A group of 90 soldiers from 54th Sikhs and 59th Sind Rifles armed with 303 Lee Enfield bolt action rifles, moved slowly and cautiously through a narrow passage. Their commander, General Reginald Dyer led from the front.
The soldiers stationed themselves at the entrance and waited for their commander’s orders. They guarded the only exit and entrance of the Bagh. After 15 minutes of wait, the soldiers were ordered to shoot indiscriminately on the gathering. Bullet from 303 Lee Enfield Bolt Rifle could easily find their entering points.
A bullet has a very secular nature. It doesn’t discriminate between a Hindu or a Muslim or a Sikh or a Christian. It silently does its work that is taking away a piece of flesh and a life within a second. The gathering was not allowed to run. They weren’t given any prior warning. Only thing they could do was to run helter scelter in search of cover. Disappointingly they could only find bullets.
After continuous firing for one hour, the soldiers were ordered for ceasefire. A total of 1650 rounds were fired. 1000 people were slaughtered. Out of which 42 were young boys. Out of those 42, the youngest one was just 7 months old. His skull was bursted with fire. Indians were hit really bad by this.
This massacre was the worst ever killing in human history. However, Britishers didn’t know that on one side they demoralized Indians but on the other side some people gained strength and motivation by this. Some years later this would prove to be the worst ever mistake for Britishers.
Young Bhagat Singh was sitting in his room, waiting for his mother to serve the dinner. Just before the dinner came, his uncle entered the house and told the family about the massacre. Bhagat carefully listening to him, felt fully devastated. Thoughts went through his mind so as to how to bring Britishers on their knees. How to throw them out, he asked himself. He immediately went to the kitchen, took out an empty jar, brought it back to his room and put it in his bag.
The very next day, he took a train from Lahore to Amritsar. Walked alone from the station to the Massacre site. As he entered the Bagh from where the soldiers had shot people a day before, he could see sweepers and handful of people recognizing their relative’s dead bodies. Sweepers were taking away the unrecognized bodies from the Bagh on self made stretchers.
Bhagat Singh was tough enough to see this bloodshed. Although, he was only twelve years old but his toys since childhood were guns. He kept on moving inside the Bagh and reached a spot where maximum blood was there. He bent down, took out the jar from his ‘Basta’ and poured the blood soaked sand into the Jar.
This became a source of inspiration for Bhagat Singh. He was extremely resolute. He didn’t shed a drop of tear. He then went back to his home the same day. Bhagat sat in his room, staring the jar with grief and anger. His elder sister asked him ” Ki Karda hai Enu Vekh ke ?” What are you doing by staring at it ?
Bhagat replied- ” Iss Miti Ch Mere unh Pravah Da Khoon Haigah, Jede Saadi Miti Nu Azaad Karan Layi Shaheed Hoye.” This soil contains the blood of those who died for the country.
A twelve year old boy with these thoughts. It’s simply unbelievable that such a young boy could understand the true meaning of sacrifice. This was one such incident which shaped a young boy into a legendary revolutionary. 28th of September is the day when this patriot was born.
Many of us don’t remember his birthday, Some of us don’t remember what he did for us and very few of us don’t know who he is. Hence, it is very vital to remember him atleast on his 111th Birth Anniversary.
The question today arises is that are we living upto the sacrifices made by such people? Do we have that same emotional connect with our soil? If no, then why did these people had. The circumstances were worse then. They didn’t have good education nor did they live in comfort as we live in our days. Still they didn’t say- WHAT OUR COUNTRY HAS GIVEN TO US?
Our soil is giving us enough to cherish and live by. It’s just that we have to believe and feel that it’s truly ours. It’s not necessary that serving the nation is only connected to violence. But whatever you do just feel that you have to do in such a passion that you are able enough to feel that you haven’t let people like Bhagat down.
His life was fully engrossed in patriotic thoughts and had no other aspirations which we have today. His only dream was to somehow make our country free. The most moving part of his thoughts was that he didn’t even aspired to stay alive till the time our country would get free. Instead he kissed the noose, smiled and left us.
He didn’t fear death, infact death feared him. That was the zeal of legendary Bhagat Singh.
28th September 1907- 31st March, 1931
ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
Sahishnu Sharma – ARSD,DU