|The First Step
In 1922, the Congress organized a procession in the town of Chauri chaura in Gorakhpur
District. Then some rogues locked up twenty-two policemen together in a house, set fire to
the house and burnt them. Before this, similar acts of violence had occurred even in
Bombay andMadras. Mahatma Gandhi felt very sad at all this. He asked the people to end the
non- cooperation movement which was then going on in the country.
That was a great disappointment to young Bhagat Singh, a lad of fifteen.
Should an important movement be given up, just because 22 persons died? Before that, a
nineteen-year-old revolutionary by name Kartar Singh had been hanged by the British
Govemment. Then none of these supporters of nonviolence raised any objection. How could
nonviolence become so important now? Such thoughts weakened Bhagat Singh's faith in
non - violence and non-cooperation movements. He went on firmly believing that armed
revolution was the only practical way of winning freedom.
He made a deep study of the lives of the revolutionaries of Ireland, Italy and Russia. The
more he read, the deeper grew his belief that war alone could bring freedom. The youth of
the land should be inspired to turn to revolution. The very thought of fighting for
freedom should thrill the young men. So thinking, Bhagat Singh began to organize the
To continue his studies, Bhagat Singh joined the National College. This college had been
started by great patriots like Lala Lajpat Ray. Though he had not been to school for some
years, Bhagat Singh had a good knowledge of history and politics. The Principal was
astonished and permitted him to join the college straight away.
During the day he would listen to the lessons in the class. In the evening he would
collect several friends and discuss the coming revolution. This became his daily routine.
At college, Bhagat Singh took part in several plays.A teacher who saw him in the leading
roles in 'RanaPratap', 'Samrat Chandragupta' and
'Bharata-durdasha' remarked, "This boy will become a great man."