Sukhdev (1907-1931) was a famous Indian revolutionary who played a major role in the India’s struggle for Independence. He is amongst those great Indian freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of their country. His full name is Sukhdev Thapar and he was born on 15th May, 1907.
His ancestral house is in Naughara Mohalla of Ludhiana city, Punjab, India. His father’s name was Ram Lal. Since his childhood days, Sukhdev had witnessed the brutal atrocities that the Imperial British Raj had inflicted on India, which then led him to join the revolutionaries, vowing to set India free from the shackles of British dominion.
Sukhdev Thapar was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA), and organized revolutionary cells in Punjab and other areas of North India. A devoted leader, he even went on to educate the youth at the National College in Lahore, greatly inspiring them about India’s glorious past. He along with other renowned revolutionaries started the ‘Naujawan Bharat Sabha’ at Lahore that was an organization involved in various activities, mainly gearing the youth for the freedom struggle and putting an end to communalism.
Sukhdev himself took active part in several revolutionary activities like the ‘Prison hunger strike’ in 1929; however, he would always be remembered in the chronicles of the Indian Freedom Movement for his daring yet courageous attacks in the Lahore Conspiracy Case (18th December, 1928), that shook the very foundation of the British Government. Sukhdev was the accomplice of Bhagat Singh and Shivaram Rajguru, who were involved in the assassination of Deputy Superintendent of Police, J.P. Saunders in 1928, thus avenging the death of veteran leader, Lala Lajpat Rai, owing to excessive police beating in the Conspiracy case. After the Central Assembly Hall bombings in New Delhi (8th April, 1929), Sukhdev and his accomplices were arrested and convicted of their crime, facing the death sentence as verdict.
On 23rd March, 1931, the three brave revolutionaries, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru were hanged, whilst their bodies were secretly cremated on the banks of the River Sutlej. Sukhdev Thapar was just 24 years old when he became a martyr for his country, however, he will always be remembered for his courage, patriotism and sacrifice of his life for India’s independence.
Facts and Information about Sukhdev
|Full Name||Sukhdev Thapar|
|Born||15 May 1907 in Ludhiana, Punjab|
|Died||23 March 1931 in Lahore, Punjab, British India|
|Father||Sh. Ram Lal|
|Mother||Smt. Ralli Devi|
|Nephew||Bharat Bhushan Thapar|
|Organization||Hindustan Socialist Republican Association|
|Political Movement||Indian Independence Movement|
|About||Sukhdev, an Indian revolutionary, is famous for his contribution to the Indian freedom struggle.|
|Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA)||Sukhdev Thapar was a devoted leader. He became a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. He also worked to eduacte the young minds at the National College, Lahore.|
|Prison hunger strike||Sukhdev actively participated in numerous revolutionary activities. One of the major hunger strikes by Sukhdev was the prison hunger strike of 1929.|
|Saunders murder||Sukhdev was also involved in the murder of a British officer named J.P. Saunders in which he was assissted by Bhagat Singh and Shivaram Rajguru in 1928.|
|Lahore Conspiracy Case||He is remembered even today for his remarkable contribution in the Lahore Conspiracy Case of 18 December 1928.|
|Letter to Mahatma Gandhi||Some days before Sukhdev was to be executed, he wrote a letter to Gandhi in which he stated, “The three prisoners of the Lahore conspiracy case have been awarded capital punishment”. He also wrote, “[. . . ] the country will not gain as much by the change of their sentences as it would by their being hanged.”|
|Special Tribunal||On 7 October 1930, a 300-page judgement was delivered for Saunders’ murder case by the tribunal on the basis of all the evidence and sentenced Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru to death by hanging.|
|Execution||In the Lahore Conspiracy case, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were given death sentence. The court ordered that the three be executed on 24 March 1931. On 17 March 1931, the Home Secretary of Punjab changed the date of execution to 23 March 1931.|
|Criticism of the Special Tribunal||The judgement by the tribunal was criticised nationwide as the law and order was being moulded as per the will of the British government. For the first time the execution took place in the evening. Moreover, the authorities didn’t let the families of the accused meet them before the execution; nor did they hand over the bodies of the three to their relatives to perform their last rituals. Rather, the bodies were disposed off by cutting into pieces and burning with kerosene. Later the residue was dumped into the Satluj River.|
|Honour||23 March is celebrated as Martyrs’ Day in the honour of their sacrifice for the country.|