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Shaheed Diwas: Some Facts Everyone Should Know

shaheed diwas

Every year March 23 is celebrated as ‘Shaheed Diwas’ or Martyrs’ Day in India. On this day, the nation remembers India’s three young and brave freedom fighters – Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and Shivaram Rajguru- who gave up their lives for the country’s freedom from British rule. This year marks their 90th anniversary of their death.

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The trio were hanged by the British government for their acts of ‘dramatic violence’ in the Lahore Central Jail, now located in Pakistan. They were arrested and tried for for killing a 21 year old British police officer John Saunders. However, they did not intend to kill the officer and merely wanted to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, who succumbed to injuries sustained during a lathi charge. Their original target was a British police superintendent named James Scott, who they believed was responsible for the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.

While Singh, who had publicly announced avenging Rai’s death, went into hiding for many months after this shootout, he resurfaced along with an associate Batukeshwar Dutt, and the two, in April 1929, set off two explosive devices inside the Central Legislative Assembly in Delhi, and then allowed themselves to be arrested, while shouting the famous slogan: “Inquilab Zindabad

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted about the Shaheed Diwas remembering the sacrifices of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru along with a video about the incidents that led to Bhagat Singh joining the fight for freedom.

However, Shaheed Diwas is observed on many days in India as a tribute to many who contributed to the freedom of India.

Besides on March 23, Martyr’s Day is also observed on January 30 across the country to mark the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Just like the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, his death anniversary is also given equal importance in order to remember all the contributions made by him in the Indian freedom struggle. This year, the Central government directed all state governments and union ministries to observe two minutes of silence on January 30 in the memory of martyred freedom fighters.

Along with that, the day is observed with the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Defence Minister gathering at Rajghat in New Delhi to pay their tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.

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