British queen urged to apologise for the hanging of Bhagat Singh

Bhagat Singh fans in Pakistan defied threats from religious extremists to observe the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru on March 23

Photo by Pardeep Pandit/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Pardeep Pandit/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NH Political Bureau

Visit Shadman Chowk, where Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged on March 23, 1931 and tender a public apology, the British Queen was urged by Pakistan’s civil society members and academics on Wednesday.

Ignoring threats issued by a section of extremists, scores of people assembled at Lahore’s Fawara Chowk to attend the main event organised by the Bhagat Singh Foundation. Earlier the Lahore High Court had ordered the police to provide police protection to the event.

The activists demanded Britain should pay compensation for the "unjust killings." The civil society members also held a candle light vigil to remember the sacrifices of the freedom fighters.

Some descendants of Bhagat's family, including Sardar Hakoomat Singh, Gurjit Dhat, Abhe Singh Sandhu, Kiran Jeet Singh and Sardar Sukhvendra Singh Sanga delivered telephonic speeches from Canada and India, reported PTI.

"We will not forget the courage and sacrifice of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his companion. Singh will be echoed against every imperialistic regime," said Abdullah Malik, president of Bhagat Singh Foundation Pakistan.

The Foundation for long has been demanding renaming Shadman Chowk after Bhagat Singh. The foundation's chairman Imtiaz Qureshi said very few people like Bhagat Singh and his comrades were born in a century and their great sacrifice would always be remembered.

The Dyal Singh Research and Cultural Forum also held a separate function at the Dyal Singh Auditorium, Lahore to pay tributes to the three freedom fighters. The forum's director Ehsan Nadeem said the sacrifice of Bhagat Singh lit the candle of freedom that wiped out British colonialism.

Punjab University's Dean of Social Sciences Iqbal Chawla averred that unlike Gandhi, founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah had supported Bhagat Singh's struggle and declared it was perfectly legal.

Media reports from Pakistan speak of a renewed surge of interest in the life and thoughts of Bhagat Singh. At a dialogue organised in Farid Town, Sahiwal, students, theatre artists and cultural activists, Punjabi playwright and critic Lakht Pasha said Bhagat Singh was hailed and remembered as a Shaheed because he fought against injustice and uplift of the downtrodden.

Mamona Amjad said, “Our history books are largely silent on him, dismissing him only as a Sikh hero of India.” Abdul Muqadam confessed that he was hearing about Bhagat Singh for the first time. Samina pointed out that Bhagat Singh was as influential and charismatic character as Che Guevara in the revolutionary movement against the British.

Every year people assemble at Shadman Chowk on March 23 to observe the day as remembrance and raise the demand for naming it after Bhagat Singh. In 2015, some religious groups had threatened them and told them not to observe the martyrdom day.

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