Shaheed Diwas 2023: History and Significance


New Delhi: ‘Shaheed Diwas’ is commemorated every year on March 23 to remember the unparalleled sacrifice made by the revolutionary leaders Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Hari Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar who were hanged at the Lahore Central Jail in Lahore in 1931 today.

The Simon Commission, with no Indian members, came to India in 1928, to decide on the governance of India. Indian freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai led a protest against them on October 30, 1928, at Lahore. Police Superintendent James A. Scott ordered a baton charge on the protesters and severely assaulted Lajpat Rai. A few days after this, an injured Lala Lajpat Rai died on November 17, 1928.

Bhagat Singh witnessed the assault on Lajpat Rai. He and Shivaram Rajguru, decided to kill Scott in revenge, but shot Assistant Superintendent of Police, John Saunders, by mistake, on December 17, 1928. Chandra Sekhar Azad was with them at the time. He shot Police constable Chanan Singh to stop him from chasing Bhagat Singh and Rajguru. The constable bled to death. All three evaded arrest.

On April 8, 1929, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt exploded two bombs inside the Central Legislative Assembly, Delhi. It was meant as a protest against the Public Safety Bill and the Trade Dispute Act. They did not intend to kill anyone, but some assembly members were injured. Singh was given a life sentence. However, his involvement in the Saunders’ murder was discovered and he was given the death sentence, along with Sukhdev and Rajguru.

March 23 remains a dark day in Indian history, but it reminds us the great sacrifices of our people to liberate India. It inspires us to value freedom and honour their life and work.


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