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Gandhi Journal Article-II : What Mahatma Gandhi did to save Bhagat Singh

What Mahatma Gandhi did to save Bhagat Singh

By Chandan Pal Singh

Gandhi's failure to secure commutation of Bhagat Singh's execution has provided his critics a convenient weapon to attack him. He has been accused of making half-hearted effort and even deception - for the alleged discrepancy between his actual role and his public statements. This paper attempts to establish that while following a consistent approach towards revolutionary violence, Gandhi tried his best to save the lives of Bhagat Singh and his collegues till the last moment. The paper also discusses Gandhi's strategy to focus on suspension rather than commutation of the death sentence.


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Comment by Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal on April 7, 2015 at 12:17

Thank you for your response and info.

Comment by Balamurali Balaji on April 7, 2015 at 11:33

This article has been written nicely, convincing on the facts how Gandhiji tried to avert Bhagat Singh's hanging. In this regard, I would like to bring two more incidents of hanging during the British India which triggered greater waves of thirst over freedom and justice.

Veerapandiya Kattabomman was a courageous 18th-century Palayakarrar ('Polygar') chieftain from Panchalankurichi of Tamil Nadu, India. Also known as Kattabomma Nayakkar he was among the earliest to oppose British rule in these regions. He waged a war with the British six decades before the Indian War of Independence occurred in the Northern parts of India. He was captured and hanged in 1799 CE.

When he was betrayed along with six other veerars by the then ruler of the kingdom of Pudukottai Vijaya Raghunatha Tondaiman to the British on 1 October 1799,Kattabomman was subsequently arrested by the British and brought to a building at Kayathar. He was then interrogated by the British till 16 October 1799,where he was sentenced to public hanging at about 10am on the 16th October 1799.

Khudiram Bose (3 December 1889 – 11 August 1908) was a Bengali revolutionary, one of the youngest revolutionaries early in the Indian independence movement. At the young age of sixteen, Bose planted bombs near police stations and targeted government officials including a judge.

He was arrested three years later on charges of conducting a series of bomb attacks. At the time of his hanging, he was 18 years old.


British government had a record of executions during the 19th and the 20th centuries although it was began from the periods of 5th Century in history.

Only during the war of Independence in India, Capital Punishment Amendment Act of 1868 allowed all executions  to take place within the walls of county prisons.

Hence, Kattabomman was hanged in public while Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries were hanged inside the prison campus.

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