Thursday, July 05, 2007

India's first Communist?

Ever wondered who was India's first Communist? Or the first leader to be influenced by it and practicing and publicly endorsing it?

The answer surprisingly, is Bhagat Singh.

Bhagat Singh came from a patriotic sikh family. One of his uncles was incarcerated by the British, and another fled to Iran to escape punishment. BS was a huge fan og Gandhiji's non-cooperation movement as a kid, and burnt his school books and boycotted government schools. He later studied at National College in Lahore. Here he was acquainted with Marxist philosophy. Before he was to be hanged in Saunders Murder case, in jail, he used to read books about Lenin.

I absolutely loved the movie 'The Legend of Bhagat Singh' when I first saw it in 2003. Back then I was unaware of these facts. Last week I saw the movie again. This time I knew about his Communist connections, and it was hard to miss out of these indications in the movie.

The movie depicts-

* BS saying "azadi to sirf shuruvat hain, hamein azadi ke baad bhi desh banana hain. Aameer aur aameer hota jaayega aur gareeb aur gareeb". Or something to that effect.

* His joins the party Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), founded by Chandrashekhar Azad. Later, on his suggestion, the name is changed to Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).

* When the police invade their hide out, the movie shows the communist red hammer and sickle logo on their walls. It also shows him reading a book about Lenin before he is hanged.

--Although I had loved the movie before, I thought it would have been fictionalized to certain extend to make it more entertaining. However it is amazingly accurate. Like the thing, BS uses his trial in courts to send his message to the awaam. It did happen in actual.

The CPI(M) acknowledges the fact, about BS being one of India's First communist on their website.

Earlier I hated the communists. But now after talking to few guys who know about the naxalites in India, I think although what they are doing is wrong it is not entirely unjustified. The movie Hazaroon Khwaaishe Aisi, also has a small role in this change. As far as the Left parties are concerned I still think their mindset and policies are completely outdated.


Zaki M said...

films affecting an individuals' opinions - nice

Pratik Bhandari said...

are u talking about Hazaron Khwaishe aisi? if yes i remember reading about it on ur blog too. u had a list of highlights for the year, in which u had HKA.

Zaki M said...

yes - that and bhagat singh's role
I remember the highlights list thing

Amit said...

Very nice article..I didn't knew Bhagat Singh believed in communist ideas..But I think the main reason for this is the influence that Russia (as you have mentioned)had on us at that time..

Pratik Bhandari said...

@zaki, i think my post may have given a (wrong) impression, i still detest communist...

@amit, yeah i dont know why the russian revolution and communist ideas imppressed indians so much in thoes days....nehru was impressed by it (socialism) too in early years of independence....