He went to Benares to study Sanskrit but plunged himself in the freedom struggle of the country at an adolescent age. From here his revolutionary life started. He strongly believed that the pleasures of life and revolution were totally different paths. He did not allow the strength of his character to waver even at in the face of adverse circumstances. The police of the British government failed to arrest him in Kakori train dacoity and Saunders' murder cases despite numerous attempts and finally he proved his name Azad by attaining martyrdom in a clash with police.
Azad's contribution in the evolution of India as a nation will continue to encourage freedom lovers all over the world.
He lived at a time when the cry for freedom was tearing India apart. Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab ho mare dil mein hai—the song that Bhagat Singh and his comrades sang during their trial—gave a voice to the burning desire for freedom in the hearts of all Indians.
Bhagat Singh was a true revolutionary. He was the first to raise the slogan, Inquilab Zindabad which later became the war cry of the struggle for India's independence. To the altar of revolution he brought his youth as incense. He died so that India might live.
He was only 23 when he was hanged. By that time, he had already become a legend. He died as he lived—without any fear. As he himself said, he was "trying to stand like a man with an erect head to the last, even on the gallows."
Many great revolutionaries have now become mere names in history books. But Bhagat Singh still remains a living part of national memory, 70 years after he was hanged.
Kuldip Nayar takes a close look at the man behind the martyr: his heroism and humanity, his dreams and despair.
The Martyr has a lot of exclusive material. It explains, for the first time, why Hans Raj Vohra betrayed Bhagat Singh and his comrades. It also throws new light on Sukhdev who was hanged along with Bhagat Singh.
Kuldip Nayar is among the top political journalists and columnists in the country and has been at the hub of things for over four decades. He has served as India's High Commissioner in London. He is now a member of the Rajya Sabha.
He has been press officer to Govind Ballabh Pant and Lai Bahadur Shastri; Editor and Manager of United News of India (UNI); Resident Editor of The Statesman, New Delhi; The Indian Express. Chandigarh; and Chief of the Express News Service.
Kuldip Nayar has also written a large number of political bestsellers. His books include: Between the Lines. India After Nehru. India: The Critical Years. Distant Neighbours: A Tale of the Subcontinent. The Judgment. In Jail, Report on Afghanistan and India House.
Shivaji was the son of a simple jagirdar. He became the founder of the Maratha empire on his own strength. He added a new chapter in history and started a new age. Light is being thrown here on his virtues in brief.