On 23rd March 1931, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hung by British rulers. The visionary ideas of these martyrs have been a source of inspiration for the workers, peasants, women and youth of this country who have been constantly striving to establish a society free from all forms of exploitation.
Rallies, public meetings and consultations were organised on 23rd March 2018 by communists and other progressive people all over the country. They took inspiration from the revolutionary struggles of our people against colonialism, imperialism and capitalism. On this inspiring occasion, they pledged to organise workers, peasants, women, youth and students to build a new India free from exploitation. An India which will be completely free from capitalist exploitation, imperialist loot, feudal and casteist oppression, oppression of women and communal violence.
We present a glimpse of some of the programmes organised:
Central Office of the Communist Ghadar Party, New Delhi
On the occasion of martyrs’ day, on 25th March a meeting was organised at the central office of the Communist Ghadar Party of India (CGPI).
The meeting started with the offering of flowers in homage to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Rajguru and Shaheed Sukhdev, whose photos were displayed at the venue. The meeting venue resounded with the slogans of “Long Live Revolution!”, “long live Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Rajguru and Shaheed Sukhdev!”, “Red salute to the Martyrs!”, “Down with capitalism and imperialism!”, and “Long live socialism!”.
Comrade Santosh Kumar, addressing the meeting on behalf of the CGPI said that Bhagat Singh and his revolutionary comrades, worked under the leadership of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association and wanted to drive the British out and establish socialism in the country. However, in 1947, the reins of power were transferred from the British to the Indian capitalist class and the capitalist system was kept intact.
He explained that our society is divided between two classes. One is the capitalist class which is headed by 150 monopoly houses. They exploit the labour of the hardworking people of the country for their own selfish interests. The Congress Party and BJP serve this class. The capitalist class changes the party in power from time to time to fool the people and maintain its rule. The working class which comprises of the bulk of the population of the country is faced with exploitation, oppression and plunder. The working class sells its labour to survive.
He said that numerous revolutionaries including communists worked to bring an end to the society based on the exploitation of man by man.
He gave the call to bring an end to the misery and problems of the majority of the people by coming together to end the present capitalist system and by establishing the state power of the workers and peasants.
Many other participants addressed the meeting. Speakers said that just like the British, our rulers are maintaining their rule by creating divisions among the people. They said that the workers are living a life of hell under the capitalist system. They do not get even basic amenities like drinking water and bathrooms in their homes. We must all unite to change this system. People are kept away from the history and ideology of the revolutionaries and instead are taught the history of the Congress party and Gandhi. This is a deliberate plan of the capitalist class.
They pointed out that it is the workers who build large buildings and yet they do not have a roof over their own heads. The peasants produce food but are forced to commit suicide. The youth do not have employment. The country’s property is being sold to the capitalist for a pittance. They called upon the people to smash the capitalist system and to establish a socialist state. The meeting ended with revolutionary slogans.
Madanpur Khadar, Delhi
Lok Raj Sangathan organised a meeting on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day in the rehabilitation colony in Madanpur Khadar, southeast Delhi.
The discussion began with paying tribute to the martyrs, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. The venue reverberated with inspiring slogans like, ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ (Long Live Revolution)’, ‘Samajwaad Zindabad’ (Long Live Socialism)’, ‘Punjiwad Murdabad’ (Down with Capitalism)’, and ‘Samrajyawad Murdabad’ (Down with Imperialism)’. After this, a revolutionary song was sung. The opening lines of the inspiring Hindi song meant: Following the path that you martyrs have shown us, we shall now liberate the country; we are ready to sacrifice our lives not once but a hundred times for the cause.
The meeting was conducted by Com. Santosh Kumar. Addressing the meeting, Com. Birju Nayak from the Communist Ghadar Party of India (CGPI), explained that before independence three powers were vying to rule India. The first was the then ruling British who wanted to continue their rule. The second were the then emerging capitalists and the feudal lords, who wanted to establish their rule in place of the British colonial rule. Third were the communists and revolutionaries, who were fighting against the British to establish the rule of workers and peasants. The Indian National Congress and All India Muslim League were puppets of the capitalist class. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Maulana Azad etc. represented the interests of the capitalist class. Their real aim was to use workers and peasants and establish their own rule in place of the British rule. They never wanted workers and peasants to take power in their hands. And that is exactly why many times, these capitalists would oppose the British and at other times, collaborate with them.
Communists and various revolutionary groups were providing leadership to workers, peasants and revolutionary intellectuals. They were against the transfer of rule to the hands of the brown British i.e. the Indian capitalists and feudal lords. They not only wanted to end British rule but through revolution aimed at establishing rule of workers and the peasants.
Com. Birju Nayak mentioned that the dream of our workers and peasants is unfulfilled even today. But we are optimistic. We will organise workers and youth to establish a new India which is free from all forms of exploitation.
Many other speakers addressed the session. They said that the martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev are a source of inspiration for youth even today. They explained how Bhagat Singh and his comrades had a political aim associated with dropping bombs in the Assembly. It was to expose the truth of the Public Safety Bill and Trade Dispute Bill to the country and its people.
Speakers said that today the brown sahibs i.e., the Indian capitalists, are ruling us. In 1947, the power to rule India was transferred from the hands of British colonialists to the Indian capitalist class. In the last 70 years, capitalists have maintained their rule through different parties. We need to raise the consciousness of the masses and make them understand that changing parties in the current setup is not going to solve any problems. The only solution is to establish the rule of workers and peasants in place of Indian capitalists.
Ramgarh, District Hanumangarh, Rajasthan
Lok Raj Sangathan and Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha together organised a consultation on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day, at a girls’ school in Ramgarh. Hundreds of youth and school going students participated in the program with great enthusiasm. The consultation was chaired by Dr. Krishna Nimera, Animal Health Officer, Ramgarh, Nathuram Hodkasia, Secretary, Village Development Committee, Ramgarh, Dayaram Saran, State Deputy Secretary, Animal Health Workers Union, Rajasthan and Hanuman Prasad Sharma. The session was anchored by Com. Ashok Verma. Along with council members who chaired the session, others who addressed the session included Com. Omprakash Sengar, Kuldeep Nokhwal, Associate Prof. Bhagat Singh of Ramgadh High School, Prof. Mukesh Soni, Bhim Singh and Kanhaiyalal Jain to name a few.
Speakers pointed out that ‘We need to mobilise workers and peasants to establish a society free from all forms of exploitation. A society where there is no question of one human being getting exploited by another human being. All the speakers emphasised the relevance of the revolutionary ideas of our martyrs even today.
Com. Hanuman Prasad Sharma talked about the complete independence struggle from 1857 all the way up to 1947 and what happened after 1947. He also explained about the British-trained Indian capitalist class, who look like us Indians but rule like the British imperialists did then. He explained that this class has mastered the method of divide and rule and that they use it time and again to rule the masses.
He explained that during the revolt of 1857, peasants, saints, soldiers and patriotic kings and queens came together under the leadership of Bahadur Shah Zafar to revolt against the British imperialists. Bahadur Shah Zafar had issued a firman (dictat) in which he declared that after the British imperialists are driven away from the country, it will be the people of this country who will become the rulers. The Britishers brutally crushed this rebellion with the help of a few traitors.
The Indian National Congress was established in 1885 under the leadership of a British officer. It was then that the Indian imperialist and capitalist class to run the state was born. This class of Indian capitalists started flourishing which was led by the Indian National Congress and All India Muslim League.
During this period many workers’ and peasants’ struggles took place. Hundreds of revolutionaries were born. Three among those were Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. The clear aim of the revolutionaries was to establish an India, free from all forms of exploitation. Marxism and Leninism inspired them. They started mobilising and building the unity of workers and peasants. To expose the Public Safety Bill and Trade Dispute Bill, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt dropped bombs in the assembly, distributed leaflets and got arrested. They called upon the masses to rise against the British imperialists.
Com. Hanuman Prasad reiterated the importance of bringing together and hence building the unity of workers, peasants and youth around the aim of establishing an exploitation free society. He gave a call that we all need to educate ourselves in Marxism-Leninism so as to strengthen the party and build unity amongst the workers, peasants and youth.
Today the capitalist class is trying to promote and hence establish martyrs as god-like figures. This is a deliberate attempt to neutralise their revolutionary ideas. We will have to expose this tactic of the capitalists and mobilise workers, peasants and youth to take control of the political power in their hands.
The revolutionary songs sung by the young students of the Bhagat Singh School, raised the enthusiasm level of the program. The revolutionary songs sung by Mukta, Sanjoo, Saloni, Kavita, Aaina, Garima, Priyanka, Payal, Khushi, Tamanna, Raman, Raj Kiran and other students. brought a vibrant conclusion to the discussion.
On the occasion of Shahidi Diwas (Martyrs Day), the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Disha Trust, Jan Sangarsh Manch, Haryana and its supporters garlanded the bronze statue of Bhagat Singh situated in the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Disha Trust organization’s premises. After that the workers and youth along with women marched together forming a grand procession. The procession reached the local Ramleela ground where a public meeting was convened. The public meeting was chaired by Comrade Phool Singh.
The main speaker of the meeting, Comrade Shyam Sunder said that Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his comrades had warned the workers that if they do not unite and throw out the British then they will one day realize that even if Independence is achieved it would be an inauspicious independence for the workers, peasants, women and dalits. Their warning has proven to be true. Inspired by the ideology of Karl Marx and Lenin they popularised the slogan of “Inquilaab Zindabaad! (long Live Revolution)” for true independence. This meant that the present capitalist system based on oppression is demolished and socialism is established in its place. Only then will there be an end to poverty, unemployment and corruption and an end to attacks on women and dalits in the country.
Pal Singh, Convener of the Shramjivi Sangarsh Morcha said that Bhagat Singh was the true representative of hardworking people in the fight for independence. When the anti-people and anti-worker Trade Dispute Bill and Public Safety Bill were being passed, Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his comrades stood bravely and opposed these Acts. The present government is also continuing to implement anti-worker laws like the British rulers and instigating the people to fight against each other in the name of religion and caste. Professor Malkhan Singh said that we will have to move forward to put an end to the present system of oppression and exploitation.
Dr Sunita Tyagi, convener of the Samta Mulak Mahila Sangathan expressed concern over the increasing victimization of women and said that incidences of gruesome attacks against women have increased in the capitalist system. She gave the call to negate blind patriotism and orthodox ideas against women and to build an equitable society against class society.
Dr C.D Sharma, advisor to the manch, said that we would need to follow the scientific path shown by Shaheed Bhagat Singh and take to each person in order to destroy the oppression based capitalist system.
President of the Mazdoor Sahyog Kendra, Gurgaon, Ramaniwas said that the capitalist class and government together oppress the struggling workers and throw them into jail by creating false accusations against them. An example of this is the use of blatant lies to falsely accuse 13 Maruti workers of having committed murder for which they were sentenced to life imprisonment. He said that no matter which government comes to power, it only works to speed up the process of exploitation and oppression of the workers because in a capitalist system, the government is nothing more than a committee to implement the agenda of the capitalist class.
Sudesh Kumari, General Secretary of the Jan Sangarsh Manch, Haryana, Chandra Rekha, Secretary Shaheed Bhagat Singh Disha Trust along with Dr Lahna Singh, Senior member of the Trust, Kavita Vidrohi, convener SOSD, Paramjeet Kaur, district head Anaganwadi Workers and Helpers Union along with Kalavati, District convener, Karnail Singh, President Nirmaan Karya Mistry Union also spoke at the event. The meeting ended with a speech by comrade Phool Singh.
Lok Raj Sangathan organised a symposium on the occasion of Martyrs Day in Madhosinghana Village in which the youth participated with great enthusiasm. Comrade Kuldip conducted the proceedings of the symposium. The event started with a tribute to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Rajguru and Shaheed Sukhdev.
Addressing the meeting, the speakers talked about the life of revolutionaries and about the path of revolution. Condemning the capitalist system, they called for the unity of the people against the anti-worker and anti-peasant policies of the State. They clarified and stressed that the socialism will have to be built by workers and peasants after overthrowing capitalism. They also presented revolutionary songs inbetween the speeches.
Speakers talked to the participants about the present conditions prevailing in the country. They exposed capitalism and called upon the youth to become revolutionaries.
Comrade Dunichand put forward his views on the existing system. He explained that only a communist party could show the workers, peasants and entire oppressed people the path to revolution. He called upon all comrades to work for the unity of the people in the fight for their rights. He called upon everyone to unite under the slogan, “an attack on one, is an attack on all!” and give a befitting reply to the existing anti-worker, anti-peasant and anti-social rule.
The Jan Chetna Manch, Jaakhal oragnised a programme entitled “An evening dedicated to the Martyrs” at the Jaakhal Mandi. Thousands of people participated in the event along with many well-known figures from the district. The event proceedings were managed by Prem Singh Negi, Lecturer at the St. Joseph School.
Simarpreet Singh, student of St. Joseph School sang the song “Mera rang de basanti chola”. Artists from the K.M. Sarasvati School and the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Manch presented an enthusiastic cultural programme.
Members of the Shaheed Udham Singh Club - Talwada, Ambedkar Adhikar Manch, Bhagat Singh Naujawan Sabha, Shri Sangatsar Gurudwara Chandpura Sahib, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Club and Press Club – Jaakhal participated in the event.
Before the event on the same morning an event was organised in memory of Shaheed Udham Singh, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Sukhdev and Shaheed Rajguru.