28 May 1930
Death of revolutionary Bhagwati Charan Vohra
Revolutionary freedom fighter Bhagwati Charan Vohra died on May 28, 1930 as a result of an explosion while testing a bomb. Vohra was the author of the famous article titled “The Philosophy of Bomb”.
- Born on 4th July 1904 to Rai Bahadur Shiv Charan Vohra and his wife, Bhawati Charan was a brilliant and articulate man whose contribution to the Indian freedom struggle is forgotten by most Indians.
- In 1921, Vohra quit his college and joined the Satyagraha movement. However, after the movement was called off, he resumed his studies at the National College, Lahore and acquired a B.A. degree.
- It was at the college that Vohra was drawn towards the revolutionary movement in India.
- He was very close to the legendary Bhagat Singh and others such as Sukhdev and Chandrasekhar Azad.
- Vohra was a voracious reader and a great writer as well. He was appointed the Propaganda Secretary of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha. He, along with Bhagat Singh prepared the manifesto of that organisation.
- They were also part of the Hindustan Socialist Republic Association (HSRA). Vohra also authored the manifesto of the HSRA.
- He was against caste-based divisions in society and worked for the poor as per his socialist beliefs. He also promoted Hindu-Muslim unity.
- On 23rd December 1929, Vohra and his associates plotted and executed a plan to assassinate the Viceroy Lord Irwin by hurling a bomb at a train in which Lord Irwin was travelling. The Viceroy escaped unhurt.
- Mahatma Gandhi responded to the incident by thanking that the Viceroy was safe and denounced the revolutionaries in a pamphlet titled ‘The cult of bomb’.
- In response to this, Vohra, along with Azad, authored an article ‘The philosophy of the bomb’ in which he explains the viewpoint of the radicals. The last paragraph of the article said, “There is no crime that Britain has not committed in India. Deliberate misrule has reduced us to paupers, has ‘bled us white’. As a race and a people we stand dishonoured and outraged. Do people still expect us to forget and to forgive? We shall have our revenge – a people’s righteous revenge on the tyrant. Let cowards fall back and cringe for compromise and peace. We ask not for mercy and we give no quarter. Ours is a war to the end – to Victory or Death.”
- After Bhagat Singh was jailed, the revolutionaries planned to rescue him from jail. Unfortunately, while testing a bomb for this purpose, Vohra died in an accidental explosion on the banks of the River Ravi in Lahore. This occurred on 28th May, 1930 and Vohra became a martyr at the age of just 25.
- He was survived by his son and wife, Durgawati Devi, who was herself actively involved in revolutionary activities for the nation.
- Today, the work of Bhagwati Charan Vohra is hardly known by the average Indian. He deserves a just place in the annals of Indian history much like his illustrious associates Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad.
Also on this day
1883: Birth of freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.