July 31, 2017: Udham Singh was born on 26 December 1899, at Sunam, Punjab. He was an Indian Revolutionary, best known for avenging the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. He did so by assassinating Michael Francis O’Dwyer, the former governor of Punjab who had supported the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The Punjab Governor was responsible for it as he handed the command to Brigadier General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer to kill unarmed men, women, and children at Jallianwala Bagh.
On the 31st July 1940, freedom fighter Udham Singh was hanged at Pentonville jail, London. His last words were,” I don’t care, I don’t mind dying. What is the use of waiting till you get old? This is no good. You want to die when you are young. That is good, that is what I am doing”. After a pause, he added: ‘I am dying for my country’. Such was the spirit of the brave hearted soul.
Here are 10 unknown facts about Udham Singh:
- Udham Singh was born with the name Sher Singh. He was brought up in Central Khalsa Orphanage, Amritsar and after Sikh initiatory rites received the name, Udham Singh.
2. He was an eye-witness of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre as he was serving water to crowd gathered along with his friends. This incidence turned him to the path of revolution which later resulted in avenging the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
3. In 1935, when he was on a visit to Kashmir, he was found carrying Bhagat Singh’s portrait. He invariably referred to him as his guru.
4. He loved to sing political songs and was very fond of Ram Prasad Bismal, who was the leading poet of the revolutionaries.
5. On 13 March 1940 at 4.30 p.m. in the Caxton Hall, London, where a meeting of the East India Association was being held in conjunction with the Royal Central Asian Society, Udham Singh fired five to six shots from his pistol at Sir Michael O’Dwyer. Later, he was jailed for doing so. He also went on a 42-day hunger strike in jail and was forcibly fed.
6. Udham Singh’s actions were condemned by Gandhi and Nehru but most of the commoners and other aggressive leaders said that it is an important action for Indian independence struggle. Later on, Nehru applauded his actions in 1962 and used the word ‘Shaheed-e-Azam’ for him.
7. In 1995, the Mayawati government in U.P named a district in present-day Uttarakhand after him, called Udham Singh Nagar
8. The Times of London called him ‘Fighter for Freedom’ and Bergeret in Rome also praised his actions as courageous. Singh’s weapon, a knife, a diary and a bullet from shooting are kept in Black Museum, Scotland Yard.
9. In 1974, his remains were exhumed and repatriated to India at the request of MLA Sadhu Singh. The casket was received by Indira Gandhi, Zail Singh, and Shankar Dayal Sharma. Later he was cremated at Sunam, Punjab (his birthplace) and his ashes were scattered in Sutlej River, the same river in which the ashes of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were scattered.
10. Udham Singh addressed himself as Ram Muhammad Singh Azad. This name was adopted to emphasize the unity of all the religious communities in India in their struggle for political freedom.
– by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08
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