The Day of 31st July is not just any other day. This is the day to remember Shaheed Udham Singh: the forgotten hero who avenged the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
Udham Singh was a little boy in an orphanage in Amritsar. At that time, India was a witness to intense political turmoil and Singh grew up observing the changes taking place around him. Singh, 20-years-old at the time, was deeply scarred by the event and soon got involved in the armed resistance that was unfolding in and outside India.
He went to San Francisco and came in contact with the members of the Ghadar Party. Next few years he traveled across America to secure support for their movement. He gave his life to the work of the Ghadar Party but was in constant reminder of the unfaithful event.
When he reached London in 1933 he tracked Michael O’Dwyer, who he held responsible for the brutal Jallianwala massacre and in 1940 - after 21 years he shot and killed O’Dwyer and avenged the death of the hundreds of Indians who died in Jaliaawala Bagh Massacre.
He did not try to flee or resist arrest and was immediately taken into custody. Convicted and sentenced to death, Singh was hanged on July 31, 1940, at London’s Pentonville Prison and buried within the prison grounds.
His death is celebrated today as Martyrdom Day of Shahid Udham Singh. The Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru was initially critical of Singh’s actions, but much later as Prime Minister he paid rich tributes to him. Singh’s remains were exhumed and brought to India in 1974. India’s great political leaders lined up to honor him.
On 31 July 1992 India Post had issued a 100 paise (1 Rupee) postage stamp to commemorate this great freedom fighter.
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