This young Freedom fighter left home for Kanpur when his parents tried to get him married, saying that if he married in slave India, “my bride shall only be death” and joined Hindustan Socialist Republican Association.
One of India’s greatest revolutionary freedom fighter, Bhagat Singh, was given Death penalty by the British colonizers. And though he died young (23) his actions inspired the youth of the nation to fight for the nation’s freedom. His execution evoked many to take up the revolutionary path, playing an important role in India’s freedom struggle. But what happened after his death? What happened to the family of this martyr? Had they got the recognition deserved by a martyr’s family??
For all those who are unaware, Bhagat Singh’s family moved to India during partition. As for what happened to his family’s well-being, they survived. Bhagat Singh’s family was quite large in number. A family of 9 siblings including him: Jagat Singh, Amar Kaur, Kulbir Singh, Shakuntala Devi, Kultar Singh, Prakash Kaur, Ranbir Singh and Rajinder Singh. Out of all these siblings, Jagat Singh died at a early age. Kultar Singh died in 2004, at the age of 86 years. Kultar Singh had remained MLA and minister in ND Tiwari led UP government. Kulbir Singh remained a Jan Sangh MLA from Punjab in the early 1960’s.
Manoj Kumar’s tribute to the Martyr- “Shaheed”
It was the initiative of Actor & Film maker- Manoj Kumar who got the recognition to this family. For many decades Bhagat Singh’s family lived in obscurity in Punjab until Manoj Kumar made “Shaheed” -a movie on Shaheed Bhagat Singh. It was Kumar who brought a sick Vidhyavati – Bhagat Singh’s mother to Delhi where she met the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Her son Sardar Kultar Singh also accompanied her.
It was Shastri who ordered for immediate financial help to the family after hearing the lack of respect rendered to them. It was at his behest Government of India acknowledged the role of revolutionaries. Manoj Kumar claims that Singhs did not want any money or royalty. All that they wanted is a sincere thanks from the nation for martyrs like Shaheed e Azam Bhagat Singh!!
Bhagat Singh’s only surviving Sibling died on his Birthday:
She was just a ten-year-old child, when her brother Shaheed Bhagat Singh was hanged in 1931 by the British. “Bibi Prakash Kaur”, the last surviving sister of Shaheed Bhagat Singh passed away in Canada a few years back in 2014 at the age of 94. Coincidentally, she passed away on the birth anniversary of the martyr, which falls on the 28th of September.
She had experienced the trauma of her brother’s hanging from the days her childhood to her entire life and was proud of the supreme sacrifice her brother made for his motherland. She was often visited by the scholars who had been trying to look deeper into the life of the martyr and know more about this life.
Chaman Lal, a retired JNU professor who visited her recently told The Indian Express about her death and said that she always cherished the memories of her brother. “Though she did not get enough time to play with her brother as he took to the revolution and was more busy with his mission than sparing time for his family which he had to intentionally avoid because of the circumstances. But Prakash Kaur was privy to certain facts of his life which came to her notice as one of the family members. She was always proud of his brother,” said Lal who is known for his work on the Bhagat Singh.
Some among the family took an initiative in serving the nation even after the death of Bhagat Singh. His family was indeed proud of his sacrifice and took pride that he belonged to them. For the least known about the members of Bhagat Singh family, his nephews and nieces, Virender Sandhu, Kiranjit Singh Sandhu, Inderjit Dhillon and Abhey Sandhu still make occasional appearances in the media updating about their activities.