From early in the morning on Tuesday,. the 24th March, there was seen to-be great commotion among the people in numerous towns all over the length and breadth of India. The news spread like wild fire that Sardar Bhagat Singh and his two comrades had been executed. All the morning newspapers came out with glaring headlines, some with black borders, announcing the news to the people. It was found out that Sardar Bhagat Singh, Sj. Shivaram Rajguru and Sj. Sukhdeva were hanged to death in the Lahore Central Jail at 7-33 p. m., on Monday, the 23rd March. Loud shouts of "Long Live Revolution" were heard from inside the jail fifteen minutes before and .after the executions.
The manner of death was full of that bravery and tranquility which were Bhagat Singh's own since his childhood. While mounting the scaffold with his two comrades who were as unperturbed as Bhagat Singh himself, Sardarji addressed the European Deputy Commissioner who was present to witness the executions, and said with a smile on his face— "Well Mr. Magistrate, you are fortunate to be able to-day to see how Indian revolutionaries can embrace death with pleasure for the sake of their supreme ideal".
As soon as the Privy Council had failed, a powerful and well-organized movement was started to get the sentences commuted. Though the public may not be aware of it, Mahatma Gandhi made a sincere attempt to save them from gallows. Youngmen and women took a leading part in organizing demonstrations to impress upon the Government that the hangings would have very bad effect on the people of India. Never in the history of British India had there been such a widespread and genuine demand for the commutation of the sentences. Even in England the movement was gaining ground. It was stated that even the Viceroy had felt the influence of the public opinion in this matter. This was exactly as Bhagat Singh desired.
Then the truce, which was regarded by the young party as nothing but surrender, came in ; the Congress leaders suddenly suspended the mass movement; the Government heaved a sigh of relief, and then—calmly carried out the death sentences. Yes, this was exactly as Bhagat Singh desired. Was Providence also, siding with Bhagat Singh in his efforts to score the last glorious point over his adversaries ?
As we have stated, the hangings and the subsequent events fully justified the expectations of Sardar Bhagat Singh and others. Sardar Bhagat Singh hanged has proved much more useful for the younger party than Bhagat Singh alive. As Pt.. Jawahar Lal so beautifully expressed—".........But there will also be pride in him who is no more. And when England speaks to us and talks of settlement, there will be the corpse of Bhagat Singh between us lest we forget, lest we forget !"
In a last letter to his younger brother Kultar Singh, whom he dearly loved, he wrote—" In the light of dawn, who can withstand destiny ? What harm even if the whole world stands against us ? ...Dear friends, the days of my life have? come to an end. Like a flame of candle in the morning, I disappear before the light of the dawn. Our faith and our ideas will stir the whole world like a .spark of lightning. What harm, if this handful of dust is destroyed !"
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