Book Review: The Bhagat Singh Reader

TITLE: The Bhagat Singh Reader

AUTHOR: Chaman Lal

GENRE: Biography

Rating: 5 out of 5.

They may kill me, but they cannot kill my ideas. They may crush my body, but they will not be able to crush my spirit.

Bhagat Singh

Actions are louder and quicker than words, is what Bhagat Singh (Indian revolutionary (1907-1931)) believed in. He was only 23 when he became a martyr for his country. From the time of his birth, he was a witness to an enslaved India. He was brought up in a world where the people of his nation faced oppression and degradation by the people of Britain. This was the cause of fire which burned in his young heart. This is why he joined the HSRA (Hindustan Socialist Republic Association) to free his country from the chains of slavery.

The Bhagat Singh Reader is a compilation of Bhagat Singh’s letters, jail notebook, telegrams, essays, articles which not only gives us a peek into the life of the man he was but also fills our heart with more such stories of different men who walked this path of desiring freedom.

Ab n ahle valvaley hain aur n armaanon ki bheed,

Ek mit jaane ki hasrat, ab dile-bismil mein hai!

(Now are there no sweet desires, nor do hopes throng,

Just a desire to die now lives in the wounded heart!)

Ram Prasad Bismil

Bhagat Singh is known for his valour and that’s how today’s generation remembers him. But Chaman Lal, through this book, shows us the ideas and vision behind his actions.

Bhagat Singh was inspired by the Russian and the French revolution. His famous line, “It needs explosion to make the deaf hear”, was first spoken by France’s revolutionary, Auguste Vaillant. He believed in learning from men who have already walked and succeeded on this path, a path to defeat capitalism and imperialism.

He and many such men wanted a world devoid of economic inequalities, social and cultural discrimination, and political corruption. Was that too much to ask for?

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