What a wonderful opportunity this was, to bring out the story of this great patriot. While there is enough detail about the trial, and backed up by research and such, somehow, at the end, I was left with a sense of incompleteness. As if, there’s more to this, than is written in the book.
There’s little about the life of Bhagat Singh, and more of the trial of Bhagat Singh. The author takes on some fictional license at places, and suddenly we find the language to be a bit ornate.
Yet, if you are interested in the life of Bhagat Singh, this is a good book. There’s much to know about the patriot through his writings and thoughts. Like any other popular leader, there is a slice of his life that we have come to know about, and that is what we celebrate, without ever understanding the motivation and the philosophy. That Bhagat Singh was an anarchist, is interesting to note. For me personally so, because the book I finished just before this one, was On Anarchism by Noam Chomsky. It was interesting to note the reference of popular anarchists and their writings in these two books.
The details, of the episode of Gandhi’s intervention to save Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru, are lesser known, and the author has used extracts and full letters for a better understanding of the circumstances that prevailed, as well as the thinking of the Congress, at the time.
That he was an atheist, I knew. But to read his essay, “Why I am an Atheist” was an eye opener. At such a young age, to have the background, perception, and importantly, the conviction (after “converting” to atheism) is indeed heartening.
The full essay, Why I am an Atheist, is available here.