The birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh, the legendary revolutionary who was sent to the gallows for fighting for the national salvation of India at the age of 23, passed silently on September 28th 2015. Though many left-wing student and youth organisations celebrated this day with the usual fanfare, the government of India remained busy in appeasing the foreign monopoly capital to invest heavily in the so-called independent India, which Bhagat Singh would have despised if he had lived enough to see this day.
In recent years Bhagat Singh’s legacy was seized by the right-wing saffron organisations, under the aegis of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the like of which he and his Marxist comrades despised and fought against vehemently. The floating of an RSS offshoot organisation called the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena by far-right extremists led by Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, which promotes everything Bhagat Singh fought against and negates everything he and his comrades supported, shows the desperation of the right-wing forces to misuse the name and legacy of Bhagat Singh to promote their own wicked policies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi heaped praises on Bhagat and his comrades during his pre-poll speeches, sometimes mocking the history by claiming Bhagat Singh was lodged in Andaman’s Cellular Jail. He did all these by carefully camouflaging the real political philosophy that Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ashfaqullah Khan, Ram Prasad Bismill, Sukhdev Thapar, Shivaram Rajguru, or Batukeshar Dutta propagated during their revolutionary course of action. The shameless appropriation of the historic legacy of revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh is caused by the sheer lack of inspiring revolutionary figures in the RSS’s fold as the Hindutva fascists acted as stooges of British imperialism during the colonial period.
Bhagat Singh embracing Marxism to resolve the problems of a colonised British India and his plan to liberate the land from British imperialist occupation by arousing the peasants and workers don’t go well with the narrative that the Hindutva fascist RSS and its progeny are setting for India. The ruling clique of foreign monopoly capital, their Indian comprador capitalist lackeys and the big feudal landlords won’t allow the revolutionary image and ideals of Bhagat Singh and his socialist comrades survive unless they are saffronised and purged of any potent elements that can cause be politically combustible in the present scenario. The highly-Hindutvafied press, therefore, avoids a very disturbing topic like discussing the ideology of Bhagat Singh and merely projects him as another freedom fighter who fought the British just for the sake of freedom.
Thus, September 28th passes like another mundane day, with the RSS-sponsored Hindutva terror groups lynching a Muslim man accusing him of slaughtering a cow. The India we live in the 21st century has nothing common to what Bhagat and his comrades envisioned while devoting their lives. As rather than progressing towards a society led by the workers and peasants, India still reels under the domination of the same foreign monopoly-finance capital and their Indian crony-comprador lackeys, against whom Bhagat and his comrades bitterly fought.
The cataclysmic times, in which we are living now, was warned by Bhagat Singh more than eight decades ago when he said that India will turn into a communally divided, warring, exploited and plundered country if the working class fails to seize power by overthrowing the British rule. Fulfilling correctly his analysis, the India which was born as a miscarriage from British imperialist rule in 1947 turned out to be a communally polarized, divided, and fascism mongering warring land where the giant forces of global monopoly-finance capital carry on unrestricted oppression and plundering with support from a government that has mortgaged the country to them.
Right now, India needs millions of Bhagat Singhs, it needs them urgently, filled with vigour and vitality, tempted by patriotism with an internationalist outlook such representatives of the youth can only harness real socio-economic and political change in India. Without Bhagat Singhs, without the sacrifice for the liberation of the workers and peasants, India’s future is doomed.