Bhagat Singh and his comrades made a real breakthrough in terms of revolutionary ideology, revolutionary goals, and revolutionary struggle forms. Of course, in the HRA itself, rethinking had begun on both counts. In 1925, it declared in its manifesto that it stood for the "abolition of all systems that permit the exploitation of man by man." In October 1924, the organization's founding council decided to "preach social revolutionary and communistic principles." The Revolutionary, the organization's main publication, proposed nationalising railways and other modes of transportation, as well as large-scale industries like steel and shipbuilding. The HRA also resolved to form "labour and peasant organisations" and work for "an organised and armed revolution."
He is a nephew of the famous revolutionary Ajit Singh and born in 1907, was a giant of an intellectual. He was a voracious reader and one of the most well-read politicians of his time.
• He had devoured books on socialism, the Soviet Union, and revolutionary movements, particularly those of Russia, Ireland, and Italy, in Lahore's Dwarkadas Library.
• With the help of Sukhdev and others, he organised several study circles in Lahore and held intensive political discussions.
• When the HSRA's headquarters were relocated to Agra, he immediately established a library and encouraged members to read and discuss socialist and revolutionary ideas. His shirt pockets were always bulging with books, which he offered to his comrades on a regular basis.
• Following his arrest, he turned the prison into a veritable university. ‘The sword of revolution is sharpened on the whetting-stone of ideas,' he declared before the Lahore High Court, emphasising the role of ideas in the making of revolution.
• The HSRA leadership was surrounded by a culture of extensive reading and deep thought. Sukhdev, Bhagwati Charan Vohra, Shiv Varma, Bejoy Sinha, and Yashpal were all brilliant intellectuals. Even Chandrashekar- Azad, who spoke little English, would not accept any idea unless it was thoroughly explained to him. Through discussion, he kept track of every major turn in the field of ideas.
• Bhagwati Charan Vohra drafted the famous statement of revolutionary position, The Philosophy of the Bomb, at the request of Azad and after a thorough discussion with him. Before his arrest in 1929, Bhagat Singh had already abandoned his belief in terrorism and individual heroic action.
• He had become a Marxist, believing that only broad-based popular mass movements could lead to a successful revolution; in other words, revolution could only be achieved "by the masses for the masses." That is why, in 1926, Bhagat Singh helped establish the Punjab Naujawan Bharat Sabha as the open wing of the revolutionaries (becoming its founding Secretary).
• The Sabha's mission was to engage in open political activity among youth, peasants, and workers. It was for the purpose of establishing branches in the villages. Bhagat Singh used to deliver political lectures using magic lantern slides under its auspices.
• Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev also founded the Lahore Students Union to encourage students to engage in open, legal work.
• In the course of their statements in the courts and outside from 1929 to 1931, Bhagat Singh and his comrades also expressed their understanding that revolution meant the development and organisation of a mass movement of the exploited and suppressed sections of society by the revolutionary intelligentsia.
• Bhagat Singh declared just before his execution that "the real revolutionary armies are in the villages and factories."
• Moreover, in his behest to young political workers, written on 2 February 1931, he declared: ‘Apparently, I have acted like a terrorist. However, I am not a terrorist... Let me announce with all the strength at my command, that I am not a terrorist and I never was, except perhaps in the beginning of my revolutionary career. And I am convinced that we cannot gain anything through those methods.’
Why, then, did Bhagat Singh and his comrades continue to resort to individual heroism?
1. The rapidity with which their thinking evolved. Because these young men had to travel through decades in just a few years, the past became a part of their present. Furthermore, effective acquisition of a new ideology is never an event; it is always a long-term historical process, similar to religious conversion.
2. They faced a classic conundrum: where would the cadres, the hundreds of full-time young political workers who would spread out among the masses, come from? How were they going to be found? Patient intellectual and political work appeared to be too slow and too similar to the Congress style of politics, which the revolutionaries sought to avoid.
• The solution seemed to be to appeal to the youth through "propaganda by deed," to recruit the first cadres of a mass revolutionary party through heroic dramatic action and subsequent militant propaganda in the courts.
• During the final stages of the war, in 1930 and 1931, they fought primarily to keep the glory of their comrades' sacrifice shining as brightly as before.
• Bhagat Singh put it this way: "I had to ask the youth to abandon the path of violence without tarnishing the sense of heroic sacrifice by appearing to have reconsidered my politics under the threat of death." ” Life was destined to teach correct politics sooner or later; the sense of sacrifice, once lost, would be difficult to reclaim.
View on REVOLUTION:
Bhagat Singh and his comrades also made significant progress in broadening the definition and scope of revolution. The term "revolution" was no longer associated with militancy or violence.
• National liberation, the overthrow of imperialism was its first goal. But it must go further and work for a new socialist social order; it must put an end to man-to-man exploitation.'
• Bhagwati Charan Vohra's book The Philosophy of the Bomb. Revolution, according to Chandrasekhar Azad and Yashpal, is defined as “social, political, and economic independence” aimed at establishing “a new order of society in which political and economic exploitation will be impossible.”
• Bhagat Singh told the cowl about the Assembly Bomb Case. Individual vendetta has no place in “revolution,” which does not always entail bloodshed. It isn't a cult of the bomb and the gun. By revolution,” we mean a change in the current order of things, which is based on manifest injustice.”
• ‘The peasants must liberate themselves not only from the yoke of foreign yoke bum, but also from the yoke of landlords and capitalists,' he wrote in a letter from prison.
View on Socialism:
He declared in his final message, dated March 3, 1931 which the struggle in India would continue as long as "a handful of exploiters continue to exploit the labour of common people for their own ends." It makes no difference whether these exploiters are pure British capitalism, a British-Indian alliance, or purely Indians.'
• Bhagat Singh defined socialism in a scientific way, implying that it must imply the abolition of capitalism and the abolition of class dominance.
• He was a firm believer in Marxism and the class system. In fact, he saw himself first and foremost as a forerunner, not a creator, of the "revolution," as a propagator of socialist and communist ideas, and as a humble initiator of the socialist movement in India.
View on communalism:
He understood the danger communalism posed to the nation and the national movement better than many of his contemporaries because he was fully and consciously secular.
• He frequently reminded his audience that communalism was just as dangerous as colonialism.
• At a youth conference in April 1928, where the Naujawan Bharat Sabha was reorganised, Bhagat Singh and his comrades openly opposed the suggestion that youth from religious communal organisations be allowed to join the Sabha. Bhagat Singh argued that religion was a personal matter, and communalism was an enemy to be defeated. ”
• He had previously condemned communal killings as barbaric, pointing out that communal killers did not kill a person because he was guilty of any specific act, but simply because he was a Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh. But, as Bhagat Singh wrote, a new generation of young people was emerging who saw people first as human beings and then as Indians, disregarding religious differences.
Relation with Lajpat Rai:
Lajpat Rai was a leader who Bhagat Singh admired. He would not spare Lajpat Rai, however, when Lajpat Rai turned to communal politics in his final years. He then went on a political and ideological crusade against him. Because Lajpat Rai was regarded as a respected leader, he would not publicly criticise him. As a result, he published Robert Browning's famous poem, "The Lost Leader," Lajpat Rai was not singled out for any criticism. He only printed Lajpat Rai's photograph on the front cover!
Naujawan Bharat Sabha: Rule drafted by Bhagat Singh, were:
a. To have nothing to do with communal bodies or other parties which disseminate communal ideas
b. To create the spirit of general toleration among the public considering religion as a matter of personal belief of man and to act upon the same fully.
• Bhagat Singh also recognised the importance of liberating people from religion and superstition's mental shackles. He wrote the article "Why I Am an Atheist" a few weeks before his death, in which he savaged religion and religious philosophy.
• He outlined his own journey to atheism, detailing how he first abandoned belief in "the mythology and doctrines of Sikhism or any other religion," before eventually abandoning belief in God's existence. He claimed that being a revolutionary necessitated not only immense moral strength, but also "criticism and independent thinking."
• Humanity had to fight against both "the narrow conception of religion" and "belief in God" in the struggle for self-emancipation. ‘Any man who stands for progress must criticise, disbelieve, and challenge every article of the old faith,' he wrote.
• He must reason out every nook and cranny of the prevailing faith item by item.' He declared his own atheism and materialism, saying he was "trying to stand like a man with an erect head to the end; even on the gallows."