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Martrys’ Day

Martrys’ Day 2019: Remembering the heroes of Indian freedom struggle

March 23, 2019

March 23 is observed as Martyrs’ Day or Shaheed Diwas in India in honour of socialist revolutionaries and freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru who were assassinated on this day in 1931. On this occasion, let’s revisit history and look at some facts and events pertaining to this day.

  • Socialist revolutionary and freedom fighter Bhagat Singh was executed along with his associates Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru for the assassination of 21-year-old British police officer John Saunders on March 23, 1931.
  • At the time of his assassination, Bhagat Singh was only 23 years old.
  • In 1928, the British government set up the Simon Commission to report about the political situation in India. However, some Indian political parties boycotted the Commission because there were no Indians in its membership.
  • When the Commission visited Lahore on October 30, 1928, another great Indian freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai led a march in protest against it.
  • The superintendent of police, James A. Scott, ordered the police to lathi charge the protesters and assaulted Rai.
  • Rai who was injured in the protest died of a heart attack on November 17, 1928. The doctors opined that his death might have been due to the injuries.
  • Bhagat Singh, vowed to avenge Rai’s death and conspired with the revolutionaries like Shivaram Rajguru, Sukhdev Thapar, and Chandrashekhar Azad to kill Scott. Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru mistook Saunders for Superintendent James Scott. Due to a case of mistaken identity, they shot John P. Saunders. After escaping the murder scene, Bhagat Singh and his associate Batukeshwar Dutt bombed the central legislative assembly in Delhi and then surrendered to the police.
  • Inside the jail, Bhagat Singh and his associates went on a hunger strike to protest against the living conditions in jail.
  • Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged to death 11 hours before the scheduled time.
  • Bhagat Singh and his accomplices’ death anniversary is observed as Martyrs’ Day as a tribute to their courage, bravery and sacrifice.
  • Politicians, prominent personalities and everyone pay tribute to these great martyrs on this day.


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