Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh – Shaheed Udham Singh is a well-known freedom fighter from Punjab who killed Michael O’ Dwyer, the former lieutenant governor of the Punjab in India. In 1919, in Amritsar, Singh eye witnessed the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and the murder of O’ Dwyer was revenge for that massacre. Singh was hanged in July 1940. While in custody, he used the name Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, which represents the three major religions of Punjab and his anti-colonial sentiment.
Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh
Some facts to know about Shaheed Udham Singh
- Udham Singh was born as Sher Singh on 26 December 1899 in Sunam of Punjab, India. His father, Sardar Tehal Singh was a railway crossing watchman in Upalli.
- Singh became an orphan at a very early age and was taken away by Central Khalsa Orphanage, Putlighar. There he was named as Udham Singh.
- Shaheed Udham Singh was deeply influenced by Bhagat Singh and his revolutionary group.
- On 13 April 1919, over twenty thousand people had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar for a meeting. Singh and his friends were serving water to the crowd when General R.E.H. Dyer ordered the army to shoot at the crowd that killed more than 1000 people in the massacre.
Shaheed Udham Singh
- Udham Singh escaped and was able to save himself from this massacre but he got deeply affected by this.
- At that time, O’Dwyer was the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab. He was the one who passed over the order of General R.E.H. Dyer to attack in Jallianwala Bagh.
- Shaheed Udham Singh joined Ghadar Party in 1924 to organize Indians staying overseas for overthrowing colonial rule in India.
- On 13 March 1940, Udham Singh shot two bullets at Michael O’Dwyer while a joint meeting of the East India Association and the Central Asian Society was on in Caxton Hall in Westminster, London.
- Udham did not run away after shooting Dwyer, but instead he waited for the officials to arrest him.
More facts about Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh
- During the custody, when he was asked about the murder of Michael O’Dwyer, he replied, “I did it because I had a grudge against him. He deserved it. He was the real culprit. He wanted to crush the spirit of my people, so I have crushed him. For full 21 years, I have been trying to seek vengeance. I am happy that I have done the job. I am not scared of death. I am dying for my country. I have seen my people starving in India under the British rule. I have protested against this, it was my duty. What greater honor could be bestowed on me than death for the sake of my motherland?”
- On 31 July 1940, he was hanged at Pentonville Prison. The remains of Singh are still preserved at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, Punjab.
Shaheed Udham Singh
- On every 31 July, marches are held in his birthplace Sunam and his every statue is paid honor and tribute in the city.
- Because of his patriotism, Udham Singh was given the title of Shaheed-i-Azam which means, ‘the great martyr’.
- Singh’s weapon, a knife, a diary and a bullet from shooting are kept in Black Museum, Scotland Yard.