Shaheed UDHAM SINGH
Udham Singh was one of the great patriots of India, with a burning desire to see his motherland free from the clutches of British colonialism and imperialism. According to British records, he was born at Sunam Village, Patiala State, on 23 August 1901, and was known at various stages in his relatively short life by the following names: Sher Singh, Udham Singh, Udhan Singh, Ude Singh, Frank Brazil and Mohemed Singh Azad. Being orphaned at the age of three, he was brought up in the Sikh orphanage attached to Khalsa College, Amritsar. He was issued with a passport on 20 March 1933 in Lahore in the name of Udham Singh. In a Metropolitan Police report, file MEPO 3/1743, dated 16 March 1940 (3 days after Udham Singh had been charged with the murder of Sir Michael O’Dwyer), we find information concerning his life, which reveals him to be a highly active, well-travelled, politically motivated, secular-minded young man with some great purpose in his life, a supporter of Bolshevism and driven by an ardent hatred of British rule in India. This is how the report runs On 13 March 1940, Sir Michael was one of a distinguished company at a joint meeting in the Tudor Hall, Caxton Hall, Westminster, of the East India Association and the Royal Central Asiatic Society.
Extract from Udham Singh’s Diary including the date of O’Dwyer’s murder
As the meeting was breaking up Udham Singh fired all 6 rounds of a .45 Smith & Wesson revolver into a group of people on the platform of whom O’Dwyer was a part. O’Dwyer was was hit twice in the back, and killed instantly. One bullet passing through his heart and right lung. Another bullet passed through both kidneys.
Lord Zetland, Secretary of State for India, was hit twice although he was only slightly injured, as were Lord Lamington and Sir Louis Dane. The numbers of people killed were not as large as could have been expected, as Udham Singh used 30 year old, poor fitting .44 bullets.
Udham Singh was overpowered before he left the room. His hatred had not been diminished by killing O’Dwyer:
“I did it because I had a grudge against him, he deserved it. I don’t belong to any society or anything else. I don’t care, I don’t mind dying. What is the use of waiting until you get old? That is no good … Is Zetland dead? He ought to be, I put two in him. I bought the revolver from a soldier in a public house. My parents died when I was 3 or 4 … Only the one dead, eh? I thought I could get more.”
Udham Singh was tried for the murder of Sir Michael O’Dwyer at London’s Central Criminal Court during June 1940. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.
On 31 July 1940, Udham Singh was hanged at Pentonville Prison. As with other executed prisoners, he was buried later that afternoon within the prison grounds.
During the trial, Udham Singh had made a request that his remains be sent back to India, but this was not allowed. In 1975, however, the Government of India, at the instance of the Punjab Government, asked for the return of Udham Singh’s remains. Their request was allowed by the UK Government, and his exhumed remains were handed over to representatives of the Indian Government.
Udham Singh’s Last Words
‘I don’t care, I don’t mind dying. What Is the use of waiting till you get old? This Is no good. You want to die when you are young. That is good, that Is what I am doing’.
After a pause he added:
‘I am dying for my country’.
In a statement given on March 13th, 1940 be said:
‘I just shot to make protest. I have seen people starving In India under British Imperialism. I done it, the pistol went off three or four times. I am not sorry for protesting. It was my duty to do so. Put some more. Just for the sake of my country to protest. I do not mind my sentence. Ten, twenty, or fifty years or to be hanged. I done my duty.’
In a letter from Brixton Prison of 30th March, 1940, Udham Singh refers to Bhagat Singh in the following terms:
‘I never afraid of dying so soon I will be getting married with execution. I am not sorry as I am a soldier of my country it is since 10 years when my friend has left me behind and I am sure after my death I will see him as he is waiting for me it was 23rd and I hope they will hang me on the same date as he was.’
The British courts were able to silence for long the last words of Udham Singh. At last the speech has been released from the British Public Records Office.
THE GUN USED BY UDHAM SINGH ..>>>