Bhagat Singh was influenced by the greatness of his family members, their plight under colonial rule

Arjun Singh’s eldest son was named Kishan Singh (father of Bhagat Singh). At a young age, he worked with great dedication in earthquake, flood and drought relief work. (Bhagat Singh also later worked with great dedication in flood relief work in Kanpur). Then he joined the struggle for freedom with an equally strong determination, helping the efforts of the Gadar Revolutionary Party, going to prison several times and enduring a lot of hardship. He was also active in efforts to improve prison conditions. (Again a role that was taken over by his illustrious son Bhagat Singh).

Kishan Singh’s wife, Vidyawati, courageously supported her husband in his various pursuits, in addition to helping raise many orphaned children. Later, his courage and firm determination won the admiration of the whole country. When her son Bhagat Singh was hanged and her two other sons Kulbir and Kultar along with her daughter Amar Kaur were arrested, she defied the colonial government saying, “You can kill me but you cannot bend me.”

No less inspiring to Bhagat Singh was his uncle Ajit Singh. In cooperation with other prominent freedom fighters like Sufi Ambaprasad, Lala Hardayal and Lala Lajpat Rai, he quickly took forward many initiatives like the farmers’ movement against unfair taxes and the publication of a inspiring literature. (These two aspects were later emphasized also by Bhagat Singh). He successfully led a public agitation popularly known as Pagri Sambhal Jatta which forced colonial rulers to remove unfair tax rules imposed on farmers. Ajit Singh so impressed Lokmanya Tilak, contemporary leader of the freedom movement, that he said when India would become free; Ajit Singh is expected to be India’s first president. However, due to his intelligence and rapid progress, the colonial government had to take strong action against Ajit Singh. He was already suffering from a lot of problems due to repressive actions.

So, at the age of 26, he had to leave India and for 37 years he worked for the freedom of India in various countries outside India. Bhagat Singh treasured memories and anecdotes about his uncle but also missed him dearly and was very saddened by his absence. Why someone who wants to dedicate himself to the service of his country and his people cannot stay in his country was a question that troubled him greatly as he became aware of the injustices of living under colonial rule at a very young age in the immediate context of his own family.

Ajit Singh’s wife, Harnam Kaur, comes from a family with strong Sufi influences. She helped the villagers with educational and medical services, and wove a lot of khadi thread (this was an integral part of the various constructive works taken up by the freedom movement). However, a great void suddenly appeared in her life after her husband left. suddenly and for many years it was not even possible to find out where he was. She quietly went about her work, but her growing sadness and isolation could be clearly felt by the sensitive child that was Bhagat Singh, and it made him very angry.

Arjun Singh’s third son (and Bhagat Singh’s younger uncle) was named Swaran Singh. He started his social activities by working for orphans and for drought and earthquake relief. Afterwards, he participated very actively in the freedom movement, in particular by publishing literature on freedom. He was arrested and fell seriously ill in prison. Upon his release, he was unable to recover and died at the age of 23. His wife Hukam Kaur continued to help the family through the many struggles.

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