India is the birthplace of many legends. These legends are born to live, work and sacrifice their lives for the Nation. “Let’s salute the Unsung Heroes of our Nation.”One of the Unsung hero is Shaheed Udham Singh.Shaheed Udham Singh is an Indian revolutionary for avenging Jallianwala Bagh Massacre by Assassinating MichealO’Dwyer.
He was born on December 26, 1899 in Sunam (Punjab). His father Tehal Singh Jammu was a farmer and also worked as the railway crossing watchman in Village of Upalli.After his father’s death, Udham Singh and his elder brother Mukta Singh went to the Central Khalsa OrphanagePutlighar in Amritsar. At the orphanage, Singh worked with responsibility and honesty and he was administered the Sikhinitiatory rules and received the name Udham Singh. He passed matriculation in 1918 and left the orphanage in 1919.
Then on April 101919, number of local leader joined the INC and some were arrested under the Rowlactt Act. British Troops fired on the protestors causing a riot.
On April 13, 1919, twenty thousand people were assembled in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar unarmed to protest against the Act. At that time, Udham Singh and his friends from orphanage were serving water to the crowd. He was deeply involved in politics and was influenced by Bhagat Singh. Then, he joined Ghadar Party, organising Indian Overseas towards overthrowing colonial rule.Then, he returned to India as ordered by Bhagat Singh, bringing 25 associates as well as revolvers and ammunition.
Soon, he was arrested for possession of unlicensed arms. He was prosecuted and sentenced to prison for five years. When he was able to evade the police and escape then he went to Germany. In 1934, he went to London and was employed as an Engineer. At that time, he formed plans to assassinate Michael O’ Dyer.
He plan got successful to assassinate Michael O’ Dyer as when Dyer was scheduled to speak at the joint meeting of East India Association. As the meeting concluded, Udham Singh shot MichealO’Dyer twice as he moved towards the speaking platform. The bullet hurt at his heart and lungs. Singh surrendered immediately after shooting MichealO’Dyer. Singh was remanded in the custody at Brixton Prison.
When Singh was asked to explain why he assassinated O’Dyer. Singh stated “I did it because I had a grudge against him. He deserved it. I don’t belong to the society or anythingelse. I don’t care. I don’t mind dying.”
He called himself “Ram Mohammad Singh Azad” while he was in custody. The first three words of name reflect the three major religious communities of Punjab (Hindu, Muslim and Sikh). The last word “Azad” means free which reflects his anti-colonial settlement.When he was waiting for his trial, he went on a hunger strike for 42 days. Trial was commenced at the Central Criminal Court. When Singh was asked for motivation, he explained.
“I did it because I had a grudge against him. He deserved it. He was the real culprit. For 21 years, I have been trying to seek vengeance. I’m happy. I’m not scared of death. I’m dying for my Country. I have seen people starving in India under the British Rule. I have protested against this, it was my duty. What greater honour could be bestowed on me than death for sake of my motherland?”
Singh was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On July 31, 1940, Singh was hanged at Renton Ville Prison. His remains are preserved at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. Every year on July 31, marches are held in Sunam by various organisations and every statue of Singh in the city is paid tribute by flower garland.
In 1974, his remains were exhumed to India. He was cremated at his birthplace of Sunam in Punjab.
- A charity is dedicated to Singh operates on Soho Road Birmurghan.
- A museum dedicated to Singh in Amritsar.
- Udham Singh Nagar district in Uttarakhand is named after Singh.
- Shaheed Udham Singh Chowk in Anupgarh.
- The day of his death is a public holiday in Punjab and Haryana.
- Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh the expression (“the great martyr”)
- A district was named after him, Udham Singh Nagar of Uttarakhand to pay homage in October 1995by Mayawati Govt.
We salute the unsung heroes of our nation.
SARE JAHAN SE ACHHA HINDUSTAN HAMARA.
By Vikrant Sharma