Throwing new light on Bhagat Singh, forgotten Indian martyrs

Updated: Mar 14, 2013, 08:40 AM IST

Agra: A new book on the role and contribution of revolutionaries of the Ghadar Party provides fresh insights into India`s freedom struggle which has largely been monopolised by Congress leaders.

"The book has been carefully researched and many unknown facts have been brought to light. The Ghadar Party was started a hundred years ago in San Francisco. Ghadarites smuggled guns and explosives into British India. Many were hanged, but they went to the gallows with smiles on their faces. These facts have been written out of the history books," Reginald Massey told reporters of the just-published ‘Shaheed Bhagat Singh and the Forgotten Indian Martyrs’ (Abhinav).

"The post-1947 `historians` have been the PR toadies of the various political parties of the successor states and corrupt (even military dictator) governments. This is a disgrace. A shame. Our so-called elites have sold their souls for the comforts of passing privilege. I state my position clearly without fear: I despise the ruling elites of the entire South Asia," Massey added emphatically while on a visit here.

Massey is author of several books on India ranging from history and culture to classical music and dance. His book of poetry, ‘Lament of a Lost Hero and Other Poems’, is a comment on sub-continental society in the post-Independence era. He wrote and produced a film "Bangladesh I Love You", starring boxing sensation Muhammad Ali.

Born in Lahore, Reginald Massey now lives in Wales with his wife Jamila Massey, with whom he has co-authored three books: ‘The Music of India’, ‘The Dances of India’ and novel ‘The Immigrants’.

Massey says several secret revolutionary groups of idealistic youth had violentely opposed and resisted British imperialists right from the beginning. These young revolutionaries were motivated by the Bhagavad Gita, although a few like Bhagat Singh were confirmed atheists influenced by Marx, Lenin and the anarchists.

Many of these revolutionaries were inspired and fuelled by Hindu religious texts much the same way as some of the present-day terrorist groups that derive sustenance from Islamic texts. However, all three British-educated leaders (Gandhi, Jinnah and Nehru) abhorred religion-fired radicalism, the author said.

Paying glowing tributes to the revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement, Massey added: "This book is a homage to freedom fighters, revolutionaries and patriots like Bhagat Singh, Khudiram Bose and Ashfaqulla Khan who strode to the gallows, their heads held high with smiles on their faces."

Answering a question whether India would have been better off if the revolutionaries had been successful, Massey said: "The Ghadarites were socialist and secular; there would have been no partition of the country, there would have been a strong United States of India, there would have been no so-called `democracy` which is corrupt from top to bottom. What we have in South Asia is exploitation of the masses by elites that get fatter and richer by scams and scandals. I blame Gandhi, Jinnah, the Congress Party and the Muslim League in equal measure."

A month ago, Massey, who had come to Agra for the Taj Literature Festival, had accused Shobha De of writing "soft pornography."