunist allies and thus fast growth of fascism could be somewhat stunted. It cannot be thoroughly defeated in these elections, but it can be checked to some extent. So despite all the reservations for AAP’s questionable personalities and opportunist conduct, I thought of supporting some of its candidates, also some other candidates, whose credentials are above board.
Even if some of them are elected, I don’t expect much from them, but for the revival of tradition of pre-1970 parliamentarians like-A K Gopalan, Jyotrimoy Basu, Bhupesh Gupt, Inderjit Gupt, AK Roy (Radical) Madhu Dandvate, Madhu Limaye, Pramila Dandvate and many more, who could live a simple life and raise people’s issues in Parliament with much force.
Here is my wish list-I wish these candidates to win and reach Lok Sabha: though in many cases, it is going to be just wishful thinking, yet in some cases it may prove true.I must add here that this list contains my personal association or some information about them from close sources/media etc., but I wish as many candidates of CPI-ML, SUCI, Forward Bloc, RSP, CPI/CPM or any other left orientation candidates to win, wherever they are strong enough!

  1. Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi-AAP-Patiala(Punjab)
  2. Dr. Daljit Singh AAP-Amritsar
  3. Prof. Sadhu Singh AAP-Faridkaot
  4. Bhagwant Mann AAP-Sangrur
  5. Soni Sori AAP-Bastar
  6. Rajmohan Gandhi AAP-North Delhi
  7. Prof. Anand Kumar(JNU) AAP-North East Delhi
  8. Medha Patkar AAP-Mumbai North East
  9. Alok Aggarwal AAP-Khandwa
  10. Dayamani Birla AAP-Khunti
  11. Yognder Yadav AAP-Gurgaon
  12. Balli Singh Cheema AAP-Nainital
  13. S P Udai Kumar AAP-Kanyakumari
  14. Arvind Kejriwal AAP-Varanasi
  15. S R Drapuri Lok Rajniti(Lucknow)
  16. Mohd Salim CPM-Raigunj
  17. Subhashini Ali CPM-Barackpur

18.Amarnath Yadav-CPIML-Siwan
18. P K Biju CPM-Kerala
19. Amra Ram CPM-Sikar
20. Jagat Ram CPM-Shimla
21. Com Rajender Prasad Singh CPI-Begusarai
22. Atul Anjan CPI-Ghosi
23. Com Prakash Reddy CPI-Mumbai South
24. Manpreet Badal PPP/Congress-Bathinda
25. Mani Shankar Aiyar Congress-Tamilnadu
Profiles jotted down in the beginning of the post.

Man-Woman relations in internet age- social media offensive

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                                                                          Man-Woman relations in Internet age: Social Media Offensive

 

Since 30th April 2014, there is a flood of activities on social media-intimate intimidating photographs of Amrita Rai-Digvijay Singh Congress leader have gone virile on twitter, face book, blogs and other social sites. I saw three tweets and one face book post. Amrita Rai, Rajya Sabha anchor, earlier NDTV reporter posting tweets that her mail account has been hacked and that she has filed divorce suit with her husband and plan to marry Digvijay Singh. Digvijay also tweeted that he plans to formalize relations with Amrita ji after her divorce and he is making it open and not hiding like Narender Modi. By the evening, Anand Pradhan, husband of Amrita posted a small explanatory note on face book in Hindi about their living separately since long and having filed suit for divorce by mutual consent. I tweeted to both Amrita and Digvijay and also wrote on Anand’s post. I personally know Anand Pradhan and Amrita Rai, but not Digvijay Singh. Amrita Rai had interviewed me once in my office in JNU, as NDTV reporter, when I was JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) President in 2007. She is courteous person. Anand Pradhan is a friend and ideologically we are close. In 2013, after leaving JNU, I stayed in IIMC guest house for one night, getting room booked through Anand Pradhan. I had a desire to go to their house too and say hello to Amrita as well, but as Anand did not invite, so did not express my wish. Now it seems they were not staying together, about which I had no idea. Incidentally I support what Anand Pradhan said in his face book post that man-woman relations are extremely complex and one should not try to peep into personal relations of two individuals till the time they themselves wish to make it open and to the extent they think it proper. Incidentally there are no angles in private life and most of the couples do fight, quarrel in private domain. But I was surprised to see Anand’s post getting virile, receiving 2500+ likes and nearly one thousand comments and continuing, hardly anyone gets so much attention. But it was not pleasant, it was ugly. Out of 1000, 10-20% may have written rationally and with some degree of concern, 70-80% comments were vile, vicious, abusive and misogynist mostly by Moditvaites towards Anand , Amrita and Digvijay Singh. Releasing personal intimate photographs of two individuals must be a cyber-crime, but it was committed by none else than Nitin Gadkari, BJP big leader, as re[orted is some paper, as a revenge for Digvijay’s questioning of Modi hiding his marriage. In the process, Anand and Amrita became target of their vileness. Comments on Anand Pradhan’s face book also indicates towards it to be BJP-Moditvaites’s concerted campaign to indulge in such scandalous, misogynist attacks against women and leftists in general and to seek revenge from their political rival Digvijay Singh. Even on Anand’s post, lot many Moditavites posted Amrita-Digvijay intimate photos to provoke or insult Anand, many went on the extent of posting male nudes with recommendations for potency medicines, thus touching lowest levels of dirty minds. This whole ugly episode raises many questions:

 

Elections for 16th Lok Sabha and Narender Modi’s indecent hurry to become Prime Minister of India is the immediate reason for this ugly dehumanized campaign by Modi followers, which has been conducted with typical RSS style of personal mudslinging with targeting women and leftists. One can remember that even during emergency RSS used to throw lot of mud at Indira Gandhi, attacking her relations with Dhirender Brahmchari or saying things like-‘Sanjay Gandhi in inebriated condition slaps her’ etc. Same Sanjay Gandhi later became the darling of Sangh parivar by getting his widow and son to Sangh umbrella.   Yet there are other social factors also involved in such tendencies to become so frequent in society:

(A)   Twenty first century has brought the internet to social life, whose potential is revealing day by day. Despite its positive aspects, it has immense capacity of misuse as well. Thus Porn sites are one of its biggest product, which has shaken the life everywhere, but more in sexually oppressive societies. Maximum porn sites are watched in Arab and such geographical areas, which are known for sexual exclusiveness, male chauvinism and where women are treated as dungeon, as man’s slave, sought to be bound to certain areas like home only and forced to follow regressive dress code. Most of the religious fundamentalist groups, which oppress women more, are taking recourse to use the scandalous devastating aspects of internet in these matters. Making public personal intimate pictures of some public personalities is their way of revenge and imposing their obscurantist values on society.

 

(B)   Digital explosion in the form of mobile and other easy kind of cameras available all the time at hand, selfies kind of trends etc. have made people lose their balance and they are not able to keep certain level of self-discipline over their lives. Almost imperialist kind of control of social sites like Google or others, where the privacy of your data is at best an illusion, people are always at risk of their private life becoming public at any point of time and causing great destabilization. So many cases of crimes, murders, suicides world over due to such happenings on face book, twitter, or just photos in mobile cameras have created altogether new kind of value less violent society, where blackmailing through new gadgets has been introduced.

 

(C)   Not that social site have just negative devastating features only, there are positive features as well. In socially oppressive societies like India, it has helped remove the facade of hypocrisy prevalent in social life in the name of moral values, religion etc. Thus when people are joining these sites, they are freely expressing their preferences like-women recording for ‘Looking for Men’ and men recording ‘looking for women’ or sometime hiding their identities and doing all those things, which they still not dare to do in their real identity, which provides psychological relief to their suppressed emotions. That so many conservative men and women on these sites have made male or female friends, which they would have never even imagined in their life, if there has been no technological revolution of this kind. It has given women some more freedom in India like feudal mindset societies.

 

(D)   That it has also smashed some myths like purity of marriage, only one man-one woman loyalty, nothing can affect the ‘rock like marriage system and its eternal value’ etc. One can see from face book data, even in Indian context how many men and women have made both sexes as their friends and have freely conversed with each other without bothering about the alien or just virtual/screen and not real status of the ‘other’. This is democratizing aspect of this social media.

 

(E)    That it has brought to the center focus that man –woman relations are not as simple as some religious scriptures want to make us believe. They prove the scientific researches of Freud like psychologists of these relations’ immense complexity, which sometimes is brought out in literature or creative forms of art, which is socially accepted as relief from real social or personal problems. That these researches can definitely help understand these complexities better and deal with them too, but which demands rational and scientific attitude towards life and not just blind faith attitude of some ‘universal human values’ like clichés.

 

(F)    Age is considered as a moral factor in most of such scandals, as is being scandalized by 67 years Digvijay Singh and 43 years old Amrita Rao’s ‘immoral’ relations on age gap ground! And we easily overlook that whether it was Pablo Picasso, Pablo Neruda or Charlie Chaplin-just three iconic illustrations, who according to their own memoirs had relations with women of 20 to 30 years at the age of 80 years or more. From rightist side recent illustration of Italian ex-Prime Minister Berlusconi, who at nearly 80 was found to be buying sex of 15 year old girls. It could be other way round as well, as writer Taslima Nasreen tweeted-it is fine to have 67 yrs. male and 43 yrs. female to have relations, but when 67 yrs female will have relations with 43 yrs male and someone referred to Sophia Loren! That since they are big names, we tend to accept these, even romanticize it, but in real life situation, we get shocked. The two Hindi films in recent years have brought the reality of these facts to center focus. In fact Pablo Neruda, as Ambassador in Sri Lanka at one time had narrated his sexual encounter even with his maid of much younger age, would have made him dubbed as ‘rapist’ and demanded his arrest by post Delhi rape case situation, as the atmosphere has been created. It is rather risky to say, with fear even from leftists friends that the recent campaigns for ‘stringent and strict laws’ against sexual offenders have in fact strengthened the fascist laws more, rather than ensuring women’s security or enhancing their rightful participation in social life. Perhaps they have been made to realize to confine their movements to ‘safe time’ ‘safe areas’ and the ‘need to have a male companion’ for safety at odd hours! In the hands of fascist Modi coming into power, one can imagine how these laws will be misused against maximum number of leftists/Dalits and minorities. The harsh fact is that socio-cultural education and social reformist movement for man-woman equality and changing the mindset through prolonged cultural reorientation is a crying necessity, particularly when such sexual offenders are coming from ‘lumpen proletariat’. The rich classes have all the glamour at their command, including multiple sexual encounters, including one night stands for both males and females and who have never to face strict and stringent laws against women harassment. Incidents of wife-swaps etc. among higher officials of military/bureaucracy etc. can indicate to the ‘sexual’ divide at class level. The recent complaint of one victim wife of an army officer, who resisted this activity and complained to defense minister Antony, shows the contrast of two classes! Those who are denied sex life in normal manner-‘the scum of the earth’, indulge in criminal acts, with porn sites, releasing their inhibitions, for committing these crimes. Hang hundreds of them, still these crimes will not stop. These crimes are result of socio-political-economic system, where healthy life conditions, including healthy male-female relations, are denied to large number of people, resulting in social crimes and unless social conditions do not change for the better, no amount of stringent laws will be able to control such crimes.

 

(G)  One has to accept the fact that there are different cultural modes prevalent world over and in multi-cultural country like India itself has diverse practices of man-woman relations in different sections of Indian people. Among Muslims, cousin marriages are almost rule, whereas in same geographical areas, Hindu families consider cousin relations to be brother-sister relations. I remember one incident of a respectable Doctor family of Punjab, getting killed a doctor couple in eighties, who were cousins at family level and after marriage, had gone far away to Sikkim to escape the wrath of relatives. Among Hindus themselves maternal uncle-niece marriage is almost rule in some parts of South India, whereas in North India, these relations are forbidden as of father-daughter like. Then with porn sites affecting lives of people, the suppression of desires is getting burst up and society has to come to terms with different kind of sexual preferences of people and not just male-female straight relationship. Thus lesbianism, homosexuality, multi sexual encounters are all becoming part of society, even in conservative societies, at least in virtual world, which is affecting real world as well.

 

(H)   In the changing mores, marriage as institution getting badly affected, large numbers of people in many countries prefer not to marry. In USA, New Zealand, Europe, Latin America, marriage institution is losing the moral status as it enjoyed earlier, Indian urban life is also having its impact felt. In such circumstances, society has to learn to be more tolerant of different kinds of man woman relationship. Sex relations must be taken out of ‘moral codification’ of certain kind and accepted as they are. Only moral code in such relations is mutuality and absence of violence and exploitation. One may dislike much such kind of relationships, but despite one dislikes, the other people’s choice has to be recognized as his or her ‘democratic’ right. Justice Leila Seth is good example of showing such tolerance.

 

(I)     If marriage as an institution does not remain ‘sacrosanct’ and is accepted in its early true substance of a ‘social contract’ or even in some radical thinking ‘license for establishing sexual relationship’ (rather property relationship), then any such relationship will not attract attention or get scandalized as its gets today, considering ‘marriage’ to be something like religious rigorous code, which cannot be violated in any condition. Marriage like any other social institution has come up as a social necessity of its time and may stay or go as the time changes, at least it cannot sustain in its rigour. This is also a myth that west is affecting India like societies for sexual deviations. Longevity of marriage in west and east-both, depends upon mutual love, understanding, care& concern of each other. There are couples in Europe and America, who never split in life, whereas in India like societies, the reality of marriage as institution is-as the Punjabi phrase goes-Jodian jagg thodiyan, narad Bathere’-‘true couples are few, tied with ropes are maximum.’ Financial constraints or the dependence of women on men is big reason for keeping marriage going in India like countries, even if the couple has no binding factor of love or mutual respect for each other. If in initial phase of marriage love or sexual urge is more important, in the later stage, understanding is much more important. More marriages break because of incompatibility of ideas, life style and understanding, than just of sexual incompatibility, particularly when both man and woman are working and are conscious of their own personality traits and needs. In a society, where there is financial and social security for women, there even difference in day to day habits of people can cause breakdown of marriage. It is not a joke that many marriages break because of snoring habits of one of the couple! It is dependency of women on men in large cases in India, that invariably whenever a public personality or ordinary man has been accused of sexual offences, his wife has stood by him almost in 99% cases, even if she might have remained victim of domestic violence herself in her married life.

 

(J)     Another fact of the matter is men and women, now even same sex people; get attracted to each other at various levels. When couples are living separately for years or months together and when people work or study at different places, there is likelihood of friendship getting developed, which may or may not develop into physical intimacies. But in case such intimacies do develop but with mutual attraction and consent, these must not be treated as ‘guilt’, crime or even looked down upon, whether the people involved in such relations are ‘married’ or ‘unmarried’. Remember recent film-Lunchbox for such attractions.

 

(K)   Once the hypocrisy goes out of man-woman relationships, then one can look at these relationships in a rational manner and accept that if people can marry, they can split too and no moral high or low ground is involved for ‘married’ ,‘divorced’  , ‘unmarried single’ ‘live in relation’  kinds of people. Yes children born out of any such kind of relationship are the joint responsibility of two people and in case of split; their interests have to be taken care of in best possible manner.

 

(L)    Incidentally those Sanghi/Moditva mentality people, who are enjoying throwing mud at Amrita Rai and Digvijay Singh, and by proxy at Anand Pradhan too, should also remember that their icon Atal Behari Vajpayee lived with his lady love, who was somebody else’s ‘wife’, openly in his Prime Ministerial Bungalow, and her son in law, an unconstitunal authority, was referred to as Vajpayee’s son in law only!

 

The real issue remains the cybercrime and encroachment of privacy of citizens, some website has posted three years mobile sms exchange between Amrita Rai and Digvijay Singh. Which mobile company has allowed leakage of this private data? The private photographs of Digvijay and Amrita, released through illegal hacking of private mails of one of these persons is also a big crime. Anand Pradhan and Amrita are free to live together or split, it is their personal life, so is with any other two or more people, till the time they are not violating any law or hurting any other person by their act. But releasing personal pictures and messages is definitely a crime that must be condemned and checked through legal procedures. If some stringency is required in law, it is here in such cases, where people’s lives can be blackmailed.

In this face booked world, where more than one billion, almost 1/6th of people of the world have come on single connecting platform, one cannot live in archaic times. Man woman relations are most free in Latin America, where being step sons/daughters, step sisters/brothers, step father/mother has no relevance at all and children from same mother, even from many men are treated at equal level without any social stigma. Women there too, suffer a bit more, as men generally avoid care of children and it is woman who takes care of children, even from many men; but she is not looked down upon and enjoys full respect and dignity in society. Indian society also has to come to terms with different kind of man-woman relations without ascribing so called moral codes to the relations. Only moral code is to be-domestic violence, including sexual violence must be fought with, by law and by education, cultural reorientation.

This is a tall task, not going to be achieved in short time. With education and social reform, it will take less toll of life; otherwise changing world scenario will force the society to come to terms with it, but with paying more price in terms of human life, agony and social energy!

Chaman Lal

ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੀ ਲਹਿਰ ਦਾ ਪਟਿਆਲਾ ਨਾਲ ਸੰਬੰਧ

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This article was probably published in ‘Punjabi Tribune’ Chandigarh on Sunday 20th March 2011, but I could not get it on internet edition, so posting here now in original for the benefit of those who don’t read Punjabi Tribune,but can read Punjabi in Gurmukhi script.Someone knowing to convert it into Shahmukhi may do it so.

ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੀ ਲਹਿਰ ਨਾਲ ਪਟਿਆਲਾ ਦਾ ਸੰਬੰਧ

ਡਾ॰ ਚਮਨ ਲਾਲ

ਗਦਰ ਪਾਰਟੀ ਦਾ ਅਸਰ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੇ ਮਾਲਵੇ ਖਿਤੇ ਤੇ ਕਾਫੀ ਸੀ, ਬਹੁਤ ਸਾਰੇ ਸ਼ਹੀਦ ਗਦਰ ਪਾਰਟੀ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜ ਕੇ ਮਾਲਵੇ ਇਲਾਕੇ ਤੋਂ ਹੋਏ। ਪਰ ਇਹੋ ਗਲ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੀ ਲਹਿਰ ਬਾਰੇ ਕਹਨੀ ਔਖੀ ਹੈ, ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਅਧਾਰ ਜਿਆਦਾ ਲਾਹੌਰ-ਲਾਇਲਪੁਰ ਇਲਾਕੇ ਤੇ ਹਿੰਦੀ ਭਾਸ਼ੀ ਇਲਾਕੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਸੀ,ਪਰ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੀ ਮਕਬੂਲੀਅਤ ਮਾਲਵੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਧੇਰੇ ਹੈ । ਹੁਣ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਸਾਜ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕੇਸ ਦੇ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ ਰਾਣਾ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਦਾਸ, ਸਾਬਕਾ ਚੀਫ ਜਸਟਿਸ ਪਾਕਿਸਤਾਨ ਸੁਪ੍ਰੀਮ ਕੋਰਟ ਵਲੋਂ ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨ ਨੂੰ ਸੌਂਪਣ ਬਾਅਦ ਤੇ ਇਨਾਂ ਦਾ ਕੁਝ ਹਿੱਸਾ ਮਾਲਵਿੰਦਰਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਵੜੈਚ ਹੁਰਾਂ ਵਲੋਂ ਸੰਪਾਦਤ ਕਰਕੇ ਛਾਪਣ ਮਗਰੋਂ ਆਖਿਰ ਪਟਿਆਲਾ ਵਿਖੇ ਉਸ ਵੇਲੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਸ਼ਰਧਾਲੂ ਹੋਣ ਤੇ ਉਸ ਦੇ ਬੁਲਾਵੇ ਤੋਂ ਕੁਝ ਵੀ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲੇ ਸੱਜਣ ਦਾ ਪਰਸੰਗ ਲਭ ਪਿਆ ਹੈ। ਏਹ ਸੱਜਣ ਸੀ –ਤਾਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਿਰਮਲ , ਜਿਸ ਦੇ ਖ਼ਤ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਸਾਜ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕੇਸ ਦੇ 600 ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਪੇਸ਼ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਹਨ। ਏਹ ਖ਼ਤ #ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੂੰ ਫਾਂਸੀ# ਸੀਰੀਅਲ ਦੀਆਂ ਕਿਤਾਬਾਂ ਦੀ ਤੀਸਰੀ ਜਿਲਦ ਵਿੱਚ ਭਾਗ- 53-ਸਫਾ 326-30 – ਤੇ ਛਪੇ ਹਨ। ਇਸ ਹਿੱਸੇ ਦਾ ਸਿਰਲੇਖ ਹੈ-#ਬਾਬੂ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਖ਼ਤ ਅਤੇ ਹੋਰ ਰਿਕਾਰਡ#-30 ਜਨਵਰੀ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਹੋਈ ਇਸ ਤਲਾਸ਼ੀ ਬਾਰੇ ਪੁਲਸ ਵਲੋਂ ਦਰਜ ਹੈ—#ਵਸੂਲੀ ਸੂਚੀ# –

ਬਾਬੂ ਸਿੰਘ ਪੁਤਰ ਨਥਾ ਸਿੰਘ, ਜਾਤ ਆਹਲੂਵਾਲੀਆ ਪਟਿਆਲਾ ਰਾਜ ਦੇ ਥਾਣਾ ਪਿੱਪਲ ਦੇ ਵਾਸੀ ਦੇ ਘਰ ਦੀ ਤਲਾਸ਼ੀ ਹੇਠ ਲਿਖੇ ਆਦਮੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਹਾਜ਼ਰੀ (ਨਾਂ ਦਰਜ ਨਹੀਂ ਹਨ)ਵਿੱਚ ਲਈ ਗਈ ਅਤੇ ਹੇਠ ਲਿਖੀਆਂ ਵਸਤਾਂ ਉਥੋਂ ਬਰਾਮਦ ਹੋਣ ਤੇ ਪੁਲਸ ਨੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਕਬਜ਼ੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਲਈਆਂ:-

ਤਾਰੀਖ਼, 30 ਜਨਵਰੀ 1929.

1.1928 ਦੀ ਬੰਦ ਪਾਲ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਇੱਕ ਡਾਇਰੀ

2.ਨਥਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਵਲੋਂ ਭੇਜੇ ਉਰਦੂ ਵਿਚ ਦੋ ਪੋਸਟ ਕਾਰਡ

3.ਪੂਰਨ ਚੰਦ ਵਲੋਂ ਭੇਜਿਆ ਉਰਦੂ ਵਿੱਚ ਇੱਕ ਕਾਰਡ

4.ਤਾਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਵਲੋਂ ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਭੇਜੇ ਤਿੰਨ ਪੋਸਟ ਕਾਰਡ

5.ਤਾਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਵਲੋਂ ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਭੇਜਿਆ ਇੱਕ ਲਿਫਾਫਾ

ਤਾਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਵਲੋਂ ਭੇਜੇ ਏਹ ਖ਼ਤ ਬੜੇ ਦਿਲਚਸਪ ਤੇ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਹਨ। ਪਰ ਵੜੈਚ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਪਾਕਿਸਤਾਨ ਤੋਂ ਜੋ ਰਿਕਾਰਡ ਆਇਆ,ਉਹ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਟਾਇਪ ਕੀਤਾ ਆਇਆ ਤੇ ਉਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਮੂਲ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਕੁਝ ਵੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਆਇਆ।ਅਦਾਲਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਅਫਸਰਾਂ ਵਲੋਂ ਜੋ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਤਰਜਮਾ ਪੇਸ਼ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ,ਉਹੋ ਰਿਕਾਰਡ ਆਇਆ ਹੈ। ਸੋ ਇਥੇ ਉਲਟਾ ਤਰਜਮਾ ਹੈ, ਮੂਲ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਦੇ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਤਰਜਮੇ ਤੋਂ ਮੁੜ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਕੀਤਾ ਤਰਜਮਾ, ਪਰ ਇਤਿਹਾਸਿਕ ਪਖੋਂ ਏਹ ਜ਼ਰੂਰੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਉਨਾ ਦਿਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਪਟਿਆਲੇ ਦੇ ਯੋਗਦਾਨ ਨੂੰ ਇਸ ਅਣਚਾਹੇ ਤਰਜਮੇ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਹੀ ਪਛਾਣਿਆ ਜਾਵੇ ।

ਤਾਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਬਾਬੂ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੂੰ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਦੇ ਪਤੇ ਤੇ ਖ਼ਤ ਲਿਖਿਆ, ਜੋ ਉਥੇ ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਲਹਿਰ ਦੇ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਦੇ ਕਾਰਕੁਨ ਸਨ। ਖ਼ਤ ਇਸ ਤਰਾਂ ਹੈ—

ਮੇਰੇ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਸਰਦਾਰ ਬਾਬੂ ਸਿੰਘ,

ਸਤਕਾਰ ,ਮੈਂ ਇਥੇ ਠੀਕ ਹਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਉਮੀਦ ਹੈ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਵੀ ਉਥੇ ਠੀਕ ਹੋ। ਹੁਣ ਮੇਰਾ ਬੁਖਾਰ ਉਤਰ ਗਿਆ ਹ। ਤੁਸੀਂ ਇਸ ਬਾਰੇ ਫਿਕਰ ਨਾ ਕਰੋ। ਮੈਂ ਬੜੇ ਪਿਆਰ ਨਾਲ ਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਖ਼ਤ ਪੜ੍ਹਿਆ ਹੈ। ਮੈਂ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਉਥੇ ਮੈਨੇਜਰ ਹੋਣ ਨੂੰ ਦਿਖਾਓਨ ਲਈ ਵਧਾਈ ਦਿੰਦਾ ਹਾਂ। ਮੈਂ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਆਪਣਾ ਮਦਦਗਾਰ ਸਮਝਦਾ ਹਾਂ ਕਿਉਂਕਿ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਮੇਰੀ ਹਰ ਮੌਕੇ ਮਦਦ ਕਰਦੇ ਹੋ। ਮੈਨੂੰ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਏਹ ਲਿਖਣਾ ਤਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਚਾਹੀਦਾ ਸੀ, ਪਰ ਲਿਖ ਰਿਹਾ ਹਾਂ ਕਿ ਮੇਰੇ ਕੋਲ ਨਾ ਪੰਜ ਪੈਸੇ ਹਨ ਨਾ ਜੁੱਤੀ। ਮੈਂ ਤਾਂ ਵਾਹੇਗੁਰੁ ਤੇ ਨਿਰਭਰ ਹਾਂ। ਮੈਂ ਸੰਸਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਪੜ੍ਹਨੀ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕਰ ਦਿਤੀ ਹੈ। ਮੇਹਰਬਾਨੀ ਕਰਕੇ ਦੱਸੋ ਕਿ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਕੀ ਚਾਹੁੰਦੇ ਹੋ। ਏਥੇ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਕੋਈ ਅਖ਼ਬਾਰ ਨਹੀਂ ਮਿਲਦਾ, ਜਿਸਨੂੰ ਪੜ੍ਹ ਕੇ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਮੁਲਕ ਦੇ ਹਾਲਾਤ ਦਾ ਪਤਾ ਚਲ ਜਾਵੇ। ਇਥੇ ਰਹ ਰਹੇ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆਂ ਦੇ ਮਨ ਤੇ ਅਸਰ ਅੰਦਾਜ਼ ਹੋਣਾ ਜ਼ਰੂਰੀ ਹੈ। ਇਥੇ ਕਾਫੀ ਲੋਕ ਰਹਿੰਦੇ ਹਾਂ। ਮੈਂ ਪਹਲਾਂ ਵੀ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਦਰਖਾਸਤ ਕੀਤੀ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਇਥੇ ਹਿੰਦੀ ਅਤੇ ਉਰਦੂ ਵਿੱਚ ਕਿਰਤੀ ਅਖ਼ਬਾਰ ਦੀਆਂ ਕਾਪੀਆਂ ਭੇਜੋ, ਕਿਉਂਕਿ ਇਥੇ ਪਰਚਾਰ ਬੜਾ ਘੱਟ ਹੈ।ਜੋ ਕੋਸ਼ਿਸ਼ਾਂ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਵਿੱਚ ਕਰ ਰਹੇ ਹੋ, ਇਥੇ ਕਰਨੀਆਂ ਚਾਹੀਦੀਆਂ ਹਾਂ। ਸਾਨੂੰ ਆਪਣਾ ਸਾਰਾ ਜ਼ੋਰ ਇਸ ਜਗਾਹ ਤੇ ਲਾਉਣਾ ਚਾਹੀਦਾ ਹੈ। ਤੁਸੀਂ ਜੋ ਠੀਕ ਸਮਝੋ ਕਰੋ।

ਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਹਿਤੂ,

ਤਾਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ , ਸੰਸਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਪਾਠਸ਼ਾਲਾ

ਪੋਸਟ ਕਾਰਡ ਤੇ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਪਤਾ- ਸਰਦਾਰ ਬਾਬੂ ਸਿੰਘ, ਮੈਨੇਜਰ ਕੌਮੀ ਬੀ॰ਏ॰ , ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਬਾਵਲੀ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਡੱਬੀ ਬਾਜ਼ਾਰ, ਲਾਹੌਰ

27-12-1928 ਨੂੰ ਪਟਿਆਲੇ ਤੋਂ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਇੱਕ ਛੋਟਾ ਖ਼ਤ ਹੈ-

ਮੇਰੇ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਬਾਬੂ ਸਿੰਘ,

ਸਤਕਾਰ । ਮੈਂ ਇਥੇ ਬਿਲਕੁਲ ਠੀਕ ਹਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਉਥੇ ਇਵੇਂ ਹੀ ਲੋਚਦਾ ਹਾਂ। ਮੈਂ ਇਥੇ ਪਟਿਆਲੇ ਕਿਸੇ ਖ਼ਾਸ ਕੰਮ ਲਈ ਆਇਆ ਹਾਂ ਇਸ ਕਰਕੇ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਹੇਠ ਲਿਖੇ ਪਤੇ ਤੇ ਖ਼ਤ ਭੇਜਣਾ। ਸਰਦਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ(ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ) ਨੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਤਕਾਰ।

ਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਹਿਤੂ,

ਤਾਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ – ਪਤਾ-ਤਾਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ, ਧਰਮ ਧਜਾਂ , ਨਿਰਲ ਖਾਰਾ , ਤੋਪਖ਼ਾਨਾ ਗੇਟ , ਪਟਿਆਲਾ

ਪੋਸਟ ਕਾਰਡ ਤੇ ਪਤਾ—ਸਰਦਾਰ ਬਾਬੂ ਸਿੰਘ, ਸੂਬਾ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਦਫਤਰ, ਬਰੇਡਲੇ ਹਾਲ, ਲਾਹੌਰ

ਤੀਸਰਾ ਬਿਨਾਂ ਤਾਰੀਖ਼ ਦਾ ਕੁਝ ਲੰਬਾ ਖ਼ਤ ਜਿਆਦਾ ਮਹਤਵਪੂਰਨ ਹੈ

ਮੇਰੇ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਬਾਬੂ ਸਿੰਘ,

ਸਤਕਾਰ। ਮੈਂ ਇਥੇ ਬਿਲਕੁਲ ਠੀਕ ਹਾਂ ਤੇ ਉਥੇ ਤੁਹਾਡੇ ਵੀ ਇੰਜ ਹੋਣ ਦੀ ਉਮੀਦ ਕਰਦਾ ਹਾਂ।ਮੈਂ ਬੁਖਾਰ ਕਰਕੇ ਕਾਫੀ ਕਮਜ਼ੋਰ ਹੋ ਗਿਆ ਹਾਂ, ਮੈਨੂੰ ਤਿੰਨ ਵਾਰੀ ਟੀਕੇ ਲੱਗੇ। ਇਸਲਈ ਮੇਰੇ ਕੋਲ ਜੋ ਵੀ ਪੈਸੇ ਸਨ ਸਾਰੇ ਖ਼ਰਚ ਹੋ ਗਏ। ਜਦੋਂ ਹੀ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਪੈਸੇ ਮਿਲਣਗੇ, ਮੈਂ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਭੇਜ ਦਿਆਂਗਾ ।ਮੇਹਰਬਾਨੀ ਕਰਕੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੂੰ ਮਿਲਣਾ ਤੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਨਾਂ ਕਿਰਤੀ ਅਖ਼ਬਾਰ ਜਾਰੀ ਕਰਵਾ ਦੇਣਾ। ਏਹ ਨਾ ਸੋਚਣਾ ਕਿ ਮੈਂ ਪੈਸੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਭੇਜਾਂਗਾ । ਮੈਂ ਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਬੜਾ ਸ਼ੁਕਰਗੁਜ਼ਾਰ ਹੋਵਾਂਗਾ । ਮੇਰੇ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਦੋਸਤ, ਮੈਂ ਸੁਣਿਆ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਲਾਲਾ ਲਾਜਪਤ ਰਾਏ ਗੁਜ਼ਰ ਗਏ ਹਨ। ਮੈਂ ਉਨਾ ਦੇ ਚਲਾਣੇ ਤੇ ਦਿਲੀ ਦੁਖ ਦਾ ਇਜ਼ਹਾਰ ਕਰਦਾ ਹਾਂ। ਇਸ ਨਾਲ ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨ ਦਾ ਬੜਾ ਭਾਰੀ ਨੁਕਸਾਨ ਹੋਇਆ ਹੈ। ਅਜੇਹੇ ਆਦਮੀ ਮਿਲਣੇ ਬੜੇ ਮੁਸ਼ਕਲ ਹਨ। ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਹੀ ਹਨੇਰੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੈ। ਹੁਣ ਅਜੇਹੇ ਲੀਡਰ ਦੀ ਮੌਤ ਨਾਲ ਕੀ ਹਨੇਰਾ ਘਟ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ? ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨ ਬੜਾ ਬਦਕਿਸਮਤ ਹੈ। ਅਜੇਹੇ ਲੀਡਰ ਦੀ ਮੌਤ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਦ ਕੌਣ ਮੁਲਕ ਦੀ ਅਗਵਾਈ ਕਰੇਗਾ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਮੈਂ ਆਪਣਾ ਪਤਾ ਪ੍ਰਿੰਸੀਪਲ ਨੂੰ ਭੇਜ ਦੇਵਾਂ। ਏਹ ਕਰਨ ਦਾ ਕੀ ਫਾਇਦਾ?ਮੇਹਰਬਾਨੀ ਕਰਕੇ ਆਪਣਾ ਪੂਰਾ ਪਤਾ ਤੇ ਮਾਹਵਾਰੀ ਵਜ਼ੀਫੇ ਦੀ ਰਕਮ ਲਿਖਣਾ।ਮੈਂ ਹੇਠਾਂ ਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਨਾਂ ਲਿਖ ਕੇ ਕਾਲਜ ਨੂੰ ਭੇਜ ਦਿਆਂਗਾ । ਏਹ ਕੰਮ ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਕਰ ਦੇਣਾ। ਸਰਦਾਰਜੀ(ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ) ਨੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਤਕਾਰ ਕਹਿਣਾ । ਮੇਹਰਬਾਨੀ ਕਰਕੇ ਉਹ ਮੈਥੋਂ ਜੋ ਵੀ ਕੰਮ ਚਾਹੁਣ,ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਦਸਣਾ। ਮੈਂ ਉਸੇ ਵੇਲੇ ਤੁਹਾਡੇ ਕੋਲ ਆ ਜਾਵਾਂਗਾ। ਮੈਂ ਅਖ਼ਬਾਰ ਬਾਰੇ ਜੋ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਕਿਹਾ ਹੈ, ਉਹ ਨਾ ਭੁਲਣਾ। ਏਹ ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਦੇਖਣਾ ਕਿ ਮੈਥੋਂ ਰਿਆਯਤੀ ਚੰਦਾ ਲੈ ਲੈਣ। ਮੈਂ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਜਿਨੇ ਪੈਸੇ ਉਹ(ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ) ਕਹਿਣ, ਭੇਜ ਦਿਆਂਗਾ। ਮੇਹਰਬਾਨੀ ਕਰਕੇ ਕੁਝ ਖ਼ਾਸ ਗਲ ਹੋਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਲਿਖਦੇ ਰਹਿਣਾ। ਮੇਰਾ ਖਿਆਲ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਇਥੇ ਪਰਚਾਰ ਕਰਨਾ ਚਾਹੀਦਾ ਹੈ। ਜੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਕੋਲੋਂ ਕੋਈ ਗਲਤੀ ਹੋ ਗਈ ਹੋਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਮਾਫ ਕਰਨਾ।

ਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਹਿਤੁ,

ਤਾਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ

ਤਾਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਇਨਾਂ ਖ਼ਤਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਜੋ ਖ਼ਾਸ ਗਲਾਂ ਸਾਮਣੇ ਆਓਂਦੀਆਂ ਹਨ, ਉਹ ਕਿ, ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੀ ਸ਼ਖਸ਼ੀਅਤ ਦਾ ਦੂਰ ਦੂਰ ਤੱਕ ਨੌਜਵਾਨਾਂ ਤੇ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਅਸਰ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਸੀ। ਕਿਰਤੀ ਮੈਗਜ਼ੀਨ ਦਾ ਅਸਰ ਵੀ ਪਤਾ ਲਗਦਾ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਉਸ ਨਾਲ ਡੂੰਘੇ ਤੌਰ ਤੇ ਜੁੜੇ ਹੋਣ ਦਾ ਵੀ, ਜਿਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਉਨਾ ਕਈ ਲੇਖ ਉਰਦੂ ਤੇ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਲਿਖੇ।

ਚੰਗਾ ਹੋਵੇ ਸੰਸਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਪਾਠਸ਼ਾਲਾ ਪਟਿਆਲਾ ਤੇ ਤਾਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਦੇ ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਸੰਗਰਾਮ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਰੋਲ ਬਾਰੇ ਹੋਰ ਤਥ ਸਾਮਣੇ ਲਿਆਂਦੇ ਜਾਣ। ਬਾਬੂ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜੇ ਹੋਣ ਤੇ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਅੰਦਰ ਵੀ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਅਸਰ ਦਾ ਪਤਾ ਇਨਾਂ ਖ਼ਤਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਲਗਦਾ ਹੈ। ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਪਿਤਾ ਕਿਸ਼ਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਖੁਦ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਦੇ ਸਿਰਕਢ ਕਾਰਕੁਨ ਸਨ ਤੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਜੇਲ ਤੋਂ ਬਹੁਤੇ ਖ਼ਤ ਬ੍ਰੈਡਲੇ ਹਾਲ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਦੇ ਪਤੇ ਤੇ ਹੀ ਭੇਜੇ ਗਏ ਹਨ, ਜੋ ਉਨੀ ਦਿਨੀਂ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਦਾ ਮੁੱਖ ਦਫਤਰ ਸੀ।

ਡਾ॰ ਚਮਨ ਲਾਲ

Visiting Professor, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago

Email-prof.chaman@gmail.com Mob. 1868-3692687

Bhagat Singh statue in Lahore

Standard

Bhagat Singh, the legendary revolutionary who the British hanged in 1931, lived and died in Lahore. India’s bloody Partition in 1947 ensured that his memory as a staunchly secular radical was washed out in a city and country that increasingly and misguidedly became Islamist. But over the last few years, a Leftist fringe has been attempting to revive the memory and relevance of Bhagat Singh, Shaheed-e-Azam, in Pakistan and especially in Lahore. Their efforts got a booster shot on Wednesday, April 11, when a leading politician of Pakistan Peoples’ Party brought before the Punjab Provincial Assembly a resolution seeking to rename a roundabout as “Bhagat Singh Chowk”. This is where Bhagat Singh was hanged. Zulfiqar Gondal, Parliamentary leader of PPP in the Punjab Assembly, has also proposed to build a monument to honour Bhagat Singh. An agriculturist by profession, Gondal is a graduate of the Pakistan Military Academy. He retired as a major in the Pakistan Army.

Musab Iqbal, Editor, Newzfirst.com, in Bangalore spoke to Zulfiqar Gondal over the phone on Bhagat Singh. Excerpts:

What is this resolution about?

I have presented the resolution on behalf of the people of Punjab asking that the name of Lahore’s Shadman Chowk be changed to Bhagat Singh Chowk, because that is the place where he was hanged to death in 1931. We will build a monument in the memory of Bhagat Singh. The resolution has just been presented and we will discuss this at length in the Punjab Assembly.

What prompted you to present this resolution?

I have hosted Bhagat Singh’s family. I have read Bhagat Singh’s work. He is my Punjabi brother who inspired me. A young man who challenged the establishment at such a young age – his courage, his passion for independence struggle is worth admiring. He was not only fighting against the ‘gore angrez’ [white English] but was against ‘kaale angrez’ [brown English] as well.

What is the relevance of Bhagat Singh in present Pakistan?

Capitalism has not solved human problems. Rather it has added to the misery. The poor have become poorer with time. The relevance of Bhagat Singh and his revolutionary ideas are very relevant for our society to fight against injustice and exploitation.

In India Bhagat Singh is hardly invoked. Recently, some people have even been arrested for being anti-national because they possessed his literature. How would you react?

Revolutionary forces are always targeted and they always have to struggle. One who is fighting for the have-nots always has to face the challenge. The ruling classes always dislike such struggle and such thought, so how can they propagate it? In both the countries the ruling classes just wants to maintain the status quo.

What will happen to this resolution in Punjab Assembly?

Certain forces are opposing it but this is not about pass and fail. Rather, it will help in educating the people about such a legend. After [the 1980s rule of former Pakistan dictator] Zia-ul-Haq, the situation has changed so much and religious thoughts dictate in such a manner that our new generation hardly knows about such personalities. Through this resolution we will communicate to the new generation about the revolutionaries and revolutionary ideas. It will create a debate in Punjab and in Pakistan.

How does a Pakistan possessing Islamic ideology see an extreme leftist revolutionary Bhagat Singh?

Around 1967-68 we saw revolutionary movements in Pakistan which were not present in India. We in Pakistan never voted for the mullahs. It is the news media that shows that the mullahs have hijacked Pakistan. That is not a true representation of our society. Our Punjab is very secular and liberal, and so is our country. We use the services of the mullahs for nikaah [weddings] and burials but we don’t give them the charge to run our country.

Is Bhagat Singh significant for the present social movements in Pakistan?

The middle class has vanished from this country. The number of people living below the poverty line has increased tremendously. Goodness is not getting distributed. Rather, greater poverty is getting distributed among the poorest. This situation is providing a momentum to the Left and revolutionary thoughts and movements, and the impact is getting visible.  The have-nots are gathering, and at this very moment, the ideas of Bhagat Singh are very relevant and symbolic. The Left movement here in Pakistan is known through Lenin, Trotsky and Marx. But I want people to know that from this soil of Punjab, a genius was born who stood against the establishment. People here should know the Left movement through Bhaga

Article on Bhagat Singh in Punjabi Tribune-18th March 2012

Link

Article on Bhagat Singh in Punjabi Tribune-18th March 2012

 

ਡਾ. ਚਮਨ ਲਾਲ

 

 

ਭਾਰਤ ਦੀ ਸੁਪਰੀਮ ਕੋਰਟ ਨੇ ਜਦ ਆਪਣਾ ਅਜਾਇਬਘਰ ਸਥਾਪਤ ਕੀਤਾ ਤਾਂ ਭਾਰਤ ਦੀ ਨਿਆਂ ਵਿਵਸਥਾ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ-ਨਾਲ ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨ ਦੀ ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਤਹਿਰੀਕ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜੇ ਕਈ ਇਤਿਹਾਸਕ ਮੁਕੱਦਮਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ਾਂ ਦੀ ਨੁਮਾਇਸ਼ ਕਰਨੀ ਵੀ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕੀਤੀ। ਸੰਨ 1908 ਦੇ ਅਲੀਪੁਰ ਬੰਬ ਕੇਸ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਸੁਪਰੀਮ ਕੋਰਟ ਨੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਜਨਮ ਸ਼ਤਾਬਦੀ ਦੇ ਦੌਰਾਨ ‘ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦਾ ਮੁਕੱਦਮਾ’ ਸਿਰਲੇਖ ਹੇਠ ਬੜੀ ਚਰਚਿਤ ਨੁਮਾਇਸ਼ ਲਾਈ, ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਉਦਘਾਟਨ ਉਸ ਸਮੇਂ ਦੇ ਚੀਫ ਜਸਟਿਸ ਬਾਲਾਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨਨ ਨੇ ਕੀਤਾ ਸੀ। ਇਸ ਨੁਮਾਇਸ਼ ਨੂੰ ਤਿਆਰ ਕਰਨ ਵਿੱਚ ਉਸ ਸਮੇਂ ਸੁਪਰੀਮ ਕੋਰਟ ਅਜਾਇਬਘਰ ਦੇ ਕਿਊਰੇਟਰ ਡਾ. ਨੂਰੁਲ ਹੂਡਾ ਜੋ ਖ਼ੁਦ ਅਲੀਪੁਰ ਬੰਬ ਕਾਂਡ ਦੇ ਇਤਿਹਾਸਕਾਰ ਹਨ ਅਤੇ ਨੈਸ਼ਨਲ ਆਰਕਾਈਵਜ਼ ਨਵੀਂ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਦੇ ਹੀ ਰਾਜਮਣੀ ਸ੍ਰੀਵਾਸਤਵ ਦੀ ਉੱਘੀ ਭੂਮਿਕਾ ਸੀ। ਇਸ ਚਰਚਿਤ ਨੁਮਾਇਸ਼ ਵਿੱਚ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਮੁਕੱਦਮਿਆਂ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਬਹੁਤ ਸਾਰੇ ਅਜਿਹੇ ਅਦਾਲਤੀ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ ਪੇਸ਼ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ ਸਨ ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਪਤਾ ਲੱਗਦਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਤੇ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਸਾਥੀਆਂ ਖ਼ਿਲਾਫ਼ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਕਿੰਨੇ ਖੋਖਲੇ ਸਨ ਤੇ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ ਕਿਸ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ, ਰਾਜਗੁਰੂ ਤੇ ਸੁਖਦੇਵ ਨੂੰ ਫਾਂਸੀ ਦੇਣ ’ਤੇ ਬਜ਼ਿੱਦ ਸਨ, ਜਿਸ ਲਈ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਕਾਨੂੰਨੀ ਪ੍ਰਕਿਰਿਆਵਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਨਿਭਾਉਣ ਦੀ ਵੀ ਪਰਵਾਹ ਨਹੀਂ ਕੀਤੀ। ਇਸ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਦਾ ਵੇਰਵਾ ਤੇ ਵਿਸ਼ਲੇਸ਼ਣ ਏ.ਜੀ. ਨੂਰਾਨੀ ਨੇ ਆਪਣੀ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਕਿਤਾਬ ’ਦਾ ਟਰਾਇਲ ਆਫ਼ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ’ ਵਿੱਚ ਬਾਖੂਬੀ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ।  ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੀ ਸਿਆਸੀ ਜ਼ਿੰਦਗੀ ਦੇ ਆਖਰੀ ਦੋ ਵਰ੍ਹੇ 8 ਅਪਰੈਲ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਅਸੈਂਬਲੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਬੰਬ ਸੁੱਟਣ ਬਾਅਦ ਗ੍ਰਿਫ਼ਤਾਰੀ ਤੋਂ ਲੈ ਕੇ 23 ਮਾਰਚ 1931 ਨੂੰ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਫਾਂਸੀ ਦਾ ਰੱਸਾ ਚੁੰਮਣ ਤਕ ਦੇ ਹਨ। ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਦੋ ਮੁਕੱਦਮਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਸਾਹਮਣਾ ਕੀਤਾ। ਕੇਂਦਰੀ ਅਸੈਂਬਲੀ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਬਟੁਕੇਸ਼ਵਰ ਦੱਤ ਨਾਲ ਬੰਬ ਸੁੱਟਣ ਲਈ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਉਮਰ ਕੈਦ ਦੀ ਸਜ਼ਾ ਹੋਈ। ਦਿੱਲੀ ਬੰਬ ਕੇਸ 7 ਮਈ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਹੋਇਆ ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਕੁਝ ਸਮੇਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਸੈਸ਼ਨ ਜੱਜ ਦੀ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਭੇਜ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਗਿਆ। 6 ਜੂਨ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਤੇ ਬਟੁਕੇਸ਼ਵਰ ਦੱਤ ਦਾ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਦੀ ਸੈਸ਼ਨ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਬਿਆਨ ਪ੍ਰਸਿੱਧ ਵਕੀਲ ਤੇ ਸੁਤੰਤਰਤਾ ਸੰਗਰਾਮੀ ਆਸਿਫ਼ ਅਲੀ ਨੇ ਪੜ੍ਹ ਕੇ ਸੁਣਾਇਆ। ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਇਹ ਮੁਕੱਦਮਾ ਇੱਕ ਕਾਨੂੰਨੀ ਸਲਾਹਕਾਰ ਦੀ ਮਦਦ ਨਾਲ ਖ਼ੁਦ ਲੜਿਆ ਸੀ।

ਡਾ. ਚਮਨ ਲਾਲ

ਇੱਕ ਹਫ਼ਤਾ ਪੂਰਾ ਹੋਣ ਤੋਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਹੀ 12 ਜੂਨ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਤੇ ਬੀ.ਕੇ. ਦੱਤ ਨੂੰ ਉਮਰ ਕੈਦ ਦੀ ਸਜ਼ਾ ਸੁਣਾ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਗਈ। 6 ਜੂਨ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਸੈਸ਼ਨ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਦੇ ਬਿਆਨ ਤੋਂ ਲੈ ਕੇ 22 ਮਾਰਚ 1931 ਨੂੰ ਫਾਂਸੀ ਤੋਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਆਖਰੀ ਖ਼ਤ ਲਿਖਣ ਤਕ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਵਿੱਚ ਇੰਨਾ ਜ਼ਿਆਦਾ ਪੜ੍ਹਿਆ-ਲਿਖਿਆ ਤੇ ਹੋਰ ਸਰਗਰਮੀਆਂ ਕੀਤੀਆਂ ਕਿ ਆਦਮੀ ਇਸ ਜ਼ਬਰਦਸਤ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਭਾ ਦੇ ਵਿਸਫੋਟ ਨੂੰ ਦੇਖ ਕੇ ਦੰਗ ਰਹਿ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ। ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਇਸ ਸਮੇਂ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਆਪਣੇ ਪਰਿਵਾਰ, ਦੋਸਤਾਂ, ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਤੇ ਅਦਾਲਤੀ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਬਹੁਤ ਸਾਰੇ ਖ਼ਤ ਲਿਖੇ, ‘ਮੈਂ ਨਾਸਤਿਕ ਕਿਉਂ ਹਾਂ’, ‘ਨੌਜਵਾਨ ਸਿਆਸੀ ਕਾਰਕੁਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਖ਼ਤ’ ਤੇ ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਨੋਟ ਬੁੱਕ ਵਰਗੇ ਅਨੇਕ  ਮਹੱਤਵਪੂਰਨ ਸਿਆਸੀ ਲੇਖ ਤੇ ਟਿੱਪਣੀਆਂ ਲਿਖੀਆਂ। ਤਿੰਨ ਵਾਰ ਲੰਮੀਆਂ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲਾਂ ਕੀਤੀਆਂ, ਜੋ ਲਗਪਗ ਪੰਜ ਮਹੀਨੇ ਤਕ ਚਲੀਆਂ।
12 ਜੂਨ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਬੰਬ ਕੇਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਜ਼ਾ ਹੋਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਤੇ ਦੱਤ ਨੂੰ ਦੋ ਦਿਨ ਬਾਅਦ ਮੀਆਂਵਾਲੀ ਤੇ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਰਵਾਨਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ। ਰਾਹ ਜਾਂਦਿਆਂ ਹੀ ਦੋਵਾਂ ਨੇ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਦੀਆਂ ਸਹੂਲਤਾਂ ਖ਼ਤਮ ਕਰਨ ਦੇ ਖ਼ਿਲਾਫ਼ ਫੌਰੀ ਤੌਰ ’ਤੇ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲ ਕਰਨ ਦਾ ਫ਼ੈਸਲਾ ਕੀਤਾ। 15 ਜੂਨ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਮੀਆਂਵਾਲੀ ਅਤੇ ਦੱਤ ਨੇ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਵਿੱਚ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੀ। ਦੋਵਾਂ ਨੇ 17 ਜੂਨ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣਾ ਮੰਗ ਪੱਤਰ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਭੇਜ ਕੇ ‘ਸਿਆਸੀ ਕੈਦੀ’ ਦੇ ਦਰਜੇ ਸਹਿਤ ਪੜ੍ਹਨ-ਲਿਖਣ ਦੀਆਂ ਤੇ ਹੋਰ ਸਹੂਲਤਾਂ ਦੀ ਮੰਗ ਕੀਤੀ। ਦੱਤ ਨੂੰ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਵਿੱਚ ‘ਲਾਹੌਰ ਸਾਜ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕੇਸ’ ਦੇ ਮੁਲਜ਼ਮਾਂ ਸੁਖਦੇਵ ਆਦਿ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਖਰਾ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਗਿਆ। ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਅਤੇ ਬੀ.ਕੇ. ਦੱਤ ਦੀ ਇਸ ਇਤਿਹਾਸਕ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲ ਦਾ ਪਤਾ 10 ਜੁਲਾਈ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਉਸ ਵੇਲੇ ਪਤਾ ਲੱਗਾ ਜਦ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਵਿੱਚ 10 ਜੁਲਾਈ 1929 ਤੋਂ ਸਾਂਡਰਸ ਕਤਲ ਕੇਸ ਨਾਲ ਸਬੰਧਤ ‘ਲਾਹੌਰ ਸਾਜ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕੇਸ’ ਦੀ ਸੁਣਵਾਈ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਹੋਈ। ਉਸ ਦਿਨ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੂੰ ਸਟਰੈਚਰ ’ਤੇ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਲਿਆਂਦਾ ਗਿਆ। ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੀ ਹਾਲਤ ਦੇਖ ਕੇ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਸਾਜ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕੇਸ ਦੇ ਬਾਕੀ ਮੁਲਜ਼ਮਾਂ ਨੇ ਵੀ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੀ। ਇਸ ਇਤਿਹਾਸਕ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਇਨਕਲਾਬੀ ਜਤਿੰਦਰਨਾਥ ਦਾਸ ਨੇ 63 ਦਿਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲ ਬਾਅਦ 13 ਸਤੰਬਰ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਸ਼ਹਾਦਤ ਦਿੱਤੀ। ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਪਾਰਟੀ ਦੇ ਆਗੂਆਂ ਦੀ ਵਿਚੋਲਗੀ ਤੋਂ ਨੌਆਬਾਦੀ ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਦਿੱਤੇ ਕੁਝ ਭਰੋਸਿਆਂ ਕਰਕੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਤੇ ਹੋਰ ਸਾਥੀਆਂ ਨੇ 2 ਸਤੰਬਰ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲ ਮੁਲਤਵੀ ਕੀਤੀ ਸੀ ਪਰ ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀਆਂ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਸਮਝੌਤੇ ਤੋਂ ਮੁੱਕਰ ਜਾਣ ਤੋਂ ਦੋ ਦਿਨ ਬਾਅਦ 4 ਸਤੰਬਰ ਨੂੰ ਫਿਰ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਗਈ ਸੀ। ਇਸ ਇਤਿਹਾਸਕ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲ ਦਾ ਅੰਤ 112 ਦਿਨ ਬਾਅਦ 4 ਅਕਤੂਬਰ ਨੂੰ ਹੋਇਆ ਸੀ। ਇਨਕਲਾਬੀਆਂ ਦੀ ‘ਸਿਆਸੀ ਕੈਦੀ’ ਦੇ ਦਰਜੇ ਦੀ ਮੰਗ ਤਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਮੰਨੀ ਗਈ ਸੀ ਪਰ ਕੁਝ ਹੋਰ ਮੰਗਾਂ ਮੰਨ ਕੇ ਕੁਝ ਸਹੂਲਤਾਂ ਦੇ ਦਿੱਤੀਆਂ ਗਈਆਂ ਸਨ। ਤਨਜ਼ ਦੀ ਗੱਲ ਇਹ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਜਵਾਹਰ ਲਾਲ ਨਹਿਰੂ ਵਰਗੇ ਆਗੂਆਂ ਨੇ ਖ਼ੁਦ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਪਾਰਟੀ ਕਾਰਕੁਨਾਂ ਲਈ ‘ਸਿਆਸੀ ਕੈਦੀ’ ਦਾ ਦਰਜਾ ਮੰਗਿਆ ਸੀ ਪਰ 1947 ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਕਿਸੇ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਨੇ ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨੀ ਜੇਲ੍ਹਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ‘ਸਿਆਸੀ ਕੈਦੀ’ ਦਾ ਰੁਤਬਾ ਅੱਜ ਤਕ ਨਹੀਂ ਦਿੱਤਾ। ਇੱਥੋਂ ਤਕ ਕਿ 1861 ਤੋਂ ਹੱਦ ਵਿੱਚ ਲਿਆਂਦੇ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਦੇ ਇੰਡੀਅਨ ਪੁਲੀਸ ਐਕਟ (ਆਈ.ਪੀ.ਐਸ.) ਦੀਆਂ ਬਹੁਤ ਸਾਰੀਆਂ ਧਾਰਾਵਾਂ ਅੱਜ ਵੀ ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨ, ਪਾਕਿਸਤਾਨ ਤੇ ਬੰਗਲਾਦੇਸ਼ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਰਤੋਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਹਨ। ਸ਼ਾਇਦ ਇਸੇ ਲਈ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਪੂਰਾ ਨਿਜ਼ਾਮ ਬਦਲੇ ਬਗੈਰ ਲਾਰਡ ਇਰਵਿਨ ਜਾਂ ਪੁਰਸ਼ੋਤਮ ਦਾਸ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਦੇ ਹੱਥਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਹਕੂਮਤ ਹੋਣ ਨਾਲ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਜਨਤਾ ਦੀ ਹੋਣੀ ਨੂੰ ਕੋਈ ਫ਼ਰਕ ਨਹੀਂ ਪੈਣ ਲੱਗਾ’ (ਇਹ ਪੂਰੀ ਟਿੱਪਣੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੈ, ਸਿਰਫ਼ ਭਾਵ ਹੈ)।
ਸਪੈਸ਼ਲ ਮੈਜਿਸਟਰੇਟ ਰਾਇ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਪੰਡਤ ਕਿਸ਼ਨ ਚੰਦ ਦੀ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਚੱਲ ਰਹੇ ‘ਲਾਹੌਰ ਸਾਜ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕੇਸ’ ਦੌਰਾਨ 21 ਅਕਤੂਬਰ 1927 ਨੂੰ ਇੱਕ ਘਟਨਾ ਵਾਪਰੀ। ਇੱਕ ਇਕਬਾਲੀਆ ਗਵਾਹ ਜੈ ਗੋਪਾਲ ਦੇ ਉਕਸਾਵੇ ਤੇ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਛੋਟੀ ਉਮਰ ਦੇ ਇਨਕਲਾਬੀ ਪ੍ਰੇਮਦੱਤ ਨੇ ਉਹਦੇ ਵੱਲ ਚੱਪਲ ਵਗਾਹ ਮਾਰੀ। ਦੂਜੇ ਮੁਲਜ਼ਮਾਂ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਇਸ ਐਕਸ਼ਨ ਤੋਂ ਖ਼ੁਦ ਨੂੰ ਵੱਖ ਕਰਨ ’ਤੇ ਵੀ ਮੈਜਿਸਟਰੇਟ ਨੇ ਸਾਰਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਹੱਥਕੜੀ ਲਾਉਣ ਦੇ ਹੁਕਮ ਦੇ ਦਿੱਤੇ। ਜਦ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ, ਸ਼ਿਵ ਵਰਮਾ, ਬੀ.ਕੇ. ਦੱਤ, ਵਿਜੇ ਕੁਮਾਰ ਸਿਨਹਾ, ਅਜੈ ਘੋਸ਼, ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਦੱਤ ਤੇ ਹੋਰ ਮੁਲਜ਼ਮਾਂ ਨੇ ਇਸ ਹੁਕਮ ਨੂੰ ਮੰਨਣ ਤੇ ਹੱਥਕੜੀਆਂ ਲੁਆਉਣ ਤੋਂ ਇਨਕਾਰ ਕੀਤਾ ਤਾਂ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਮੈਜਿਸਟਰੇਟ ਦੇ ਸਾਹਮਣੇ ਬੜੇ ਜ਼ਾਲਮਾਨਾ ਤਰੀਕਿਆਂ ਨਾਲ ਕੁੱਟਿਆ ਗਿਆ। ਪੁਲੀਸ ਦੇ ਇਸ ਵਹਿਸ਼ੀ ਕੁਟਾਪੇ ਨਾਲ ਅਜੈ ਘੋਸ਼ ਤੇ ਸ਼ਿਵ ਵਰਮਾ ਬੇਹੋਸ਼ ਹੋ ਗਏ। ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੂੰ ਇੱਕ ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਅਫ਼ਸਰ ਰਾਬਰਟ ਨੇ ਅਪਾਣਾ ਖਾਸ ਨਿਸ਼ਾਨਾ ਬਣਾਇਆ। ਇਸ ਵਹਿਸ਼ੀ ਕਾਰੇ ਦਾ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ੀ ਲੇਖਨ ਵਿਜੈ ਕੁਮਾਰ ਸਿਨਹਾ ਨੇ ਕੀਤਾ।

 

ਫਰਵਰੀ 1930 ਵਿੱਚ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਫਿਰ 15 ਦਿਨ ਲਈ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲ ਕੀਤੀ ਕਿਉਂਕਿ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਮੰਨੀਆਂ ਗਈਆਂ ਮੰਗਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਲਾਗੂ ਨਹੀਂ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ ਸੀ। ਇਸ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਅਦਾਲਤੀ ਬਿਆਨਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਇਨਕਲਾਬੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਸ਼ੋਹਰਤ ਅਸਮਾਨ ਛੋਹ ਰਹੀ ਸੀ ਤੇ ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀ ਹਕੂਮਤ ਦਾ ਅਕਸ ਮਿੱਟੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਮਿਲ ਗਿਆ ਸੀ। ਸਾਰੀ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਨਜ਼ਰਾਂ ਇਸ ਕੇਸ ’ਤੇ ਲੱਗੀਆਂ ਸਨ। ਹਾਲਾਂਕਿ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਬੰਬ ਕੇਸ ਦੀ ਸਜ਼ਾ ਖ਼ਿਲਾਫ਼ ਕੀਤੀ ਅਪੀਲ ਨੂੰ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਹਾਈ ਕੋਰਟ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਨੇ ਖਾਰਜ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਸੀ ਪਰ ਫ਼ੈਸਲੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੂੰ ‘ਸੁਹਿਰਦ ਇਨਕਲਾਬੀ’ ਦਾ ਮਾਣ ਬਖ਼ਸ਼ਿਆ ਸੀ।
ਪਹਿਲੀ ਮਈ 1930 ਨੂੰ ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਨੌਆਬਾਦੀ ਹਕੂਮਤ ਦੇ ਵਾਇਸਰਾਇ ਲਾਰਡ ਇਰਵਿਨ ਨੇ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਸਾਜ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕੇਸ ਸਬੰਧੀ ਇੱਕ ਅਣਹੋਣਾ ਕਦਮ ਚੁੱਕਦਿਆਂ ਇੱਕ ਆਰਡੀਨੈਂਸ ਜਾਰੀ ਕੀਤਾ। ਇਸ ਆਰਡੀਨੈਂਸ ਮੁਤਾਬਕ ਨਿਸ਼ਚਿਤ ਸਮੇਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਦੀ ਸੁਣਵਾਈ ਪੂਰੀ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਇੱਕ ਤਿੰਨ ਮੈਂਬਰੀ ‘ਸਪੈਸ਼ਲ ਟ੍ਰਿਬਿਊਨਲ’ ਨਿਯੁਕਤ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ। ਇਸ ਟ੍ਰਿਬਿਊਨਲ ਦੇ ਫ਼ੈਸਲੇ ਖ਼ਿਲਾਫ਼ ਉੱਚੀਆਂ ਅਦਾਲਤਾਂ-ਹਾਈ ਕੋਰਟ ਆਦਿ ਵਿੱਚ ਅਪੀਲ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੋ ਸਕਦੀ ਸੀ ਤੇ ਸਿਰਫ਼ ਲੰਦਨ ਸਥਿਤ ‘ਪ੍ਰਿਵੀ ਕੌਂਸਲ’ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੀ ਅਪੀਲ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾ ਸਕਦੀ ਸੀ। ਇਸ ਆਰਡੀਨੈਂਸ ਦੀ ਕੇਂਦਰੀ ਅਸੈਂਬਲੀ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਕਦੇ ਵੀ ਪ੍ਰਵਾਨਗੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਲਈ ਗਈ ਅਤੇ ਬਿਨਾਂ ਕਿਸੇ ਕਾਨੂੰਨ ਜਾਂ ਸੰਵਿਧਾਨਕ ਮਨਜ਼ੂਰੀ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾਂ ਹੀ ਇਸ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਦੇ ਖ਼ਤਮ ਹੋਣ ਨਾਲ ਇਹ ਆਰਡੀਨੈਂਸ ਵੀ ਖ਼ਤਮ ਹੋ ਗਿਆ। ਇਸ ਟ੍ਰਿਬਿਊਨਲ ਤੇ ਆਰਡੀਨੈਂਸ ਦਾ ਇੱਕੋ-ਇੱਕ ਉਦੇਸ਼ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੂੰ ਛੇਤੀ ਤੋਂ ਛੇਤੀ ਫ਼ਾਂਸੀ ਚੜ੍ਹਾਉਣਾ ਸੀ। 7 ਅਕਤੂਬਰ 1930 ਨੂੰ ਇਸ ਟ੍ਰਿਬਿਊਨਲ ਨੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ, ਰਾਜਗੁਰੂ ਤੇ ਸੁਖਦੇਵ ਨੂੰ ਫਾਂਸੀ ਦਾ ਹੁਕਮ ਸੁਣਾ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਸੀ।
5 ਮਈ 1930 ਤੋਂ ਇਸ ਟ੍ਰਿਬਿਊਨਲ ਦੀ ਕਾਰਵਾਈ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਹੋਈ। 12 ਮਈ 1930 ਤੋਂ ਇਸ ਕੇਸ ਦੇ ਮੁਲਜ਼ਮਾਂ ਨੇ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਦੀ ਕਾਰਵਾਈ ਦਾ ਬਾਈਕਟ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ। ਉਸ ਦਿਨ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਇਨਕਲਾਬੀ ਨਗ਼ਮੇ ਗਾਏ ਅਤੇ ਨਾਅਰੇਬਾਜ਼ੀ ਕੀਤੀ। ਅਕਤੂਬਰ 1929 ਵਾਲੀ ਵਹਿਸ਼ਤ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੇ ਫੇਰ ਦੁਹਰਾਈ। ਅਜੈ ਘੋਸ਼, ਕੁੰਦਨ ਲਾਲ ਅਤੇ ਪ੍ਰੇਮਦੱਤ ਬੇਹੋਸ਼ ਹੋ ਗਏ। ਪੂਰੇ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਮੁਲਜ਼ਮ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਤੋਂ ਗ਼ੈਰਹਾਜ਼ਰ ਰਹੇ ਅਤੇ ਨਾ ਹੀ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦਾ ਕੋਈ ਵਕੀਲ ਪੇਸ਼ ਹੋਇਆ।  ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਵਕੀਲਾਂ ਦੀ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਬੇਇੱਜ਼ਤੀ ਕੀਤੀ ਗਈ। ਨਤੀਜੇ ਵਜੋਂ ਮੁਲਜ਼ਮਾਂ ਨੇ ਵਕੀਲਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਖ਼ੁਦ ਹੀ ਨਿਰਦੇਸ਼ ਦਿੱਤੇ ਕਿ ਮੁਲਜ਼ਮਾਂ ਦੀ ਗ਼ੈਰਹਾਜ਼ਰੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦਾ ਬਚਾਅ ਪੇਸ਼ ਨਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਵੇ। ਇਹ ਸਾਰੇ ਵੇਰਵੇ ਏ.ਜੀ. ਨੂਰਾਨੀ ਦੀ ਕਿਤਾਬ ਵਿੱਚ ਦਰਜ ਹਨ। ਲਗਪਗ ਚਾਰ ਦਹਾਕੇ ਜੋ ਤੱਥ ਅੱਖੋਂ-ਪਰੋਖੇ ਰਿਹਾ, ਉਹ ਸੀ ਇਸ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀਆਂ, ਸਪੈਸ਼ਲ ਟ੍ਰਿਬਿਊਨਲ ਤੇ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਹਾਈ ਕੋਰਟ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਨੂੰ ਕਈ ਖ਼ਤ ਲਿਖੇ ਤੇ ਦਰਖਾਸਤਾਂ ਭੇਜੀਆਂ। ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਖ਼ਤਾਂ ਤੇ ਦਰਖਾਸਤਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀ ਹਕੂਮਤ ਦੀ ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਬਿਨਾਂ ਕੋਈ ਬਚਾਅ ਦਾ ਮੌਕਾ ਦਿੱਤੇ, ਨਿਸ਼ਚਿਤ ਤੌਰ ’ਤੇ ਫਾਂਸੀ ਚੜ੍ਹਾਉਣ ਦੀਆਂ ਕੋਸ਼ਿਸ਼ਾਂ ਦਾ ਪਰਦਾਫਾਸ਼ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ। ਹਾਲਾਂਕਿ ਮੁਲਜ਼ਮਾਂ ਨੇ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਗ਼ੈਰ ਹਾਜ਼ਰ ਰਹਿਣ ਦਾ ਫ਼ੈਸਲਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਸੀ ਪਰ ਉਹ ਆਪਣੇ ਵਕੀਲ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਕਾਨੂੰਨੀ ਕਾਰਵਾਈ/ਸੁਣਵਾਈ ਵਿੱਚ ਹਿੱਸਾ ਲੈ ਰਹੇ ਸਨ। ਟ੍ਰਿਬਿਊਨਲ ਦੇ ਇਨਕਲਾਬੀਆਂ ਦੇ ਵਕੀਲ ਅਮੋਲਕ ਰਾਮ ਕਪੂਰ ਨੂੰ 457 ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਗਵਾਹਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਜਿਰਾਹ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਇਜ਼ਾਜਤ ਨਹੀਂ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਅਤੇ ਸਿਰਫ਼ ਪੰਜ ਇਕਬਾਲੀਆ ਗਵਾਹਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਜਿਰਾਹ ਦੀ ਇਜਾਜ਼ਤ ਦਿੱਤੀ। ਇਹ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਦੇ ਨਾਂ ’ਤੇ ਡਰਾਮਾ ਸੀ।
ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਖ਼ਤਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਕੀਤੀ ਅਤੇ ਹਾਲੀ ਤਕ ਬਿਨਾਂ ਜਾਣੀ ਇੱਕ ਹੋਰ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲ ਦਾ ਵੇਰਵਾ ਸਾਹਮਣੇ ਆਇਆ ਹੈ। 28 ਜੁਲਾਈ 1930 ਨੂੰ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਹਾਈ ਕੋਰਟ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਦੇ ਨਾਂ ਦਰਖਾਸਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ‘ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਨਿਯਮਾਂ’ ਖ਼ਿਲਾਫ਼ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾ ਰਹੀ ਇਸ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲ ਦੀ ਸੂਚਨਾ ਦਿੱਤੀ, ਜਿਹੜੀ ਘੱਟੋ-ਘੱਟ 22 ਅਗਸਤ 1930 ਤਕ ਚਲੀ, ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਮਿਲਾ ਕੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਵਿੱਚ ਕੀਤੀਆਂ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲਾਂ ਦਾ ਕੁੱਲ ਸਮਾਂ ਪੰਜ ਮਹੀਨੇ ਤਕ ਪਹੁੰਚ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ। ਦੱਖਣੀ ਅਫ਼ਰੀਕਾ ਤੋਂ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕਰਕੇ ਮਹਾਤਮਾ ਗਾਂਧੀ ਦੀਆਂ 1946 ਤਕ ਕੀਤੀਆਂ ਸਾਰੀਆਂ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜਤਾਲਾਂ ਦਾ ਸਮਾਂ ਵੀ ਸ਼ਾਇਦ ਇੰਨਾ ਨਾ ਬਣਦਾ ਹੋਵੇ।
ਅਖੀਰ ਨੂੰ ਜਦ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਬਚਾਅ ਲਈ ਮੰਗੀਆਂ ਮੁਲਾਕਾਤਾਂ ਦੀ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਨੇ ਇਜਾਜ਼ਤ ਦਿੱਤੀ, ਉਸ ਵੇਲੇ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਨੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਵਕੀਲ ਨਾਲ ਬਚਾਅ ਪੱਖ ’ਤੇ ਮਸ਼ਵਰਾ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਤੇ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਤੇ ਬਚਾਅ ਪੱਖ ਦੇ ਗਵਾਹਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਜਿਰਾਹ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਵਕਤ ਮੰਗਣ ’ਤੇ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਨੂੰ ਕੁਝ ਸਮਾਂ ਮੁਲਤਵੀ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਅਰਜ਼ੀ ਖਾਰਜ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਅਤੇ ਫ਼ੈਸਲਾ ਸੁਰੱਖਿਅਤ ਰੱਖ ਕੇ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਦੀ ਕਾਰਵਾਈ ਬੰਦ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੀ। ਫ਼ੈਸਲਾ 7 ਅਕਤੂਬਰ 1930 ਨੂੰ ਸੁਣਾ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਗਿਆ।
ਅਜਿਹੇ ਹੀ ਹੋਰ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ ਵੀ ਲੱਭ ਸਕਦੇ ਹਨ। ਦਿੱਲੀ ਬੰਬ ਕੇਸ ਤੇ ਸਪੈਸ਼ਲ ਮੈਜਿਸਟਰੇਟ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਦੀ ਅਦਾਲਤੀ ਕਾਰਵਾਈ ਦਾ ਪੂਰਾ ਰਿਕਾਰਡ ਨਵੇਂ ਤੱਥ ਸਾਹਮਣੇ ਲਿਆ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ। ਪੰਜਾਬ ਆਰਕਾਈਵਜ਼ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਨਾਲ ਸਬੰਧਤ 135 ਫਾਈਲਾਂ ਹਨ, ਜੋ ਪਾਕਿਸਤਾਨ ਦੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਵਿਦਵਾਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਦੇਖਣ ਦਿੱਤੀਆਂ ਜਾਂਦੀਆਂ। ਇਹ ਤਾਂ ਪਾਕਿਸਤਾਨ ਦੇ ਸਾਬਕਾ ਤੇ ਐਕਟਿੰਗ ਚੀਫ ਜਸਟਿਸ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਦਾਸ ਰਾਣਾ ਦੀ ਤਾਰੀਫ਼ ਕਰਨੀ ਬਣਦੀ ਹੈ, ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ 2006 ਵਿੱਚ ਲਾਹੌਰ ਸਾਜ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕੇਸ ਦੇ ਚਾਰ ਜਿਲਦਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਅਤੇ ਹਰਿਆਣਾ ਹਾਈ ਕੋਰਟ ਚੰਡੀਗੜ੍ਹ ਨੂੰ ਤੋਹਫ਼ੇ ਵਜੋਂ ਦਿੱਤੇ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਵੀ ਕੁਝ ਨਵੇਂ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਸਨ, ਜੋ ਮਾਲਵਿੰਦਰਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਵੜੈਚ ਦੀ ਸੰਪਾਦਨਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਛਪੇ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਦੀ ਕਾਰਵਾਈ ਵਿੱਚ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਹਨ।
ਹਾਲਾਂਕਿ ਸੁਪਰੀਮ ਕੋਰਟ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਡਿਜੀਟਲ ਰੂਪ ਵਿੱਚ ਸੁਰੱਖਿਅਤ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ਾਂ/ਖ਼ਤਾਂ ਦੇ ਸਰੋਤ ਪੂਰੀ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਸਪਸ਼ਟ ਨਹੀਂ ਹਨ ਪਰ ਨਿਰਸੰਦੇਹ ਇਹ ਦੋਵਾਂ ਮੁਕੱਦਮਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਕਾਰਵਾਈ ਦਾ ਹਿੱਸਾ ਹਨ। ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਸੰਗਰਾਮ ਦੇ ਪ੍ਰਸੰਗ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਪੂੰ ਸਪਸ਼ਟ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਖ਼ਤਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੀ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਜ਼ਬਾਨ ’ਤੇ ਜ਼ਬਰਦਸਤ ਕਮਾਂਡ ਦਾ ਵੀ ਪਤਾ ਲੱਗਦਾ ਹੈ। ਉਰਦੂ, ਹਿੰਦੀ ਅਤੇ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਦੇ ਤਾਂ ਉਹ ਪਰਪੱਕ ਮਾਹਰ ਸਨ। ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੀ ਖੁਸ਼ਖ਼ਤ ਅਤੇ ਕਾਨੂੰਨੀ ਸ਼ਬਦਾਵਲੀ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ ਵੀ ਕਮਾਲ ਦਾ ਸੀ। ਆਪਣੀ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਕਿਤਾਬ ‘ਗਾਂਧੀ ਅਤੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ’ ਵਿੱਚ ਇਤਿਹਾਸਕਾਰ ਵੀ.ਐਨ. ਦੱਤਾ ਨੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਗਰੈਜੂਏਟ ਵੀ ਨਾ ਹੋਣ ਕਰਕੇ ਉਸ ਦੀ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਜ਼ਬਾਨ ਦੀ ਪਕੜ ਬਾਰੇ ਸ਼ੰਕਾ ਜ਼ਾਹਰ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਇਸ ਸ਼ਾਨਦਾਰ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਦਾ ਸਿਹਰਾ ਜਵਾਹਰ ਲਾਲ ਨਹਿਰੂ ਜਾਂ ਆਸਿਫ਼ ਅਲੀ ਨੂੰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਹੈ। ਕਾਨੂੰਨੀ ਮਾਹਰਾਂ, ਵਿਦਵਾਨਾਂ ਤੇ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆਂ ਲਈ ਇਹ ਖ਼ਤ ਅਚੰਭਾਜਨਕ ਹਨ ਕਿ ਕਾਨੂੰਨੀ ਬਚਾਅ ਦੇ ਗੁੰਝਲਦਾਰ ਮਸਲੇ ਤੇ ਪੈਂਤੜਿਆਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਿੰਨਾ ਪਰਪੱਕ ਸੀ ਪਰ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੀ ਇਸ ਹੈਰਾਨਕੁਨ ਅਕਲ, ਸਮਝਦਾਰੀ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਭਾ ਤੋਂ ਹੀ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀ ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਹਕੂਮਤ ਦਹਿਸ਼ਤਜ਼ਦਾ ਸੀ ਅਤੇ ਹਰ ਹਾਲਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਉਸ ਤੋਂ ਛੁਟਕਾਰਾ ਪਾਉਣਾ ਚਾਹੁੰਦੀ ਸੀ। ਸੁਪਰੀਮ ਕੋਰਟ ਨੇ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਲਿਖੇ ਕਰੀਬ 20 ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਡਿਜੀਟਲ ਰੂਪ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਹੈ। ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਕਈ ਤਾਂ ਕਾਫ਼ੀ ਸਮੇਂ ਤੋਂ ਛਪ ਰਹੇ ਹਨ ਜਿਵੇਂ 6 ਜੂਨ 1929 ਦਾ ਬਿਆਨ ਅਤੇ ‘ਭਾਰਤੀ ਇਨਕਲਾਬ ਦਾ ਆਦਰਸ਼’। ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ 12 ਖ਼ਤ ਤੇ ਦਰਖਾਸਤਾਂ 15 ਅਗਸਤ 2011 ਦੇ ‘ਦੀ ਹਿੰਦੂ’ ਵਿੱਚ ਪਹਿਲੀ ਵਾਰ ਛਪੇ। 12 ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਦਸ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ ਪੂਰੇ ਰੂਪ ਵਿੱਚ ਹਨ ਅਤੇ ਦੋ ਦਾ ਅਧੂਰਾ ਰੂਪ ਮਿਲਦਾ ਹੈ। ਅਧੂਰੇ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਇੱਕ ਦਾ ਸਬੰਧ 21 ਅਕਤੂਬਰ 1929 ਦੀ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਹਿਸ਼ੀ ਮਾਰ ਦੀ ਘਟਨਾ ਨਾਲ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਦੂਜੀ ਦਾ 1930 ਦੀ ਦਰਖਾਸਤ ਨਾਲ।
‘ਵੰਦੇ ਮਾਤਰਮ’ (ਉਰਦੂ) ਲਾਹੌਰ ਵਿੱਚ 12 ਅਪਰੈਲ 1929 ਅਤੇ ‘ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨ ਟਾਈਮਜ਼’ (ਦਿੱਲੀ) ਦੇ 18 ਅਪਰੈਲ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਪਹਿਲੀ ਵਾਰ ਛਪੀ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਤੇ ਦੱਤ ਦੀ ਅਮੁੱਲੀ ਤਸਵੀਰ ਦੀ ਕਾਪੀ ਉਪਲਬਧ ਕਰਵਾਉਣ ਲਈ ਲੇਖਕ ਨੈਸ਼ਨਲ ਆਰਕਾਈਵਜ਼, ਨਵੀਂ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਦਾ ਸ਼ੁਕਰਗੁਜ਼ਾਰ ਹੈ। ਇਹ ਤਸਵੀਰ ਕਸ਼ਮੀਰੀ ਗੇਟ ਦੇ ਇੱਕ ਫੋਟੋਗਰਾਫਰ ਨੇ 4 ਅਪਰੈਲ 1929 ਨੂੰ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਬੰਬ ਕੇਸ ਤੋਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਖਿੱਚੀ ਸੀ ਤੇ ਇਨਕਲਾਬੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਬੰਬ ਕਾਂਡ ਬਾਅਦ ਅਖ਼ਬਾਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਭੇਜੀ ਸੀ।

Hunger Strikes by Revolutionary Freedom Fighter-Bhagat Singh and Jatin Das

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Chaman Lal

In India, hunger strike or fast has become a mixed phenomenon. On one side the fast/hunger strike is used as an effective political weapon to raise the consciousness of masses, as has been done throughout the world history, but on the other side, it is being treated as media fad also, to create sensational news, but overshadowing its true spirit and seriousness.
Incidentally fast or hunger strike is not India’s or Gandhian movement’s contribution to the world or Indian political scenario, though it has been effectively used in India. The real progenitors of fast/hunger strike as political weapon are Irish revolutionaries. It was during 1916-1920 that world was shaken by Irish revolutionaries soul shaking fast unto deaths, In India this spirit was imbibed by revolutionary movement first and then only Gandhian movement has appropriated it as a political weapon to arouse people’s consciousness for the burning issues.
In India, during freedom struggle Jatindarnath Das, popularly known as Jatin Das, sacrificed his life after 63 days fast, while Bhagat Singh observed a total of five months plus fast/hunger strike in three of his known/unknown struggles for political rights inside the jail from 8th April 1929 to 23rd March 1931, the day of his martyrdom. They were inspired by Irish revolutionaries’ sacrifices through hunger strikes, particularly Terence MacSwiney’s sacrifice after many days of fast in side jail. Wikipedia page gives a glimpse of Irish revolutionaries’ sacrifices through hunger strikes as under
In October 1920, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney, died on hunger strike in Brixton prison. Two other Cork IRA men, Joe Murphy and Michael Fitzgerald, also died on hunger strike in this protest along with Monaghan native, Conor McElvaney who lasted 79 days before death. The Guinness Book of Records lists the world record in hunger strike (without forced feeding) as 94 days, which was set from August 11 to November 12, 1920 by John and Peter Crowley, Thomas Donovan, Michael Burke, Michael O’Reilly, Christopher Upton, John Power, Joseph Kenny and Seán Hennessy at the prison of Cork. Arthur Griffith called off the strikes after the deaths of MacSwiney, Murphy and Fitzgerald.
Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt started their first hunger strike from 15th June 1929, when they were transported for life in Delhi Assembly bomb case and were shifted Mianwali and Lahore jails respectively. They decided to start indefinite hunger strike from the very first day of their arrival in respective jails of Punjab, when they were not shown the courtesy of being ‘political prisoner’, as they were treated with respect during their Delhi jail stay from 8th April 1929 to 14th June 1929. Bhagat Singh even protested against segregating him and B K Dutt from each other, since trial of Lahore conspiracy case, dealing with murder of Saunders was going to begin very shortly, in which Bhagat Singh being was treated as one of the most focussed accused. He wrote to I.G. Prisons, Punjab about this transfer on 17th June 1929. And on the same day, he also informed him of him being on hunger strike and raised certain demands; the most important one was to be treated as ‘Political Prisoner’. On 18th June 1929, Superintendent Mianwali jail sought some clarifications from Bhagat Singh on his letter to I.G. Punjab and Bhagat Singh replied on 19th June 1929. Later when Bhagat Singh was also sent to Lahore jail, he and B.K. Dutt sent a joint letter to Home member of Govt. of India in this regard. All these three letters have historic significance in contest of their struggle for the right of political prisoners in jail.
After few days Bhagat Singh was transferred to Lahore jail, but their hunger strike remained unknown to their own comrades, since they were lodged in different jails. On 10th July 1929, when all sixteen accused arrested out of 25, against whom F.I.R. was lodged, appeared before the magistrate, they were shocked to see Bhagat Singh being brought to the court on stretcher, since his condition was bad. From 10th July all others accused in this case also joined the hunger strike. Jatin Das warned his comrades about the pains and tortures of hunger strike and told that he would not back out of it, even if others leave. Only he had the earlier experience of hunger strike as he has participated in it as non cooperation movement prisoner in Calcutta. And Jatin Das’s warning proved true, even Sukhdev like revolutionaries could not sustain it for very long time, only Bhagat Singh and few of other comrades could continue it. Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna, Gadar party convict and nearing release, also joined the hunger strike, despite his old age and Bhagat Singh’s efforts to dissuade him from not joining and he paid for it by getting his jail remission cancelled, thus spending more time in prison. This hunger strike is one of the most significant hunger strikes of political nature of the world. British colonial regime tried their best to break the strike by all kinds of means, mostly oppressive and some deceitful. Congress party got involved as after 10th July 1929, media started reporting about the conditions of hunger strikers every day and they were becoming popular among Indian people every day. Jail enquiry committees, Jail reform committees etc were formed, but Govt. yielded nothing. At one time British officials accepted that they would implement some recommendations and Congress party leaders assured revolutionaries of their demands being acceded. At this assurance on 2nd September 1929, revolutionaries except Jatin Das suspended their hunger strike. Jatin Das’s condition now was irretrievable and he did not want to let British colonial regime escape the responsibility of killing him inside the jai. Bhagat Singh also resumed his hunger strike within two days, as British officials refused to release Jatin Das unconditionally, knowing full well that he was going to die. Jatin Das died of hunger strike after 63 days on 13th September, 1929. Jinnah made historic speech in Central Assembly in support of hunger striking revolutionaries on 12th &14th September 1929, a day before and a day after the martyrdom of Jatin Das, as his speech could not be completed in single day. It was Irish hunger strike martyr Terence MacSwiney’s sister, who remained in solidarity during Bhagat Singh, Jatin Das hunger strike and sent message on Jatin das’s martyrdom like her own brother’s earlier.Bhagat Singh continued his hunger strike till 4th October, making a record those days of 112 days fast in jail. Though British officials yielded a bit, but for agreed demands, Bhagat Singh had to observe fifteen day hunger strike again in February 1930. Bhagat Singh resorted to hunger strike again in July-August 1930 against jail rules and he informed Special Tribunal Lahore, whose proceedings they boycotted throughout the trial and also Punjab High court, where he filed petition against denial of interviews by jail authorities. The fact about Bhagat Singh’s third hunger strike in July-August 1930 remained suppressed till now and it has come to light only from some of his letters displayed by Supreme Court exhibition in September 2007.
Despite Bhagat Singh and his comrades valiant fight inside the jail for securing rights for ‘Political Prisoners’ as special category, they were not given this status, neither after transfer of power in 1947, this right has been acceded by different Governments in India, despite thousands of opposition workers being imprisoned in 1975-77 emergency. In fact despite first Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s own strong disliking of British colonial laws like Indian Sedition Act, the whole Indian Police Act (IPC) and Criminal Procedure Act (CRPC) and many more British colonial laws are still intact in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. I wonder that why social movements like launched by Jai Prakash Narain(JP) , whose name has now been dumped by media in favour of Anna Hazare, or the latest one by Anna Hazare have ever demanded the removal of colonial period laws from statue books of ‘Free’ India! It just proves the point made by Bhagat Singh in one of his writings that –what difference it makes to Indian people if in place of Lord Reading or Lord Irwin, Purshtam Das Thakkar or Tej Bahadur Sapru rules India, as long as the living conditions of people remain the same. So new rulers of India and Pakistan retained most of anti people oppressive colonial laws like Sedition law on statue books after 1947 and till date no movement has been launched to get these laws abolished or only new breed of Bhagat Singh’s have to perform the remaining task of getting rid of colonial vestiges, being used in much worse form of mixing this with feudal oppressive tendencies of Indian political and bureaucratic class!
In post 1947 India, Potti Sriramulu , a freedom fighter himself gave up his life for the creation of Andhra Pradesh through hunger strike and in Punjab same Darshan Singh Pheruman did the same for the creation of Punjabi suba or present day Punjab. I doubt anyone using weapon of fast/hunger strike has got the same spirit and sincerity as Irish revolutionaries, Bhagat Singh, Jatin das,even Mahatma Gandhi, Poti Sriramulu or Darshan Singh Pheruman like freedom fighter had! Question also arises why Irom Sharmila’s ten year old hunger strike does not appeal to our middle class and media, because this is against colonial type laws! And what is the difference between D K Barooah’s call during Emergency that ‘Indira is India and India is Indira’ and between retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi’s call-‘Anna is India and India is Anna’?

Post Script: After this article was written and published in ‘Hard News’ Delhi, many more instances of hunger strikes by revolutionary Indian freedom fighters came to mind, some of which are very significant and I curse my memory for failing me at the time of writing. It is still possible that more such cases of martyrs through fast unto death may still be lying in the dumped records of history, which is never cared much in India.
One such instance was as early as 1919, when Ram Rakha, a Gadarite revolutionary serving life term in Andamans and Nicobar prison ( Kala Pani), martyred his life through hunger strike. In fact Andamans and Nicobar prison has long history of cruelties committed by colonial British regime. Hunger strikes started here as early as in 1912. First wars of Independence-1857 prisoners were brought here long ago. In 1933, two major hunger strikes took place here. First by seven political prisoners from Bengal lasted for about a week from 3rd to 9th January, but the second started on 12th May 1933 lasted long and it took toll of three lives, which was joined by as many as 55 prisoners, including those from Bhagat Singh’s Hindustan Socialist Republican Association(HSRA). Most notable sacrifice occurred of Mahabir Singh, close comrade of Bhagat Singh, who joined hunger strike on 12th May and was tried to be force fed just five days after on 17th May, it was very violent act on part of British colonial officials, as Mahabir Singh resisted and this violent feed resulted in his death on 18th May at 12.24 a.m. Tragedy of this sacrifice was that Mahabir singh’s family in Etah in Uttar Pradesh was not even informed and his body was thrown into sea. It was a small news in some Allahabad Hindi paper, which made the family aware of Mahabir Singh’s death. It was a killing at the hands of colonial regime, as was in the case of Jatin Das in Lahore jail on 13th September 1929, earlier, who was also force fed. In May 1933 Andamans hunger strike two more prisoners sacrificed their lives in hunger strike. These were- Mankrashna Nama Das of Mymen Singh on 26th May and Mohit Mohan Maitra of Calcutta on 28th May, 1933.Only a protest meeting in Calcutta on 30th May could bring the news of these sacrifices to the nation.
Praja Mandal leader Sewa Singh Thikriwala resorted to hunger strike in Patiala jail in December 1934 against the cruelties of Maharaja, supported by British colonialists in Punjab’s Patiala feudal state, ruled by notorious debauch Bhupinder Singh, grandfather of present Congress leader Captain Amrinder Singh and grandfather in law of former foreign minister Natwar Singh, who had more than three hundred women in his harem, as per Diwan Jarmani Das’s book ‘Maharaja’. He sacrificed his life on 20th January 1935 observing hunger strike. Former President Giani Zail Singh was also part of Praja Mandal movement, which was against feudalism and colonialism both, and was dragged behind a jeep by Maharaja of Faridkot at that time.
The examples of selflessness and sacrifice, set by revolutionary freedom fighters of India during freedom struggle is not matched by post 1970 struggles in India, except some exceptions like Irom Sharmila of Medha Patkar like people occasionally. in pre 1970 period Potti Sreeramulu and Darshan Singh Pheruman like people imbued with freedom struggle spirit, sacrificed their lives by fast unto death and exposed many such leaders like Master Tara Singh and Sant Fateh Singh, who would create euphoria by their hunger strikes and then run away at the last moment without getting their demands conceded.
Some photographs of the martyrs of hunger strikes/fast unto death in pre and post independence India should make serious minded people think not to treat hunger strikes/fast unto death lightly.

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Chaman Lal,
Visiting Professor, The University of the West Indies,Trinidad &Tobago, on deputation from JNU, New Delhi. Prof.chaman@gmail.com mobile 1868-3692687

Bhagat Singh & B. K. Dutt’s letter to Home Member, Govt. of India-24th June 1929

Central Jail
Lahore
24.6.29
WE, BHAGAT SINGH AND B. K. DUTT, WERE SENTENCED to life transportation in the Assembly Bomb Case, Delhi . As long as we were under trial prisoners in Delhi Jail, we were accorded a very good treatment from that jail to the Mianwali and Lahore Central Jails respectively, we wrote an application to the higher authorities asking for better diet and a few other facilities, and refused to take the jail diet.
Our demands were as follows:
We, as political prisoners, should be given better diet and the standard of our diet should at least be the same as that of European prisoners. (It is not the sameness of dietary that we demand, but the sameness of standard of diet.)
We shall not be forced to do any hard and undignified labours at all.
All books, other than those proscribed, alongwith writing materials, should be allowed to us without any restriction.
At least one standard daily paper should be supplied to every political prisoner.
Political prisoners should have a special ward of their own in every jail, provided with all necessities as those of the Europeans. And all the political prisoners in one jail must be kept together in that ward.
Toilet necessities should be supplied.
Better clothing.
We have explained above the demands that we made. They are the most reasonable demands. The Jail authorities told us one day that the higher authorities have refused to comply with our demands.
Apart from that, they handle us very roughly while feeding us artificially, and Bhagat Singh was lying quite senseless on the 10th July, 1929, for about 15 minutes, after the forcible feeding, which we request to be stopped without any further delay.
In addition, we may be permitted to refer to the recommendations made in the U.P. Jail Committee by Pt. Jagat Narain and K.B. Hafiz Hidayat Hussain. They have recommended the political prisoners to be treated as “Better Class Prisoners.”
We request you to kindly consider our demands at your earliest convenience.
– By “Political Prisoners”, we mean all those people who are convicted for offences against the State, for instance the people who were convicted in the Lahore Conspiracy Cases, 1915-17, the Kakori Conspiracy Cases and Sedition Cases in general.
Yours
Bhagat Singh
B. K. Dutt
( From ‘Selected Writings of Bhagat Singh’ edited by Shiv Verma)

Jatin Das’s dyeing photo in Jail-The Tribune-Lahore-15-9-1929

Subhash Bose after Jatin das martyrdom

Jatin Das’s father performing his last rites in Calcutta

College Volunteer Core member Jatin Das
Gadarite revolutionary Ram Rakha, died during hunger strike in Andamans jail-1919
Mahabir Singh, sacrificed his life through hunger strike in
Andmans jail-18th May-1933
Sewa Singh Thikriwala, who martyred his life by hunger strike in Patiala jail on 20th January 1935, against oppression of Maharaja Patiala Bhupinder Singh and British colonilists

Darshan Singh Pheruman, who sacrificed his life through hunger strike on 74th Day of fast -27th October, 1969 for including Punjabi speaking areas left out of New Punjab state created out on 1st November 1966. He was twice rajya Sabha member of Congress party.

Periyar on Bhagat Singh

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The Dravidar Kazhagam founder ‘Periyar’ E.V. Ramasamy (EVR), who admired Bhagat Singh’s political views, felt the manner in which he implemented his plans was erroneous and drew on his sacrifice to oppose Mahatma Gandhi.

He wrote an editorial hailing the sacrifice of Bhagat Singh in his journal, Kudiarasu , of March 29, 1931, saying he gave his life for the noble cause of showing to India, nay to the world, the real equality and peace.

Historian Chaman Lal, who has compiled rare documents on Bhagat Singh, found the editorial written by Periyar in Kudiarasu . At his request, an English translation was done and published in the Rationalist .

EVR wrote:“The day when Gandhi said God alone guides him, that Varnashramadharma is superior system fit to govern the affairs of the world and that everything happening according to God’s will, we came to the conclusion that there is no difference between Gandhism and Brahminism. We also concluded unless the Congress party that subscribes to such philosophy and principle is abolished it will not be good to the country. But now this fact has been found out at least by some of the people. They have gained wisdom and courage to call for the downfall of Gandhism. This is a great victory to our cause.

“If Bhagat Singh had not died by hanging, there would not have been any chance for this victory to take place in a popular manner. We even venture to say that Gandhism would have gained more ground if he had not been hanged. Bhagat Singh had not fallen sick, suffered and died as it normally happens with people. He gave his life for the noble cause of showing to India, nay to the world, the path of equality and peace. We applaud and sing of his martyrdom from the depth of our heart. At the same time we request those in our government to find out and hang four true persons like Bhagat Singh in each of the provinces.”

Known for his forthright expression of views, EVR said he was sad because he could not get the rare chance, which, he said, had delivered Bhagat Singh from the agony of watching the activities of the “idiots and fools who selfishly seek their honour.”

EVR reiterated that he was in full agreement with Bhagat Singh’s ideas, but felt “he had erred a little in choosing the means to translate his principles into practice.”

“The issue is whether a man has done his duty or not. The issue is not whether the action has borne fruit. Yet we agree that we should do our duty, taking into account the time and place of the action. We are sure time, place and the general trend not hostile to the principle upheld by Bhagat Singh. Though it occurs to our mind that he has erred a little in choosing the means to translate his principle into practice. We will never at anytime be emboldened to say that his principle is flawed one,” he argued, saying “we would not have called him an honest man if he had not conducted himself only in the way he had found just.”

Periyar also recalled Bhagat Singh’s letter to the Punjab Governor to reiterate his support for the ideas of socialism and atheism.

Prof. Lal also obtained Bhagat Singh’s article ‘Why I am an atheist’ in Tamil translated by P. Jeevanandam, which was published by Periyar in Kudiarasu in 1935.

According to Prof. Lal, at one time after Partition, the English copy of this essay was not found anywhere. It was then retranslated from Tamil to English, and some websites still carry the retranslated English version of this essay. But the original publication was found and it is now preserved in the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi in microfilm form.

Jeevanandam was then working together with the DK leader in the Self-Respect movement. The British government arrested both Jeevanandam and E.V.Krishnasamy, publisher and EVR’s brother. They were released after the two tendered an apology at the behest of Periyar.

Later, EVR himself wrote an article in Kudiarasu , explaining that it was he who forced them to submit an apology and they could not be faulted for their action.

Dravidar Kazhagam general secretary Kali Poonguntran said the incident created a wedge between Periyar and Jeevanandam, who quit the Self Respect Movement to join the Congress.

Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam president Kolathur Mani, who was instrumental in re-publishing Kudiarasu , said EVR’s aversion to the Congress was no secret as he regarded the party and its leader Gandhi as proponents of Varnashrama dharma.

EVR reiterated that he was in full agreement with Bhagat Singh’s ideas, but felt ‘he had erred a little in choosing the means to translate his principles into practice.’