Bhagat Singh and the Legacy of Bhagat Singh By Ali Peter John

I had heard the story of the young and fiery Bhagat Singh, who fought for India's freedom in his way, from his ninety-year-old friend, one-time actor and film producer Chandrashekhar Vaidya,... By Ali Peter John

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Bhagat Singh and the Legacy of Bhagat Singh By Ali Peter John
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I had heard the story of the young and fiery Bhagat Singh, who fought for India's freedom in his way, from his ninety-year-old friend, one-time actor and film producer Chandrashekhar Vaidya, the way he had heard the young Bhagat Singh earlier Lawrence Sanders He was responsible for the assassination of the senior and most respected freedom fighter, Lala Lajpat Rai and then some of his young comrades like Rajguru and Sukhdev joined the freedom fighters. Shekhar Saheb relived the morning when Bhagat Singh, now known as Shaheed Bhagat Singh, walked to the gallows in pre-partition Lahore on 23 March 1931 with India and freedom on his lips. He turned into a role model and idol who inspired thousands of youth to know how important it was to fight for freedom from the British Empire, even at the risk of losing one's life.

The Legacy of Bhagat Singh

The fight for independence continued after the hanging of Bhagat Singh and the death of hundreds of other men (and even women) until India gained total independence from the British Empire. Shaheed Bhagat Singh was the one who had a portrait of him unveiled in the first Indian House of Parliament!

Martyr Bhagat Singh is still remembered by most Indians, especially on the date of his birth (September 28, 1907) and the day he was hanged (March 23, 1931). Statues have been placed in different parts of the country, there are roads and checks named after him and his life forms an important chapter in history books from school level to universities where his life is still one of the important subjects studied!

But, frankly, how many of our youth today remember or know Shaheed Bhagat Singh? When India was celebrating the death anniversary of Bhagat Singh, I was asking some youth whether they had heard of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and I was embarrassed to know that not among the youth I spoke to! Some of them stared at my face as if I was a madman and, showing their ignorance and their audacity, asked, 'Shaheed, who told you?'!

If there is one section of Indians keeping the legend of Shaheed Bhagat Singh alive, it is the Hindi film industry and whatever reasons they may have for making his films, one thing is for sure, they have done something for Bhagat Singh. Also, other institutions, organizations, or even governments have never done this from time to time. It is in this light that I remember some important films made on a larger-than-life hero like Shaheed Bhagat Singh...

Bhagat Singh: A Cinematic Tribute

‘Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh’ is the first film based on the life of Bhagat Singh. The film was directed by Jagadish Gautam and starred Prem Adeeb, Jayaraj, Smriti Biswas, and Ashita Majumdar in lead roles.

Ten years after the release of 'Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh', Shammi Kapoor played the role of a martyr in 'Shaheed Bhagat Singh'. The film was directed by KN Bansal and apart from Shammi Kapoor, the film starred Shakeela, Premnath, Ulhas, and Achala Sachdev.

The film 'Shaheed' starring Manoj Kumar was extremely popular! The film won the Best Feature Film in Hindi, the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration, and Best Story Award at the 13th National Film Awards. The film has S Ram Sharma as the director, but everyone who knew about the film knew that the film is the complete creation of Manoj Kumar, who not only wrote the film but also indirectly directed the film. And also played the title role!

For the next three decades and more, there were no more films thought about or made on Bhagat Singh, but there was a surge of films on the character from history which started in 2002.

'Shaheed-e-Azam' was one of the three films based on the life of Bhagat Singh in 2002. Sonu Sood played the role of Bhagat Singh. This film was made by the younger generation of Sagar (Ramanand Sagar), but it could not make any impact!

'23rd March 1931: Shaheed', starring Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, and Amrita Singh, depicted the events leading up to the hanging of Bhagat Singh and his comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev.

‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ – This film shows in detail how Bhagat Singh came to develop his ideas about the British Raj and his struggle for Indian independence. Ajay Devgan played the role of Bhagat Singh and won a National Award for his performance!

‘Rang De Basanti’ – This film became a huge hit among the youth and won many awards. Starring big stars like Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, and Kunal Kapoor, Siddharth, the film was about the revolutionaries of Bhagat Singh's era and included the role of Bhagat Singh in the Indian freedom struggle...

Efforts are still being made to find out other details about the life and struggle of Bhagat Singh. Some filmmakers are willing to create fiction around the story of his bravery, like trying to imagine whether the twenty-three-year-old freedom fighter who was a multi-talented personality could have had a love life, but I wonder if the real followers of Bhagat Singh would accept such a fictional story!

Meanwhile, politicians from every party are trying to make the best 'use' of Bhagat Singh and even exploit his story for their ends and are now shouting, 'How about the youth of the country, be like Bhagat Singh! But will we ever have another Bhagat Singh?


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