Kartar Singh Sarabha remembered

Jalandhar, Punjab: The martyrdom day of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha and the foundation day of the local Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Hall (DBYH) fall on the same day. On the occasion of the martyrdom day of Sarabha, a meeting was held in the hall to take a peek into the life of the martyr.

Ninetyeight years ago, on this day, 19-year-old Kartar Singh Sarabha, along with his seven revolutionary companions – Vishnu Ganesh Pingle, Harnam Singh Sialkot, Jagat Singh Sur Singh, Bakhshish Singh Gillwali and two others both called Surain Singh Gillwali – were hanged to death at Lahore Central Jail for their role in pursuing the cause of Indian freedom and liberty.

Among the crucial early triggers which fanned the flames of the Indian movement for Independence, the sacrifice of the young Sarabha – whose legend was a key inspiration for Bhagat Singh himself – holds a massive significance for the nation.

Emphasising this, members of the Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee exhorted the youth to seek inspiration from the martyrs.

On the sidelines of the meeting, historian Sita Ram Bansal said, “Sarabha’s last words became a clarion call for the movement to come after his sacrifice. While he had called out to mother India that while his generation could not unshackle the chains of slavery, his comrades would carry forward that work, those associated with the movement were inspired and driven by these parting hopes of his.”

Exploring Sarabha’s links with the city, he said, “Sarabha also held a meeting with Sachinder Nath Sanyal (freedom fighter and Sarabha’s associate Satyen Sanyal) at a ground near the railway station to discuss the future course of their operations in view of the impending arrival of their 8,000 Ghadar comrades to India.”

His efforts to establish a press in Jalandhar – at the Sanghwal village – to print his newspaper “Ghadar” were also well-documented, he added.

Author and committee member Charanji Lal Kangniwal, said, “Sarabha, Daleep Dhamia of Dhamia village and Bhagat Singh’s names are key among the martyrs who died very young for the country. While Sarabha was 19, Damia wasn’t even 16.”

“His seven compatriots also had a very important role to play in the freedom struggle. While Pingle was known for his work in visiting cantonments across the country and exhorting soldiers to be a part of the movement, most of the others were active in spreading the word and strengthening the Ghadar movement in the Punjab region but it is sad that people know very little about them,” he added.

The DBYH committee also has the precious first edition, November 1, 1913, copy of the Ghadar newspaper printed by Sarabha.

During the meeting today Amolak Singh, convener of the cultural wing of the Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Hall, committee president Darbara Singh Dhillon, general secretary Raghbir Kaur and committee co-cordinator Gurmeet and Kulbir Singh Sanghera representing the Ghadar efforts abroad were present, among others.

With centenary year of the establishment of the Ghadar Party celebrated this year, the committee also called for the initiation of efforts to observe the centenary of the Komagatamaru and Bajbaj Ghat incidents (1914) in 2014 as well as the centenary of the martyrdom of Sarabha himself in 2015.

They said one of the prime aims of the committee remains to keep alive the cause and memories of these enlightened martyrs among the minds of the present generation.

Source: The Tribune

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