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Friday, December 28, 2018

Cityblog: From Past Shaheed Udham Singh

77 years ago  , Shaheed Udham Singh was hanged in London for avenging the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
Shaheed Udham Singh should be known and celebrated by India. He assassinated Sir Michael O'Dwyer in vengeance for the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in Amritsar. O'Dwyer, then the Lt. Governor of Punjab, said the action of General Dyer had been correct, and was believed to have been ultimately responsible as he was trying to crush the rising Freedom wave in Punjab with violence. Udham Singh pursued O'Dwyer for 21 years, and ultimately shot him dead in London. Udham Singh made no attempt to escape. At his trial in London he said:
"I did it because I had a grudge against him. He deserved it. He was the real culprit. He wanted to crush the spirit of my people, so I have crushed him. For full 21 years, I have been trying to wreak vengeance. I am happy that I have done the job. I am not scared of death. I am dying for my country. I have seen my people starving in India under the British rule. I have protested against this, it was my duty. What a greater honour could be bestowed on me than death for the sake of my motherland?"
He was convicted and hanged.
Mahatma Gandhi said about Udham Singh's action, "The outrage has caused me deep pain. I regard it as an act of insanity...I hope this will not be allowed to affect political judgement."
The Indian National Congress made sure that Udham Singh almost never appeared in the freedom struggle history syllabi we all were taught, and India forgot Udham Singh.
It's time to remember and celebrate him.

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