of Bhagat Singh at crossroads in the Madras Presidency, 1931-1934 – II - Dr.V.Venkatraman
[The writer is the Principal land Head, Research Centre
in History, Raju’s College, Rajapalayam, Tamil Nadu]
(Continuation from the previous issue)
Bhagat Singh lamented that the Britishers were ruling the Indians not by the will of god or with the divine help. They ruled the country by having got the power. He said: “The British are ruling here. They are not ruling by the will of god.They have got power and we do not venture to oppose them. This indeed is the reason. It is not with the divine help of guns,l cannon, bombs, batons, the police and the mility forces and our senseless and shameless conduct that they are successfully committing the highly grievous sin against society – the crime of one country cruelly exploiting another country. (Even after seeing this with his very yes). Where is god? What is he doing? Is he witnessing the hardships and difficulties of humanity as a tamsha,enjoying the same and spending his time? A great Nero! A very great Chengiskhan! Pull him down.41 ”
In the conclusion, Bhagat Singh expressed his views regarding the origin of the idea of god. According to him, god was created in the early days when man was not sufficiently advanced in order that persons in distress might derive courage and solace. Bhagat Singh’s doctrine on the god was a self-explanatory one. He draw the attention of the people of this country to dedicate their life for the liberatifon of India. He boldly commended the true believers of god and suggested them to stand on their own. By exhibiting the above statewments, Bhagat Singh explained his stand to his father Kishan Singh from Lahore Jail on the god in his book and what circumstances he himself converted to be an Atheist.
The Government of Madras came to know that there was one publication related to the sacrificial deeds of Bhagat Singh, translated in to Tamil by P.Jeeganantham through their Criminal Investigation Department in August 1934 at Erode and also in Madras city. The C.I.D. sent the booklet to the Under Secretary to the Government of Madras in the last week of August 193443, for taking action against the publication, under the Press Act of 1931.
G.T.H.Bracken, the Chief Secretary to the Government of Madras asked C.N.Saravana Mudaliar, the Tamil Translator to the Government to translate the whole booklet44 including the editorial of Kudiarasu, published on 29 March 1931. On the basis of the translated English version of the booklet, G.T.H.Bracken,the Chief Secretary issued a Notification on 22 October 1934, proscribing the booklet entitled Why am I an Atheist? lunder section 19(1) of Indian Press (Emergency Power) Act, 1931, it cointains matter of the nature described in section 4(1) of the said Act, 1931, it contains matter of the nature described in section 4(1) of the said Act, as amended by section 16 of Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1932 (xxiii of 1932).45 The notification was published in the Fort St. George Gazettee on 22 October 1934. The District Magistrate of Madras Presidency was empowered to confiscate the book, which was translated by P.Jeevanantham. The police authorities were authorised to seize the same books which were in circulation in the Madras Presidency. A large number of books were seized in many places of Madras Presidency in 1934.46
Between 1931 and 1938, a large number of vernacular literature were published in the form of pamphlets, leaflets, booklets, pictures and cartoons on the execution of Bhagat Singh, Rajaguru and Sukdev published in Tamil, Telugu, Hindu, Malayalam and other languages of Madras Presidency.47 Irked by this, the Government of Madras declared forfeited the above literature to avoid the free flow of pro- Bhagat Singh trend in Madras Presidency under Section 19(1) of Indian Press (Emergency Powers) Act of 1931 as amended by Section 165(1) ofCriminal Law Amendment Act of 1932.48
1. Home (Political) Department, FileNo.4 21,1931, National Archives of India.
2. K.C.Yaldav, Barbara Singh, Bhagat Singh – A Biography, New Delhi, 2006 p.80-81
3. K.C.Yadav, Barbar Singh, Bhagat Singh: The ideas on Freedom, Liberty and Reµolution, New Delhi, 2007, p.15
4. A.G. .Noorani, The Trail of Bhagat Singh Politics of Justice, NewDelhi,2005 ,pp.9-10
5. K.C .Yaday, Babar S ingh, Bhagat Singh: Making of a Revolutionary, New Delhi, 2006, pp 30-3L
6. Micro FilmAcc.No.4808, Real NO.1331, National Archives of India.
7. Malwinderjit.S,Waraich, The Hanging of Bhagat Singh -Judgments and other Documents, New Delhi, 2005, pp.9-ll.
8. Chemanlal, Bhagat Singh: The Jail Notebook and other writings, New Delhi. 2007, p.22.
9. Ibid., p.166.
10. P.Jeevanant0- bnham. Nan Nathikan yen? (Why am I an Atheist?' Chennai, 2002, pp.2-3.
11.Public (Gen) Deptmem, G.O.No.1070, 22ndOctober 1934.
12. The Kudiarasu, Erodc 29 March 1931.
13. Fortnightly Report,First Half of November1934.
15. Public (Gen) Dept. .GO.No.1070,22 doctober1934.