Is there any truth that FICCI or a group of Indian capitalists lobbied to get Bhagat Singh hanged?

By Sunil Kumar

Although the FICCI was established in 1927 by G.D Birla and Purshottam Das Thakurdas on the advice of M.K Gandhi; pre-independence India did not have industrial bodies with great power and influence; such as today.

It was also British vested interest which deliberately kept Indian industry from fully flourishing. According to the book “The History of Doing” by Radha Kumar; a group of capitalists(mill-owners) did try to tell Gandhi to reach a pact with the then Viceroy Irwin in February 1931. The British had recently used a ploy in placating mill-owners with a five percent surcharge on cotton piecegood imports.

People were shocked however when Gandhi only lobbied and managed to get a few civil disobedience protestors out; but refused to do anything for Bhagat Singh; quite popular at the time. Although; I will not go as far as former SC justice Katju who described M.K Gandhi as a “cunning rascal”; I agree with him that Bhagat Singh was a genuine patriot.

The Lahore Tribune's front page on the 25th of...

The Lahore Tribune’s front page on the 25th of March 1931. —- The headline reads “BHAGAT SINGH, RAJGURU AND SUKHDEV EXECUTED.” The article also reveals that there were no last interviews with relations and that the dead bodies were secretly disposed of. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jinnah; in fact vigorously defended Bhagat Singh and called his trial; “a travesty”, a “farce” and believed that he was condemned by the vile colonial rulers even before the trial began. Also; there was an unlikely alliance(in modern terms) between Madan Mohan Malviya and Jinnah; both of whom campaigned for Bhagat Singh’s release, Malviya repeatedly filed petitions with the Viceroy for this. But; eventually Bhagat Singh believed in his cause; and was not afraid of a martyr’s death.

So; there is no direct reference to a group of Indian capitalists trying to get Bhagat Singh hanged; but they were definitely trying to protect their own turf; and made no concerted attempt to get him released.







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