Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru – three revolutionary nationalists – were hanged this day 83 years back, in 1931, in Lahore by the British colonial rulers of India for taking part in armed struggles aimed at freeing India from the yoke of the colonial rule as leading members of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association/Army (HSRA), an associate/offshoot of the Anushilan Samity in Bengal
Reproduced below is a short excerpt from a document penned by Bhagat Singh, shortly before his hanging, on February 2 1931.
What we mean by Revolution is quite plan. In this century it can mean only one thing -the capture of the political power by the masses for the masses. It is in fact The Revolution. Other risings attempt a mere change of your lordships, trying to perpetuate the rotting capitalistic order No amount of profession of sympathy for the people and the popular cause can ultimately hoodwink the masses about the true nature and portent of such superficial replacement . In India too, we want nothing less then the regime of the Indian proletariat in the place of the Indian Imperialists and their native allies who are barricaded behind the same eronomic system of exploration . We can suffer no black evil to replace the white evil . The evils have a community of interest to do any such thing .
The proletariat revolution is the only weapon of India to dislodge the Imperialist. Nothing else can attain this object . Nationalists of all shades are agreed on the objective- Independence of the Imperialists. They must realise rebelliousness of the masses is the motive force behind their agitation and militant mass action alone can push it to success. Having no recourse to it easily, they always delude themselves with the vision of the what they consider a temporary remedy but quick and effective remedy, viz overthrowing the foreign rule by an armed opposition of a few hundreds of determined idealist nationalists and then reconstructing the State on Socialistic lines . They should see into reality of the situation, arms are not plenty, and in the modern world the insurrection of an untrained body isolated from the militant masses stands no chance of success. The nationalists to be effective must harness the nation into action, into revolt And the nation are not the loud- speakers of the Congress-it is the peasants and the labourers who formed more than 95 per cent of India. The nation will stir itself to action only on assurance of nationalization. i.e.. freedom from slavery of Imperialist – capitalists.
What we need to keep in mind is that no revolution can succeed or is to be desired, but the proletariat revolution
The need of hour is therefore for a clear, honest programme for the revolution, and determined action for realization of the programme.
In 1917 before the October Revolution had come off Lenin , still in hiding in Moscow , wrote that for a successful revolution three condition are essential :–
1 A political- economic situation
2 A rebellious mass mind , and
3 A party of revolutionaries , trained and determined to lead the masses when the hour of trial arrives :–
The first condition has been more than fulfilled in India ; the second and third yet await finally and completeness . To mobilise them is the work before all workers of freedom and the programme should be farmed with that end in view. We propose to discuss its outline in the following and our suggestion on each section are to be detailed out in the Appendix A and Appendix B .
(1) The base work. – The foremost duty before workers is to mobiles the masses for militant mass action. We need not his play on his blind prejudices , sentiment, piety or passive idealism . Our promises to him are not mere sops or half a loaf. They are complete and concrete , and we can be with him sincere and plain , and should never create in his mind any miasma of prejudices . The revolution is for him, for to name only the prominent heads:–
1 Abolition of Landlordism.
2 Liquidation of the peasants’ indebtedness.
3 Nationalization of land by the Revolutionary State with a view finally to lead to improved and collective farming.
4 Guarantee of security as to housing
5 Abolition of all charges on the peasantry except a minimum of unitary land tax.
6 Nationalization of the Industries and industrialization of the country.
7 Universal education.
8 Reduction of the hours of work to the minimum necessary.
The masses are bound to respond to such a programme – we have only to reach them. It is the supreme task. Enforced ignorance on their part, and apathy of the intelligent classes on the other, have created an artificial barrier between the educated revolutionary and his less fortunate comrade of the sickle and the hammer. That must be demolished by the revolutionary and for that purpose.
1 The Congress platform is to be availed of.
2 The Trade Union are to be captured and new Unions and bodies shaped and modelled on aggressive lines.
3 Ryat Union are to be formed to organize them on the issues indicated.
4 Every social and philanthropic organization (even the cooperative societies) that offers an opportunity to approach the masses should be secretly entered into and its activities controlled so as to further the real objective.
5 The Unions are Committees of artisans workers as well as intellectual workers and are to be set up everywhere
These are the lines of approach for the educated and trained revolutionary to reach the masses. And once they are reached, they can be moved easily by a training, at first in aggressive assertion, of their rights, and later on, by militant offensives like strikes combined with sabotage.