Sukhdev Thapar

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Sukhdev Thapar
Sukhdev Thapar.jpeg
Born15 May 1907
Died23 March 1931(1931-03-23) (aged 23)
Lahore, British India (now in Punjab, Pakistan)
Organization HSRA, Naujawan Bharat Sabha
Movement Indian Independence movement

Sukhdev Thapar (15 May 1907 – 23 March 1931) was an Indian revolutionary. He was a senior member of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. He was hanged on 23 March 1931 at the age of 23. His ancestral house is in Naughara Mohalla of Ludhiana town, Punjab, India. He was son of Ram Lal and Ralli Devi. [1]

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Revolutionary person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution

A revolutionary is a person who either participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.

Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) was a revolutionary organisation, also known as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army, established in 1928 at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi by Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and others. Previously it was known as the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) whose written constitution and published manifesto titled The Revolutionary were produced as evidence in the Kakori conspiracy case of 1925.


Early life

Sukhdev Thapar, born in Ludhiana, Punjab, British India to Ramlal Thapar and Ralli Devi in a Khatri family. Sukhdev's father died and he was brought up by his uncle Lala Achintram. [2]

Ludhiana Metropolis in Punjab, India

Ludhiana is a city and a municipal corporation in Ludhiana district in the Indian state of Punjab, and India's largest city north of Delhi, with an area of 310sq. km and an estimated population of 1,618,879 as of the 2011 census. The city stands on the Sutlej River's old bank, 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) south of its present course. It is an industrial center of northern India; the BBC has called it India's Manchester. Ludhiana was among the list of smart cities that will be developed by government of India. According to World Bank Group Ludhiana is the best city in India to do business.

Punjab, India State in Northern India

Punjab is a state in northern India. Forming part of the larger Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, the state is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir to the north, Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast, Rajasthan to the southwest, and the Pakistani province of Punjab to the west. The state covers an area of 50,362 square kilometres, 1.53% of India's total geographical area. It is the 20th-largest Indian state by area. With 27,704,236 inhabitants at the 2011 census, Punjab is the 16th-largest state by population, comprising 22 districts. Punjabi is the most widely spoken and official language of the state. The main ethnic group are the Punjabis, with Sikhs (58%) forming the demographic majority. The state capital is Chandigarh, a Union Territory and also the capital of the neighbouring state of Haryana. The five tributary rivers of the Indus River from which the region took its name are Sutlej, Ravi, Beas, Chenab and Jhelum Rivers; Sutlej, Ravi and Beas are part of the Indian Punjab.

Revolutionary activities


Sukhdev was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA), and organised revolutionary cells in Punjab and other areas of North India. [3] He was the chief of Punjab unit of HSRA and instrumental in taking decisions.

Sukhdev is best remembered for his involvement in the Lahore Conspiracy Case of 18 December 1928 and its aftermath. [3] He was an accomplice of Bhagat Singh, and Shivaram Rajguru, whose conspiracy led to the assassination of Deputy Superintendent of Police, J. P. Saunders in 1928 in response to the violent death of the veteran leader Lala Lajpat Rai. [3]

Bhagat Singh 20th-century Indian revolutionary

Bhagat Singh was an Indian socialist revolutionary whose two acts of dramatic violence against the British in India and execution at age 23 made him a folk hero of the Indian independence movement.

Shivaram Rajguru Indian revolutionist

Shivaram Hari Rajguru was an Indian revolutionary from Maharashtra, known mainly for his involvement in the assassination of a British Raj police officer. On 23 March 1931 he was hanged by the British government along with Bhagat Singh.

Lahore Conspiracy Case 1930

Sukhdev participated in numerous revolutionary activities such as the 'Prison hunger strike' in 1929; he is best known for his assaults in the Lahore Conspiracy Case (18 December 1928). [4] Sukhdev was the prime accused in the Lahore Conspiracy Case of 1930, whose title reads "Crown versus Sukhdev and others". The first information report (FIR) of the Lahore Conspiracy Case, filed by Hamilton Harding, senior superintendent of police, in the court of R.S. Pandit, special magistrate in April 1929, mentions Sukhdev as accused number 1. It describes him as Swami alias villager, son of Ram Lal, caste Thapar Khatri. In a list of 25 accused, Bhagat is on the 12th position, while Rajguru is on the 20th position. It’s Sukhdev who leads the pack. [1] Bhagat Singh and Shivaram Rajguru, who had been concerned in the assassination of Deputy Superintendent of Police, J.P. Saunders in 1928, consequently avenging the death of a veteran leader, Lala Lajpat Rai, owing to immoderate police beating within the Conspiracy case. After the Central Assembly Hall bombings in New Delhi (8 April 1929), Sukhdev and his accomplices were arrested and convicted of their crime, going through the loss of life sentence as the verdict.

Lala Lajpat Rai Indian author and politician

Lala Lajpat Raipronunciation , was an Indian freedom fighter. He played a pivotal role in the Indian Independence movement. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari. He was one third of the Lal Bal Pal triumvirate. He was also associated with activities of Punjab National Bank and Lakshmi Insurance Company in their early stages in 1894.


Front page of The Tribune announcing the executions Bhagat Singh's execution Lahore Tribune Front page.jpg
Front page of The Tribune announcing the executions

On 23 March 1931, the 3 revolutionaries, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru hanged in Lahore jail. [3] [4] Their bodies were secretly cremated at the banks of the River Sutlej.

Reactions to the executions

The executions were reported widely by the press, especially as they took place on the eve of the annual convention of the Congress party at Karachi. [5] The New York Times reported:

A reign of terror in the city of Cawnpore in the United Provinces and an attack on Mahatma Gandhi by a youth outside Karachi were among the answers of the Indian extremists today to the hanging of Bhagat Singh and two fellow-assassins. [6]

B.R.Ambedkar, writing in an editorial in his newspaper Janata, blamed the British government for its decision to go ahead with the execution of the trio (Sukhdev, Rajguru and Bhagat SIngh) despite strong popular public opinion in India in support of these revolutionaries. [7] He felt that the decision to execute the trio was not taken in the true spirit of justice, but was driven by the Labour Party-led British government's fear of backlash from the Conservative Party and a need to appease public opinion in England. The Gandhi-Irwin pact, signed just weeks before the execution, was viewed by the Conservatives as having dented the prestige of the British Empire. In such a situation, if the British government or the Viceroy of India commuted the death sentence awarded to the trio convicted of assassinating a British policeman, it would have given the Conservatives more ammunition to criticize an already weak British government in the parliament.

Legacy and memorials

National Martyrs Memorial for Sukhdev, Bhagat Singh and Rajguru National Martyrs Memorial Hussainiwala.jpg
National Martyrs Memorial for Sukhdev, Bhagat Singh and Rajguru

National Martyrs Memorial

National Martyrs Memorial is located at Hussainiwala, where Sukhdev, along with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru was cremated. Every year on 23 March martyrs day (Shaheed diwas) is observed remembering three revolutionaries. Tributes and homage is paid at the memorial. [8]


Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, a constituent college of the University of Delhi, is named in memory of martyr Sukhdev Thapar. It was established in August 1987. [9]

Bus Terminal

Amar Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Inter-State Bus Terminal is the main bus stand of Ludhiana city, the birth place of Sukhdev. [10]

See also

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  1. 1 2 "Mark of a martyr - Sukhdev Thapar". The Tribune India. 13 May 2007. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  2. Pramod Maruti Mande (2005). Sacred offerings into the flames of freedom. Vande Mataram Foundation. p. 251. ISBN   978-81-902774-0-2.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Facts about martyr Sukhdev Thapar". India Today . 15 May 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  4. 1 2 "Remembering the men who shook up the British Raj". The Economic Times . 23 March 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  5. "Bhagat "Indian executions stun the Congress". The New York Times. 25 March 1931. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  6. "Bhagat "50 die in India riot; Gandhi assaulted as party gathers". The New York Times. 26 March 1931. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  7. आंबेडकर, B. R. Ambedkar बी आर (22 March 2018). "'Three Victims' – Ambedkar's editorial on Bhagat Singh's martyrdom". Forward Press. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  8. "Nation paid tributes to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru & Sukhdev on their 86th martyrdom day" . Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  9. "Shaheed Sukhdev". Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies . Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  10. "Punjab Roadways takes city bus stand's charge temporarily". Hindustan Times . 24 January 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2018.

Further reading