Bhagat Singh was an Indian socialist considered to be one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement. He is often referred to as “Shaheed Bhagat Singh”, the word “Shaheed” meaning “martyr” in a number of Indian languages. Born into a Sikh family which had earlier been involved in revolutionary activities against the British Raj, as a teenager Singh studied European revolutionary movements and was attracted to anarchist and Marxist ideologies. He became involved in numerous revolutionary organisations.
In 1950, after Independence, the land where Bhagat Singh and his companions were cremated was procured from Pakistan and a memorial built. In March 1961, a Shahidi Mela was held there. Every year, on 23 March, the martyr’s memory is similarly honoured. The old memorial, destroyed in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, has been rebuilt Bhagat Singh is remembered by the endearing title of Shahid-i-Azam, the greatest of martyrs.