ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Gandhi and the Threat to his Leadership by Bhagat Singh

Updated on December 25, 2017

Bhagat Singh and Gandhi

Bhagat Singh and Gandhi are two leaders who fought for the independence of India. Gandhi is better known outside India, but Bhagat Singh has an equal following in India. Gandhi is accused of being lukewarm to the hanging of Bhagat Singh. He made no appeal to the Viceroy and was content to let Bhagat Singh hang. Bhagat was hanged by the British on 23 March 1931. He was only 24 years old. Gandhi himself was assassinated by Hindu zealots on 30 January 1948, fed up with his policy of appeasement to the Muslims.

Why Bhagat Singh was hanged.

Bhagat Singh had realized that the only way India could win freedom was by a violent revolution. In this task he was assisted by some more young men. But his was a small group and he did not realize that a revolution is a mass movement, not a sporadic act by a few people. He and his companion hurled a bomb in the Punjab assembly at Lahore. The bomb was thrown in an empty space and after the bombing; Bhagat did not flee, but surrendered. He later said his aim was not to kill anyone, but to highlight the eveil effects of British rule.

Earlier the British Superintendent of Police who had rained lathe blows on Lala Lajpat Rai during a peaceful march had been shot dead. The murder was traced to Bhagat and his group and he was also put on trial for this murder. Lala Lajpat Rai was a great freedom fighter from Punjab and Bhagat had vowed to avenge his death. The Lala’s last words are significant. He had said” Every blow struck at me is a nail in the coffin of the British empire”

The Empire could not let Bhagat Singh live and accordingly he was hanged in the dead of the night secretly.

Gandhi and the Myth of Non-Violence

Gandhi is universally recognized as an apostle of non violence. Much of this myth is propagated by Richard Attenborough in his film Gandhi as well as the works of pro-Gandhi elements. In addition Gandhi himself carefully cultivated an image for the west. Bhagat Singh by comparison has had a number of films made about him, but none by a foreigner. In contrast to Gandhi, Bhagat Singh believed in violence as a means to an end. He had read Marx and Lenin and was greatly influenced by them. He was thus the anti thesis of Gandhi.

Bhagat Singh Challenged Leadership of Gandhi

Bhagat Singh was a serious challenger to Gandhi’s leadership. It is worth quoting Pattabhi Sitaramayya, a top Congress leader and Gandhi loyalist, who stated 'It is no exaggeration to say that at the moment Bhagat Singh’s name is as widely known all over India and is as popular as Gandhi”.

In the twenties of the last century Bhagat Singh had emerged as a serious contented as the leader of the Indian masses. Many saw him as a messiah and were fired by his revolutionary zeal. Gandhi felt threatened. His carefully cultivated image and leadership was under threat and the older man was loathe to hand over the mantle of his leadership to Bhagat Singh. He thus took a stand against Bhagat Singh to a point, where he decided not to exert to save Bhagat Singh from the gallows.

Gandhi Failed to Act

Many representations were made to Gandhi to appeal to the Viceroy, but Gandhi refused and wrote that he did not favor any violence. This was just a ploy to retain the leadership of the political movement. He felt Bhagat Singh was a threat and hence took this stand. Gandhi was greeted by black flags everywhere he went after the hanging of Bhagat Singh, but he remained unfazed.

The British also showed they were poor sticklers of the law as they hanged Bhagat Singh against the Jail manual which specified hangings to be done at first light in the morning, by hanging Bhagat Singh at midnight. It was a nefarious act and showed the British were scared of a massive movement by the people to free Bhagat Singh

Last Word

Bhagat Singh was too young to understand the intricacies of a revolution. He failed to properly organize a revolution, despite tremendous support. Gandhi on the other hand was a sly old man who knew that an alive Bhagat Singh was a threat to him, hence his course of action to let Bhagat hang despite popular clamor for his release.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MG Singh profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you Proud Indian. India could have done without Gandhi

    • profile image

      Proud Indian 

      5 years ago

      Thank you Mr Singh for tearing Gandhi's mask and shining the light on the late blessed Mr Bhagat Singh who fought for independence through the methods he felt were most practical for him. It is without doubt that Westerners would take offence against his means (violence), but remember it was violence to achieve a highly desirable end. The unfortunate aspects of Gandhi are:

      1)He's remembered as the father of India's independence (a lie)

      2)Foreigners, particularly Westerners believe that Indians are generally peaceful, like Gandhi and so can be exploited

      3)Many Indians have lost their sense of pride in the nation and their culture, preferring instead to desperately seek a Green Card or equivalent; they are offspring of Gandhi's Western-placating (to the point of idolizing) views

      It is time Indians awoke and destroyed this myth of Gandhi before it destroys India

    • MG Singh profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you Promod for commenting.

    • pramodgokhale profile image

      pramodgokhale 

      5 years ago from Pune( India)

      Sir,

      your article is a contrasts of both Bhagat Singh and Gandhi and to some extent creates controversy. Bhagat Singh is a martyr and Gandhi was assassinated and his followers made him martyr.

      Appeasement of Muslims and riots after partition and massacre of Hindus en mass was the reason of Gandhi' murder.

      30% Indian population fought for freedom, remaining were happy under British regime.

      Bhagat Singh sacrificed for Mother India , route was different , Gandhi did not request for his release and appeal to cancel his hanging.

      Many congress leaders enjoyed privileges in jail, courtesy British regime.

      Churchill long back predicted that Congress thugs will loot and plunder India, unfortunately he proved right.

      These controversies has no end.He would have been competitor of Gandhi

      pramodgokhale

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)