Bhagat Singh was a supporter of Gandhi, but later he shifted his Ideology, Know why

Bhagat Singh was born in a Sikh family in Banga village of Faisalabad district (previously called Lyallpur), now in Pakistan's Punjab province, on 27 September 1907.  He quit education at the age of thirteen and got admitted to the National College in Lahore, where he studied European revolutionary movements. When his parents tried to get him married, Bhagat Singh left home for Kanpur. 

Bhagat Singh, along with Sukhdev and Rajguru, planned to avenge the death of Indian nationalist leader Lala Lajpat Rai and plotted to assassinate the Superintendent of Police James Scott in Lahore. However, in a case of mistaken identity, John Saunders, the Assistant Superintendent of Police was shot. To avoid being recognized and arrested for the crime, Bhagat Singh escaped from Lahore to Calcutta after shaving his beard and cutting his hair.

 Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt bombed the Central Assembly Hall in Delhi and shouted the slogan of “Inquilab Zindabad!” in April 1928. He was later arrested after the incident. Bhagat Singh and his revolutionary comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged by the British on March 23, 1931, in the Lahore Conspiracy case.

What led clash between Bhagat Singh and Mahatma Gandhi

Bhagat Singh could have asked for mercy but he refused. He wanted his death to ignite a strong fire in every nook and cranny of the country and wanted each and every citizen to participate in the struggle for freedom.

His dream was to see India as a free country and can even die for his dream. Bhagat Singh does not believe in violence since his childhood. His family believed in the Gandhian ideology of non-violence for a while, he was also a supporter of the Gandhian philosophy but there were 2 incidents that shifted his heart away from Mahatma Gandhi. The incidents of the Jallliawala Bagh massacre and the Chauri Chaura.

Even at the end of their life, they were not scared of death, and consulting the ways of the Britishers, they want to die. Such is a brave heart. It is said that they proceeded quite cheerfully towards the gallows while chanting their favorite slogans

Another biographer of Bhagat Singh, G. S. Deol (1969), also held Mahatma Gandhi responsible for Bhagat Singh's execution.

Would  it is possible for Gandhi to save Bhagat Singh’s life?

In a book, A.G. Nooranij reaches the conclusion, that Gandhi alone could have intervened effectively to save Bhagat Singh's life. He did not, till the very last. Gandhi's critics fail to understand that, he had more to gain by saving the lives of Bhagat Singh and his comrades, if it was possible than the contrary. Gandhi was well aware that his failure to stop their execution will make the people in general and the younger element of the Congress in particular, angry. Moreover, the executions would inevitably glorify the revolutionaries and popularise the ideals underlying the revolutionary violence and thus it will be a tactical setback in his fight with the forces favoring use of violence in the battle for swaraj. If Gandhi had succeeded in saving the lives of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Raj guru, it would have been seen as the victory of nonviolence over violence and the moral victory of Gandhi over the revolutionaries. Even if Gandhi had made it a point not to have the Gandhi-Irwin Pact without the commutation of their death sentences, the revolutionaries would not have accepted any compromise at their end. They had a clear perception that they had to sacrifice their lives to arouse the Indian masses for the freedom struggle.

Yet one can say that Gandhi did make efforts but not with the passion of Nehru and Bose. Gandhi did not assert his moral position that he is against the death sentence, whatever may be the crime. In the revolutionaries’ case, Gandhi should not have compromised on his principled position of opposition to capital punishment.

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