Bhagat Singh was an Indian revolutionary socialist who was influential in the Indian independence movement. Born into a Jat Punjabi Sikh family which had earlier been involved in revolutionary activities against the British Raj, he studied European revolutionary movements as a teenager and was attracted to anarc
hist and Marxist ideologies. He worked with several revolutionary organisations and became prominent in the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), which changed its name to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in 1928.
Seeking revenge for the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, Singh assassinated John Saunders, a British police officer. He eluded efforts by the police to capture him. Soon after, he andBatukeshwar Dutt threw two bombs and leaflets inside the Central Legislative Assembly, and offered themselves for arrest. Held in jail on a charge of murder, he gained widespread national support when he undertook an 116-day hunger strike demanding equal rights for European prisoners, and those Indians imprisoned for what he believed were political reasons.
During this period, sufficient evidence was brought against him for a conviction in the Saunders case after trial by Special Tribunal, and an appeal to the Privy Council in England. He was convicted and hanged for his participation in the assassination, at the age of 23.
His legacy prompted youth in India to continue fighting for independence and he remains an influence on some young people in modern India, as well as the inspiration for several films. He is commemorated with a range of memorials including a large bronze statue in the Parliament house in Delhi.