Sunday, May 29, 2011

Why I am an Atheist - 3 -Bhagat Singh

I had an apprehension that some day I will also consider it a futile and hopeless task. It was a turning point in my revolutionary career. An incessant desire to study filled my heart. ‘Study more and more’, said I to myself so that I might be able to face the argumentsof my opponents. ‘Study’ to support your point of view with convincing arguments. And I began tostudy in a serious manner. My previous beliefs and convictions underwent a radical change. The romance of militancy dominated our predecessors; now serious ideas ousted this way of thinking. No more mysticism! No more blind faith! Now realism was ourmode of thinking. At timesof terrible necessity, we can resort to extreme methods, but violence produces opposite results in mass movements. I have talked much about our methods. The most important thing was a clear conception of our ideology for which we were waging a long struggle. As there was no election activity going on, Igot ample opportunity to study various ideas propounded by various writers. I studied Bakunin, the anarchist leader. I reada few books of Marx, the father of Communism. I also read Lenin and Trotsky and many other writers who successfully carried out revolutions in their countries. All of them were atheists. The ideas contained in Bakunin’s ‘God and State’ seem inconclusive, but it is an interesting book. After thatI came across a book ‘Common Sense’ by Nirlamba Swami. His point of view was a sort of mystical atheism. I developed more interest inthis subject. By the end of 1926, I was convinced thatthe belief in an Almighty, Supreme Being who created, guided and controlled the universe had no sound foundations.I began discussions on thissubject with my friends. I had openly declared myself an atheist. What it meant will be discussed in the following lines.
In May 1927, I was arrested in Lahore. This arrest came as a big surprise for me. I had not the least idea that I was wanted by the police. I was passing through a garden and all of a suddenthe police surrounded me. To my own surprise, I was very calm at that time. I was in full control of myself. I was taken into police custody. The next day I was taken to the Railway Police lockup where I spent a whole month. After many days’ conversation with police personnel, I guessed that they had some information about my connection with the KakoriParty. I felt they had some intelligence of my other activities in the revolutionary movement. They told me that I was in Lucknow during the KakoriParty Trial so that I might devise a scheme to rescue the culprits. They also said that after the plan had been approved, we procured some bombs andby way of test, one of those bombs was thrown into a crowd on the occasion of Dussehra in 1926. They offered to release me on condition that I gave a statement onthe activities of the Revolutionary Party. In this way I would be set free and even rewarded and I would not be produced as an approver in the court. I could not help laughing at their proposals. It was all humbug. People who haveideas like ours do not throw bombs at their own innocent people. One day, Mr. Newman, the then senior Superintendent of CID, came to me. After a long talk which was full of sympathetic words, he imparted to me what he considered to be sad news,that if I did not give any statement as demanded by them, they would be forced to send me up for trial for conspiracy to wage war in connection with Kakori Case and also for brutal killings in Dussehra gathering. After that he said that he had sufficient evidence to get me convicted and hanged.
I was completely innocent, but I believed that the police had sufficient power to do it if they desired it to be so. The same day some police officers persuaded me to offer my prayers to God two times regularly.

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