23rd March: A Remembrance in Books

It’s that time of the year again. A day when I salute all those who laid their lives so that we could be born in a free country. This year too I am paying a homage to all those heroes by reviewing the books recently read on the revolutionary struggle for India’s independence.


Sukhdev Raj was the person with Chandrashekhar Azad in Alfred Park on that fateful day when Azad attained martyrdom. In many ways, his reminiscences about his initiation into the revolutionary struggle in the Punjab and his later role in the party, makes for painful reading. While the first rung of Revolutionary leaders were in jail, the others who were supposed to carry the struggle forward simply fell apart, guided by personal vanities and gratifications and governed by petty jealousies and one-upmanship.

First Line: Mera Janam Lahore mein 7 December, 1907 ko Punjab ke khatri vansh mein hua.
Alternate Title: Jab Jyot Jagi
Editor: Sudhir Vidyarthi
Publication Details: ND: Rajkamal, 2009
First Published: 1971
Pages: 248
Source: DPL [954.0841 SUKHDE]
Other books read of the same author: None



Virendra was the editor of Partaap and Veer Pratap when the emergency was declared and editorials in newspapers started to be censored. Rather than suffer such an ignominy, Virendra stopped writing editorials and instead wrote a series of articles about his life as a young college student in pre-partioned Punjab when he was on the fringes of the revolutionary movement in Lahore. About the same age as Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev, Virendra was much impressed by the fiery zeal shown by these young men and became involved in the struggle for freedom. An involvement that saw him being arrested and locked-up in jails repeatedly.

For anybody interested in the history of pre-partioned Punjab, its politics, the prominent leaders, the play of press and politics, this is a must-read. In fact, reading it for the second time this year, I enjoyed it much more as compared to when I read it for the first time.

First Line: April 1927 ki baat hai.
Publication Details: ND: Rajpal & Sons, 1986
First Published: 1986
Pages: 212
Source: H.M.L [1602]
Other books read of the same author: None



Of the trio that was hung on 23 March, I had the least knowledge about the youngest, Rajguru. While I had read biographies of both Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev, this was the first time I read a full-fledged biography about Rajguru. Author Anil Verma thus has done a great job in filling a lacuna.

First Line: 23 March san 1931, Central Jail Lahore.
Publication Details: ND: Publications Division, 2008
First Published: 2008
Pages: 196
Source: Bought
Other books read of the same author: None

12 thoughts on “23rd March: A Remembrance in Books

  1. These all look fascinating, Neeru! And I think reading about those who sacrificed so much is a fine way to honour their memories. And for those who aren't as well-informed on the revolution, it's a good way to learn more about it.


  2. What a great post! I don't know much about these events, but I'd definitely like to find out. I just wanted to let you know that today is the first quarter update for the Horror Reading Challenge! You can find the update post HERE!Tracy @ Cornerfolds


  3. Thanks Tracy. Very kind of you. I haven't reviewed anything for the Horror Reading Challenge. Perhaps in the next quarter, I'll do so. Thanks for the reminder. Wonderful to have hosts like you.


  4. Thank you Freda for being interested in different cultures. The third book has definitely been translated into English but I am not too sure about the other two. Will do some research.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.