Every year on March 23rd, India celebrates Shaheed Diwas, also known as Martyrs’ Day, to remember the martyrs who gave their lives so that India may be free. On this day in 1931, three Indian freedom fighters—Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and Shivaram Rajguru—were put to death.
History behind this day
Armed with the slogan ‘Simon, Go Back,’ Lala Lajpat Rai staged a non-violent demonstration against Sir John Simon’s visit to Lahore on October 30, 1928. Despite the fact that the protest was nonviolent, Superintendent of Police James A Scott gave the order for the police to use a lathi to arrest protesters. In the altercation, Lala Lajpat Rai suffered fatal injuries.
Following his passing, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev, three young revolutionary freedom fighters, intended to kill James Scott, but they mistakenly assassinated John P. Saunders, another superintendent of police, instead.
They prepared a second assault on the Central Legislative Assembly in retaliation for Lala Lajpat Rai’s murder. Additionally, they sought to prevent the approval of the Trade Dispute Act and the Public Safety Bill. On April 8, 1929, they attempted to bomb the Central Legislative Assembly but were caught. Rajguru, Sukhdev, and Singh all received the death penalty. The trio was put to death in the Lahore prison on March 23, 1931.
Rajguru was only 22 years old when he was executed, but Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev were both 23.
How is this day celebrated after independence?
There are two minutes of silence each year for martyrs who sacrifice their life for the independence of our nation. And various celebrations across Punjab and parts of the country to give respect and honour our young freedom fighters who sacrifice their life for country.