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A file photo of Bhagat Singh. Photo: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (Nehru Memorial Museum and Library)
A file photo of Bhagat Singh. Photo: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
(Nehru Memorial Museum and Library)

Forgotten heroes

On two recent news items on India’s freedom fighters who had a tremendous impact that didn’t attract much attention

This week provided two reasons to remember a forgotten slice of Indian political history.

First, a petition was filed in a Pakistani court to declare Bhagat Singh innocent, 82 years after he was hanged in Lahore in 1931 for killing a British official. Second, Binod Behari Choudhury, the last surviving member of the team that took part in the daring Chittagong armoury raid, died at the age of 103.

Neither of these news items attracted much public attention, but both events had galvanized young Indians at the time. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina did send a message of condolence after the death of Choudhury, who stayed on in that country after 1947 before he died in Kolkata.

The Indian freedom struggle is known for its passive resistance, but the flaming actions of the revolutionaries also had a tremendous impact. What they did is now sadly forgotten.

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