While paying homage to the great Indian freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai, Sri Aurobindo said: “Happy is he, for his Mother has accepted his service and given it the highest reward for which a patriot can hope, the privilege of not merely serving but suffering for her.”
He went on to say: “Lala Lajpat Rai has gone from us, but doubt not that men stronger and greater than he will take his place. For when a living and rising cause is persecuted, this is the sure result that in the place of those whom persecution strikes down, there arise, like the giants from the blood of Raktabij, men who to their own strength add the strength, doubled and quadrupled by death or persecution, of the martyrs for the cause.”
These words of Sri Aurobindo, though said for for Lalaji, stand true for his worthy successors—Martyrs Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru—in India’s freedom struggle. The anniversary of the deaths of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru on March 23, 1931, is marked as Martyr’s Day. Their execution spurred many youth throughout India to take up the revolutionary path, playing a vital role in energizing the fight against the British empire. On Martyrs’ Day, also known as ‘Shaheed Diwas’ or ‘Sarvodaya Day’, Indians pay homage to the eternally young 23-year-old Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev and 22-year-old Rajguru who infused such youthful blood in the fight for India’s independence. May the countrymen never forget the ideals for which such heroes laid down their lives! May this country never forget their supreme sacrifice!