On 18 September 2016, Punjabi Academy and Bhagat Singh Association celebrated the 109th birth anniversary of Shaaheed Bhagat Singh “Punjabi sabhayaachar Mela” in Sardar Colony, Rohini in Delhi. Lok Raj Sangathan was invited to participate in the programme and address the children, youth and their family members who had gathered for the programme. The programme was marked by revolutionary songs and poems, bhangda and gidda dance by young troupe, talwar bazi, playing dhol, and tashen, and karate performance by the children and youth. Women and girls participated in all the activities in overwhelming numbers and displayed their talents in dance, and sports, enlivening the entire programme, where the gathering only kept increasing as the show progressed. The programme was orgainsed at the initiative of youth of the locality and various political as well as cultural organisations extended their support in cash and kind, and participated in the programme.
While the programme was being held inside the pandal, posters of history of Ghadar Party and the struggle to ensure justice for the victims of 1984 massacre of Sikhs were displayed outside attracting people.
Santosh Kumar of Lok Raj Sangathan managed the stage and coordinated smooth proceeding of the programme along with Jagpreet Singh of Bhagat Singh Association. The programme was a wonderful mix of progressive politics and culture.
Sucharita Basu of Lok Raj Sangathan was invited to present views of the organisation on the life and work of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his friends. Addressing the huge gathering of youth and their families, she said that these young martyrs are remembered all across India for their bravery and for speaking out truth against a powerful enemy – the British colonialists, which was armed to teeth. During the freedom struggle there were two streams – one of uncompromising struggle while the other was that of compromise and accommodation with the British rulers. Bhagat Singh and his friends belonged to the first trend, which fought uncompromisingly against the British, making supreme sacrifice. They declared that the fight will not end until, exploitation and oppression continues. It does not matter whether the exploiter was the white British rulers or the black Indian rulers. The political power and the state machinery built by the British were transferred to those Indians who compromised with them and who have been ruling India since then, continuing the system of exploitation and oppression of vast majority of the people. The vast majority of people of India did not achieve freedom. The message of our martyrs is to continue the struggle and take it to the end as envisioned by Bhagat Singh and his friends, and build an India where the people of India, will be the true masters, who will who will build a society without exploitation and oppression.
Comrade Bijju Nayak of Communist Ghadar Party said that struggle of Shaheed Bhagat Singh cannot be isolated from the struggle of people today against the exploitation and oppression. These martyrs are remembered and honoured not only in India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, but in the entire subcontinent, including Pakistan where the people are waging a struggle to erect a statue at a square in honour of these great martyrs who fought for freedom of people of the entire subcontinent from the colonial occupation. Bhagat Singh was witness to the gruesome massacre that took place on Jalianwaala Bagh in Amritsar and committed himself to the cause of the country and people. He realised the real nature of Indian state built by British colonialists and declared that their struggle will not end just by throwing out the British colonialists, but will continue until all forms of exploitation, oppression and discrimination is put to an end. Those who came to power after the British left India, have been organising massacre of people on regular basis. The massacre of Sikhs in 1984 was not a riot but State terrorism unleashed against the entire community. They declare that people should forget it as a tragic incident, but cannot guarantee that it will not be repeated. The politics has been reduced to creating vote banks through fear and terror. Thousands of people across India come on to the streets to commemorate the 1984 massacre of Sikhs demanding justice and punishment for the guilty. They are not all Sikhs, but come from various communities and regions. Referring to the incidence of drug abuse amongst the youth, he said that this was deliberately introduced by the state to divert the attention of youth from the massacre and its perpetrators, and organisers, so that they do not question the existing state and arrive at truth. Bhagat Singh and his friends fought for establishing the rule of workers and peasants on Indian soil and that dream will be fulfilled by the youth of this country. A member of Lok Raj Sangathan rendered the popular revolutionary song “raste pe tumhare chal ke hum, aazad ab desh karayengey…” appealing to the youth to take the path of martyrs like Bhagat Singh, and create society free from all forms of exploitation and oppression.
Political and social activists from the community and those fighting for the cause of justice who supported and participated in the programme included Gurmeet Singh Virk, Amrik Singh from Punjabi Academy, Rakesh Garg, Mahendra Yadav, member from SGPC, advocate C L Gupta, and others. The cultural troupe of Satnam Singh Sikri presented the cultural show of Bhangad and Gidda, children and number of girls from Hari Singh Nalva Group performed talwaaar bazi (sword fight) and Latthbazi with great vigour, and a troupe displayed karate skills for self-defence, where again girls participated in large numbers.
At the end of the programme, Santosh Kumar invited everybody to participate in the programmes and demonstrations being organised on 1 November and 5 November 2016, on the occasion 32nd anniversary of 1984 Sikh Massacre, to demand justice and punishment for the guilty.