Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were among those who paid rich tributes to freedom fighter Bhagat Singh on his 111th birth anniversary on Friday.

“Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s valour motivates millions of Indians across generations. I bow to this proud son of India on his Jayanti and join my fellow citizens in remembering his heroic deeds that contributed to India’s freedom,” wrote the PM on Twitter.

 

In his tribute, Vice-President Naidu wrote, “My tributes to Bhagat Singh, a great patriot & nationalist on his birth anniversary.”

“He was a highly revered revolutionary of our Independence movement & sacrificed his life for the nation at a young age. His sacrifice, courage & valor continue to inspire every Indian,” added Naidu.

 

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh wrote, “My tributes to Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh – the legendary martyr –  on his 111th Birth Anniversary. His sacrifice has inspired generations of Indians and will always continue to do so. #ShaheedBhagatSingh”

 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee posted a message reading, “Tribute to freedom fighter and martyr Bhagat Singh on his birth anniversary.”

 

The Congress party, too, paid tributes to Bhagat Singh, who attained martyrdom on 23 March 1931 at the age of 23.

“Our tributes to #ShaheedBhagatSingh one of the most influential revolutionaries of Indian independence movement, on his birth anniversary. We draw inspiration from his sacrifice for the nation,” read a tweet posted from the party’s handle.

 

The tweet contained a quote attributed to the freedom fighter reading, “Love always elevates the character of man. It never lowers him, provided love be love.”

In his tribute, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recalled the words of Bhagat Singh adding that the nation will forever be in debt of the inspiring revolutionary.

 

Born on 28 September 1907 in Jaranwala Tehsil in the Lyallpur district of the Punjab Province of British India (present day Pakistan), Singh laid the foundation of the Indian socialist youth organisation called Naujawan Bharat Sabha in March 1926. At around the same time, he also joined the Hindustan Republican Association, which had prominent leaders such as Chandrashekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqallah Khan.

Singh and other HRA members felt outraged with the manner in which the British police assaulted Lala Lajpat Rai during the Simon Commission protests in Lahore on 30 October 1928. Rai later died of a heart attack on 17 November 1928, which doctors said could have been triggered die to the injuries he suffered at the hands of the British superintendent of police, James A Scott.

Singh was involved in the shooting of James A Saunders and was held responsible as the leader of the HSRA, the new name of the HRA.

On 8 April 1929, Singh, accompanied by Batukeshwar Dutt, threw two smoke bombs into the Assembly chamber from its public gallery while it was in session. The bombs were not designed to create confusion and not to kill.

Both Dutt and Singh refused to flee and raised freedom slogans in the assembly. They were arrested, underwent trials and torture at the hands of the British police.

Subsequently, on 23 March 1931, Singh and his fellow HSRA comrades, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar, were hanged to death in Lahore.