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A Martyr’s Diary

A book on Bhagat Singh’s diary entries will be released soon.

Written by Jagmeeta Thind Joy |
May 7, 2013 2:32:39 am

Known for his revolutionary spirit,Bhagat Singh’s last three years (1929-31) in Lahore’s Central Jail,were prolific. He maintained a diary,which comprised notes to himself from quotations and popular sayings of people who influenced him.

While a micro-chip copy of this diary is housed in the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library,the entire contents of the diary will be complied into a coffee-table book,Bhagat Singh,in June. “The idea to put it into the public domain is intentional,” says Yadvinder Singh Sandhu,grandson of late Kulbeer Singh,the younger brother of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. He points to a page from the diary,“signed and received on September 12,1929”,which shows the date on which Bhagat Singh received the blank diary from jail officials.

Sandhu has scanned each of the 404 pages. “Only 288 pages were filled by Bhagat Singh,some of which were left blank,” says Sandhu,who is also the vice-chairman of the All India Shaheed Bhagat Singh Memorial Trust. The book has scanned images on one side of the page with direct translations on the other. Much of the writings are in English with few in Urdu,whose translations are unavailable. “There have been many biographies on him and many writers have presented their own views. In this format,there is no interpretation and that is intentional,”says Sandhu.

There are notes on educational reforms,child labour,economic issues,international concerns,and writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels,not in any chronological order. In the book,Sandhu has included transcripts of letters written by Singh to his friends and images from his childhood. For instance,a sepia-toned image shows a young Singh with family,and a portrait of him wearing a turban. Also,there are photos of other revolutionaries,such as a full-length,black and white portrait of Chandrashekhar Azad twirling his moustache.

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