This year a cycle march is being organized in India to commemorate the 75th year of martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.
Long back, I read a series of books on History titled "India Betrayed". In that, it was mentioned that when the half burnt bodies were left on the back side of the jail, some people working in a cloth shop went there to get the bodies on to the "Arthis".
Later, my Grand-father (Nanaji) who had personally witnessed the "Nail in coffin of British Raj" speech of Lala Lajpat Rai in Lahore, as well, told me how he and his friends who used to work at a clothes merchant during those days had learnt of these bodies, and rushed to the spot. They collected pieces of half burnt corpses and – without knowing which belonged to whom as they were un-recognizable – put them on the Arthis and covered the remaining space with sand to "complete" the Arthis of those freedom fighters.
He was, interestingly, also one of those few who were in Lala Lajpat Rai’s home when he died and was one of those who helped do his Arthi too. Once complete, the Arthi was passed over the heads of bystanders who had gathered by then. It was literally carried on heads as opposed to shoulder of just four men! Such was his popularity.
On the way to the Shamshan, he told me that they entered into a fight with a British police officer too who was badly beaten up by the mob.
My Grandfather would stay with us for months on end and share his experiences in minutest details of those times. He was a fan of Gandhi during that time and had given up smoking and eating meat on his urging in a lecture he witnessed. However, his later experiences and evaluation made him a little disillusioned with him – specifically his role (or lack of it) in partition and thereafter.
Thought some may find it interesting to know .. how it all happened from the ground level and outside of the history books…
Powered by Qumana
Get Drishtikone Updates
in your inbox
Subscribe to Drishtikone updates and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.