A meeting held in Lahore on 16 August, 2012, resolved to establish the Bhagat Singh Memorial Committee to celebrate the birth and martyrdom days of the great hero of the Indian anti-colonial struggle. The aim of the committee is to reclaim the revolutionary socialist legacy of Bhagat Singh and his comrades-in-arms, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Sohan Singh Josh, Chandarshekar Azad, Ajay Kumar Gosh, Yashpal and others.
The meeting was called by Labour Party Pakistan, and presided by Zahid Akaasi, senior journalist and documentary film-maker. The meeting was attended by representatives of various progressive trade unions and political and social organizations.
The meeting elected the following to the organizing committee:
Amir Suhail, Senior Vice President, Punjab Union of Journalists
Nasir Naqvi, President, All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation (APNEC)
Comrade Irfan, Deputy Secretary General, Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party
Niaz Khan, Secretary General, National Trade Union Federation Punjab
Ammar Ali Jan, General Secretary Labour Party Pakistan Lahore
Idrees Tabassum, Secretary General Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy
Mirza Zain ul Abideen, Convener, Progressive Democratic Alliance Pakistan
Zahid Akaasi, Senior Journalist
Zafar Iqbal, Chairman, Movement for Democratic Pakistan
Shahzad Arshad, Revolutionary Socialist Movement
Sonia Qadir, member LPP Lahore
Yousaf Baloch, Chairman, National Trade Union Federation Pakistan
Khalid Malik, Director, Labour Education Foundation
Saeeda Diep, Director, Institute for Peace and Secular Studies
The meeting agreed to expand the committee if more organizations and individuals will be interested to join it.
Narrating the history of Bhagat Singh’s struggle against British imperialism, participants recalled Bhagat Singh’s key contributions to the Indian revolutionary movement:
- He admitted his tactical mistakes (individual acts of terror) and encouraged Indians to strengthen the mass movement for independence from imperial rule and the capitalist system
- His pioneering use of his trial as a platform from which to propagate his views on the need for a revolutionary struggle to free Indians from the yoke of imperialism
- The long hunger strike that he and his comrades undertook to demand fair treatment of prisoners
Participants condemned the limiting of Bhagat Singh’s legacy just to a symbol of Pakistan-India friendship and peace, or to Indian nationalism or to Sikh nationalism, and resolved to do their utmost to celebrate the entire spectrum of Bhagat Singh’s thought and praxis: not just the idea of an Indian confederation, but also his struggle for the liberation of the oppressed classes of society which led him to challenge the feudal lords, the nascent Indian bourgeoisie as well as the British Raj.
The meeting resolved to celebrate the upcoming birthday of Bhagat Singh on 28th September in Lahore and on 29th September in his native village, Bangha, Chak # 107, Tehsil Jaranwala, District Faisalabad.
The meeting resolved to a rousing welcome for the Indian delegate to the celebration and decided to hold two days deliberations with seminar, cultural evening, welcome in Faisalabad (Lyallpur) and a visit to Bhagat village in Tehseel Jaranwala.
The meeting was addressed by Farooq Tariq, Ammar Ali jan, Yousaf Baluch, Irfan Comrade, Mirza Zainulabdin, Khalid Malik, Zafar Iqbal and others.
Labour Party Pakistan
1/7 Street 7, Mohammed Nagar, Allama Iqbal Road, Lahore, Pakistan
tel: 00 92 42 36315162
From SPN Newletter