Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Feeling the continuous pinch of the closers of markets places, educational institutions, health centres, financial institutions, post offices, telegraph services, water supply& electric services, bandhs, hartals, strikes and alike over a period of months in the State Of J&K , I am reminded of contents of my article ‘The city of bandh’ published in a local daily of Jammu dated 6th DEC.1992. Since then the numerous bands called in J&K and else where have claimed many precious lives, property worth many crores have been destroyed, besides loss of millions of working man -days. In the name of a bandh, organisers take the whole society to ransom. Trains, buses, educational institutions, medical institutions and other community services don't run. Several people die each time. Insurmountable difficulties are faced by many innocents. This has happened despite the facts that Kerala High Court banned the bands in 1997 and this was upheld subsequently by the Supreme Court of India. Resorting to a bandh is wholly impermissible." Said the apex Court bench. Every body wants to solve the problem of his way, with out caring for the established procedure under the law of the land. Such situations are unfortunate and the society suffers.
It is not that always bandh & hartals organisers are un- justified to give a call for a justified cause, the delayed action of the Government agencies to resolve the issues result in delays in correcting their wrongful decision putting the public to inconveniences, loss to precious lives & property. A recent such example is Gujjars Agitation of Rajasthan in which the government is more responsible for the losses than any body else. Another long settled issues are of “Reservation to the Dalits includes OBC’S”, article 370, water sharing, which causes troubles without any solid results, contrary to their existing status. Such Constitutional issues should be found solutions in the Constitutional institutions.
In present agitations in J&K too showing indifferent attitude to the growing tension by the state authorities is more responsible than the public for the present tension. The whole matter has been mishandled from the beginning and now both sides are trapped in such a situation that any further delay may be so disastrous that we may have to repent for this delay for a very long time. The bandh scars are growing sourer day by day. It is not the matter of prestige of any individual government functionary or party but the safety and connivance of the suffering masses. Which should be addressed immediately? The government should come up with a solid solution to solve the impasse, so that peace & prosperity returns to suffering state subjects. The government authorities should not display as, if, they are working for the British Crown and to earn more appreciations for them, they adopt more tortuous methods towards their Indian subjects. But the authorities must know present the truth of “Masses are the masters and Government functionaries are their servants, engaged to work for their welfare and not for unjustified torturing the masses” The parties involved should think to solve the warring problem by adopting peaceful ways & means, so that peace& brotherhood our the most prestigious heritage are no further damaged for satisfying false ego of individuals and parties involved in the present turmoil. The State has already suffered much in the last 20 years of militancy virus. Let our leaders and government managers follow full restrain in their public utterances so that atmosphere of trust and brotherhood returns in already hatred charged atmosphere. It is easy to spread peas, but difficult to repack those spread peas and restored original flavour. I wish before this article is published, the normalcy returns to the Crown of Indian States namely J&K. All those who have suffered losses to their properties and families of those who have attained martyrdom are duely compensated and rehabilitated with perennial sources of livelihood .
As the society is becoming more mechanized & complex day by day but it still inherits numerous human & machines imperfections. The large number of vehicles & pedestrian using already congested roads some are bound to meet with accidents, large number of patients under going treatments for various diseases, some of more serious nature are bound to die in hospitals, large number of daily visitors to various places of pilgrims & hill stations are bound to face difficulties for man made & natural reasons, water taps have to go dry & electric transmissions are bound to get defective, roads are bound to get slips & damages for obvious reasons, prices are to rise. Despite best efforts by authorities adulterations& under weighing shall continue by some greedy business persons, police personnel’s at times shall continue to be unreasonable, bazaars & lanes shall continue to be occupied by small business persons, demolishing of unauthorised structures shall have to be resorted to by the authorities, dispute have to be there in a vibrant society, but all these should not provoke us to resort to bandhs, hartals and put the society to ransom and damage our national property. Before resorting to such actions, we must think about the welfare and bread earning of vendors, rehriwallas, pheriwalas (vendors with or without hand driven trolleys), phariwalas( Vendors selling goods on footpaths), way side shoe mender, small tea staler, daily milkmen moving on bi-cycles or scooters, daily wagers and many such who live on day to day earnings , patients who need immediate medical attentions. How daily bread earners pass their days with out life’s supporting commodities should worry us all. Whether their kitchens are running or not, whether their infants and children are getting food or not should be our common concern, so we should not drive them to point of starvation due to none of their faults. These poor people are not party to any wrong decision of the governments or political activists, so why put them to suffer, and it should be thought twice by the leaders or government functionaries before getting their ego satisfied. It has been seen in the past that some of the student unions need no excuse to engage in acts of vandalism and destroy the democratic fabric of our country. Resorting to large scale bandh hartals, on delay in sanctioning a DA instalment, wrongly fixing seniority of a few employee union leaders, disciplinary action for wrong committed by employees, delay in settling pay increase or finding an insect in public tap or a lockout in a factory cannot be justified for large scl bandh calls, so general masses should not fall prey to such mistakes of individuals. To settle such disputes, remedial measures enshrined in statue books should be followed. The Government agencies should put up in place effective grievances redressal systems so as to nip the evil in the bud. Any small spark if not controlled in time can take the form of a big fire disaster , so situations should be controlled on the first small adverse smell.
Un-law full acts by individuals or governments agencies even in foreign country provoke for bands& hartals. Particularly in developing countries instances of bands & hartals are numerous there by putting the life out of gear and bringing halts to all normal activities. But a large damage to life & property in India during bands & hartals is crossing all limits. During bands & hartals, political party workers, individual & specially hired goons for the purposes are seen destroying life & property as ,if, they are fighting against some foreign anti social elements. They forget that the property they are destroying is their national property & the persons loosing lives are their own country men. Why the organisers forget that the property being burnt by them during bands have been created from their money aced out from them in the form of taxes & the property so destroyed shall have to be re-built from their money at the cost of new developmental works. The anti Indian forces desire & plan to keep Indian development hampered, create hatred among different ethnic groups, religions, regions etc. Mostly the practical shape the things take during hartals, produce undesired damages. How so ever the good intentions may be of the organisers of bandh hartals, the path traversed is mostly the same. The band organisers go projecting in their speeches that they are doing so to save their union interests, their political agendas for the welfare of the country & its residents. Some others say that they are fighting to safeguard the interests of a particular religion or region under false threats.
If hartals is in- abatable, to awaken authorise from their slumber, it should not be stretched even for a moment than absolute essential. Resorting to democratic procedures for dispute resolving is the best and convenient way, it should be tried first.
Again continuing the storey of bandhs & their ill effects and reasons to avoid them it may be said that as per the records Kerala State of Indian union was slapped during 2006 about 223 hartals putting the state to revenue loss of over 2000 crores.The Kerala State Road Transport alone suffered a loss of Rupees ten crores in 2006 & Rupees 8.75 Crores in 2007 due to bands. The Kerala state nearly 3.5% of total population accounts for organising bandhs/ hartals out of which 0.5% are political party’s workers& 3% employees. They caused Rupees 233 per day bandh per person against average earning of Rupees 150per person per day. In an other estimate, one Indian city suffered a loss of Rupees ten crores to public property in a single day’s hartals. Keeping in view that the peaceful Hartals or protests as a part of democratic dispensation, so the Supreme Court of India in another judgement refused to grant stay to political reinforced bandh termed as Hartals Also keeping in view the comforts of the public during hartals, the Apex court simultaneously issued directives to the governments to maintain, peace, harmony and ensure the safety to public & public property during hartals. The Kerala High Court issued directives to the parties & government to ensure to maintain of normal life & transport, protect life & property. The court further issuer direction to the organisers of hartals to give to the effected parties’ proper compensation for damages to life & property from bandh initiating party accounts. In 2004 the Supreme Court even imposed a fine of Rupees Twenty Lakhs each of the two political parties, for giving bandh call in Mumbai on a major incident of bomb blast. West Bengal normally takes the cake in organising bands, but if, prevailing conditions don’t improve for good, I am afraid Jammu may take the lead this time.
Generally many audiences are ill informed. The bandh organisers at times spit so much poison that its poisonous reaction leave residuals effects for long time, some times resulting in more bandhs. The organisers of such bands forget the golden fact, ‘In safe & prosper India lies the safety & prosperity of all individuals, all regions, all religions all political parties’. To progress, we must have peaceful conditions, which are impaired in hartals & bands infested conditions.
Let the political parties in opposition evaluate truthfully the conditions of the things when they were in power, and the ruling bosses not to postpone possible solutions to solvable problems to a time when they shall be in the opposition and then find solutions by organising bands. The government agencies are kept engaged controlling of such destructive activities as bandhs, leaving hardly any time to attend to the welfare measures required for the society.
We have huge problems concerning our masses wanting immediate solutions & adequate financial resources have to be found to solve them. So where is time and justification to waste our resources in unproductive bandhs and hartals? In India we have yet to find employment to ever increasing unemployed youths , whose number was18.7 millions(1995-96) Yet in rural India 45% of our population is illiterate and 49% of our children in the age group of 6 to14 years are not in schools. A large number of our bread producing farmers are forced to commit suicides (One every 30 minutes) as, 84% of them spend more than they earn from farming. One woman dies every07 minutes during pregency and 6to8 million unsafe abortions are carried over un abated. Against the constitutional law of not allowing marring girls below the age of 18 years nearly 44% girls are married away before they attain this age. World’s 33% malnutrant children ( 50% of Indian children ) are Indian. In India shortage of houses is as much as 24 million out of which 99% are for persons of Lower Income Group. Nearly 24 to25% urban populations of Indian cities lives in slums &in cities 60% residents have no water available in their premises. Over 3.62 crores cases are pending in Indian courts including Apex Court . Every now & then demands are made to get the cases investigated from CBI, the premier agency with out caring for pendency of cases with it as high as 8668 in April 2008, with some of the cases pending since 20 years. When we shall get time from such unproductive acts like bandhs and hartals to attend to 200 million Indians, who go to bed fully or partially hungry as average earning of over 836 million Indians( 77% of population), is Rupees 20per day or less, with majority of whom are belonging to SC’S; ST’S,OBC’S& Muslims. When we are going to find time for putting to gear the defunct ,PDS,Public, Distribution System. We have to be united to kill the virus of the all round corruption in our society, ill heath, illiteracy, poverty, caste and sex based hatred, militancy, threats from across our boarders, smuggling into India intoxicants, regional imbalances and many more. So where is time and resources to waste in bandhs and hartals?
The unruly scenes displayed out in bazaars & streets during bandhs and hartals are also visible in our Constituent Assemblies & in Parliament proceedings, where beating by chapels and blows is not uncommon acts and this in turn at times results in more bandhs and hartals.
In the national interests let all political parties rise above their narrow manifestos and come out with alternatives to solve our national problems by resorting to legitimate methods only. It is well said by a great thinker" THERE IS NEVER A BAD PEACE & a GOOD DISPUTE.” Let us pay full head to the judgement pronounced by our law guardians in 1998 while putting restrains on bandhs, I quote -- Everybody is trying to tackle this problem. If anyone is going to react to this type of terrorism, there is going to be no solution to the problem." The judges pointed out that the apex court banned bandhs as early as in 1998. "We cannot shut our eyes to this. Unless a message goes to all concerned, this cannot be put down." One of the remedies was that the damages should be so deterrent that "if someone violates the court order he must be ready to face the consequences. Resorting to a bandh is wholly impermissible."
So in our National interests let us resolve to follow only Constitutional methods and to avoid bandh and hartals for the good of our country and its peoples. Let the trustful conditions be created and solution to dispute be found by discussions across the table to mitigate sufferings of general masses.
8-08-2008 63/5 NANAK Nagar Jammu

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shaheed Udham Singh

Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Udham Singh killer of Sir Michael O'Dwyer was born on 26th December1889 at village Sunam (now Sunam Udham Singh Wala) Distt Sangroor of Patiala Princly State. His parents Sardar Tehal Singh & Sardarni Harnam Kour were convert to Sihkism on the iniciation of Sardar Dhanna Singh Ji an overseer in irrigation Department. Before Amritpan Sardar Tehal and sardarni Harnam Kour were named as Shri Chuhar Ram and Shrimati Narayana Devi and are reported to be residents of village Patiali of Etta Nagar in Utter Pradesh. One author has written that Chuhar Ram was resident of Kanpur Janpad in UP. Shri Chuhar Ram came from Jammu Jammu clan of Kamboj lineage in Chamars, an important shudar caste having religious linkage 7with Guru Ravi Das ( 1414-1540AD) of Banaras, a saint of highest spiritual order. The Chuhar Ram couple was seasonal migratory to Punjab as poor labourers along with others to work as agriculture and brick kiln labourers. In 1880 Chuhar Ram migrated from village Patiali (UP) to Sunam in Patiala State of Punjab. Shri Chuhar Ram and Shrimati Narayana Devi worked at Neelowal 3 miles (5 Kms) from Sunam with Irrigation Canal Overseer Sardar Dhanna Singh. Shri Chuhar Ram and his wife a pious couple worked with great zeal, dedicationand honesty, so Sardar Dhanna Singh himself a devout religious person developed affection for them. This religious attachment of theirs influenced Shri Chuhar Ram’s to become a Shajdhari Sikh.
When Sh. Chuhar Ram couple again came to Sunam for work, they were received with affection by Sardar Dhanna Singh , his wife Sardarni Maan Kour and their daughter Maya Kour. Here Sh. Chuhar Ram his wife took Amrit & become regular Sikhs with new names as Sardar Tehal Singh & Sardarni Harnam Kour. Sardar Dhanna Singh through his relation Sardar Chanchal Singh Sunami got engaged Sardar Tehal Singh as a Railway Gateman at Uppali Railway Station, 5 miles from Sunam. So Sardar Tehal Singh started living at Sunam in a small house where Shaheed Udham Singh was born as second male to Sardar Tehal Singh & Sardarni Harnam Kour. Their elder son was named as Mukha Singh. Their younger son was named as Sher Singh
As ill luck both Sardarni Harnam Kour & Sardar Tehal Dingh died with in a span of one year leaving both their sons aged 10 & 5 years as orphans. Sardar Chanchal Singh looked after both boys for 2years & then got them admitted in Central Khalsa Ram Bagh Orphanage near Putligarh Amritsar 24th October, 1907. Sardar Sohan Singh incharge of this orphanage was son-in-law of Sardar Dhanna Singh. So Mukha Singh & Sher Singh newly admitted boys got homely care under Sardarni Maya Kour ( S. Dhana Singh’s daughter) and her orphanage incharge husband. The boys were given new names Mukha singh as Sadhu Singh & Sher Singh as Udham Singh. Pt Jai Chand a cook of orphanage a revolutionary himself tought the children of orphanage how to become revolutionary and this teaching influenced the young mind of Udham Singh. Simplicity, hard work, truthfulness and bravery of Udham influenced Smt. Kamla Rani the wife of
Pt. Jai Chand & Sardarni Maya Kour, so they gave him motherly affection. In about 1913 Sadhu Singh went with Sadhus never to return again, so left Udham Singh alone in this world. Sadhu Singh is reported to have died in 1917. Udham singh passed his matriculation Examination in 1919 and left the orphanage ther after. By then he had gained expertise in furniture making, driving, wrestling and music . He won many wrestling matches from important wrestlers. By the side of the orphanage he started working in a shop as furniture making worker. This shop was a secret centre for planning revolutionary activities by the then known Karantikaries( Revolutionary Freedom fighter) Here Udham Singh met main revolutionary leaders Sardar Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru, and Sukhdev.
The Rowlatt Act 1914 gave many powers to colonial government including arresting and detaining any body without trial. This was widely opposed in India. On April 13, 1919, over twenty thousand unarmed Indians, mainly Sikhs, peacefully assembled in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, to listen to several prominent local leaders speak out against British colonial rule in India and against the arrest and deportation of Dr. Satya Pal, Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew, and few others under this unpopular Rowlatt Act. Udham Singh and his mates from the orphanage were serving water to the crowd on a warm summer afternoon. A band of 90 soldiers armed with rifles and Khukhris (short swords) marched to the park accompanied by two armoured cars with mounted machine guns. The vehicles were unable to enter the Bagh owing to the narrow entrance.[4] Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer was in command. The troops had entered the Bagh by about 5:15 PM. With no warning to the crowd to disperse, Dyer ordered his troops to open fire, concentrating especially on the areas where the crowd was thickest Among the gattering werethree brave Dalits Bhudha Singh,Mangil Singh & DhuliaSingh Dhobies(Washermen) challenged General Dyer to shoot them first, as they were not afraid of his bullets. General Dyer fired bullets which pireced through their chests.There after the attack lasted ten minutes. Since there was only one exit not barred by soldiers, people tried to climb the walls of the park. Some also jumped into a well inside the compound to escape the bullets. A plaque in the monument says that 120 bodies were plucked out of the well alone.
By the time the smoke cleared, hundreds of people had been killed and thousands injured. Official estimates put the figures at 379 killed (337 men, 41 boys and a six week old baby) and 200 injured, but other reports estimated the deaths well over 1,000 and possibly 1,300. According to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and Lala Girdhari Lal, the deaths were more than 1,000. Swami Shardanand places the figure at more than 1,500Dr Smith, Civil Surgeon of Amritsar, gives an even larger number: 1,800 dead. The casualty figures were never fully ascertained for political reasons. The wounded could not be moved from where they had fallen, as a curfew had been declared. Debate about the actual figures continues to this day. Official figures say that 1,650 rounds of ammunition had been used.
Udham Singh, an eye witness of this massacre saw it from a tree top, where he had climbed to listen the leaders. Udham Singh mainly held Michael O'Dwyer then Punjab Governor, responsible for what came to be known as the Amritsar Massacre. New research supporting this fact reveal the massacre to have occurred with the Governor's full connivance "to teach the Indians a lesson, to make a wide impression and to strike terror through-out Punjab" The incident had greatly shaken young Udham Singh and proved a turning point in his life. After bathing in the holy sarovar (pool of nectar), Udham Singh took a silent vow and solemn pledge in front of the Golden Temple to wreak a vengeance on the perpetrators of the crime and to restore honour to what he saw as a humiliated nation. He adopted widow Smt Rattana Devi as his step sister,whose husband had been killed in Jalianwala Bagh massacre and promised her to take revenge for death of her husband. He left Amritsar on 22 april 1919 and reached Baramula town of Kashmir State, where he worked in a furniture shop for some time & in October 1919 returned to his village Sunam. In sunam he killed a wild wolf, which had created terror in the area and had killed many animals besides a few childern. Sunam Residents offered him shelter and help with requests to make Sunam his permanent abode, to which he denied, as he had different goals in his mind.In November 1919 he returned to Amritsar. At that time he joined a group of labourers and reached South Africa in november 1919 itself and engaged himself in organising meeting to oppose British Crown of India. From here he set for Amrica in a ship while serving as acoal Charge man to ship boiler and reached Amrica in 1920. He met Lala Hardayal chief of Gaddar Party and learnt the art of makinf Bullets & got training in shootin. From here on the advise of Lala Hardayal he went to England with the sole objective of killing General Dyer, who had retired and had returned to London. But General Dyer died of paralysis in 1927. Governer PunjabMichael O'Dwyer was called back to London, which became the target of Uham Singh, to fullfill his vow to take revenge for Amritsar Massacre 1919.
In London Udham Singh met twice Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar in India Office Library and on the advise of Dr Ambedkar, Udham Singh joined Engineering courses. Here Udham Singh met a German Lady Miss Merry, who promised him all help including financial help. When Dr. Ambedkar left for Bonn to study Sanskrit, Udham Singh returned to India in 1923 on call from Bhagat Singh, to whom Udham Singh called his Guru. Miss Merry also accompnied him and she was intoduced to all known to Udham Singh.
In India at Lahore he joined National College of Lala Lajpat Rai and passed his F.A in 1923 there after joined B.A. classes. This college was a training centre for the revolutioneries and Bhagat Singh too was a student there. He worked as teacher along with Sargar Bhagat singh in the National School Kher Aligarh. Udam Singh went to Kanpur, again to Lahore and then to London for the Second time. He along with Miss Merry travelled across the Globe and went to Russia, France,Abbesynia, Scylia, Charybdis, Egypt, Island of White, Vikar of Bay etc. where he kept himself engaged in Revolutionery activities. In 1927 he returned to Lahore again on message from Bhagat Singh. He was not prepared to return to India with out accomplishing his set goal, but Miss Merry convinished him by advancing argument that Bhagat Singh might have some plan to make Udham ‘s work easy or some more urgent job might had been set for him. Udham Singh brougt with him four persons, explossive material, some pistols and ammunition besides Miss Merry his most confident person.
Udham Singh continued to work for the set goal and kept close contact with other revolutionary persons. He was caught with loaded pistol No85869 and sentesed for five years from 28 Sept1928 to 23 Sept 1932 in central Jail Multan and Rawalpindi. Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru & Sukhdev to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai of shoot down JP Sanders and this news was received by Udham singh on 17 Dec.1928 in jail ,when he said “Brother, you have full filled your promise, where as my vow is yet unfulfilled, you are great” After releasing from Jail,he went toPeshawer, then to Sunam and also to Jammu. From Jammu he went to Kashmir on foot in the disguise of a sadhu. Here he came in contact with Sardar Swarn Singh, Justice Dan Singh and others and worked as labourer in the furniture shop of Faquiria Udham Singh also went to Amar Nath as a Sadhu.
In1933 he along with Miss Merry went to London and lived for some time in Shephard Bush Gurudwara. He worked as a taxi driver too for the taxi of Shephard Bush Gurudwara. Udham Singh worked as demestic driver to Sir Michael O'Dwyer in Devons Shire U.K. and used to carry Dyer’s daughter Miss Golde to college so he under stood all lanes and surroundings of Dyer’s house . Udham Singh had earned the confidence of Miss Golde & other family members, from whom he collected house secrets and circumstances in which prompted Sir Michael O'Dwyer to order firing inJalianwala Bagh. He left the service of driver to Sir Michael O'Dwyer bur continued his revolutionary activities by meeting other revolutionaries.
On 12 th March 1940 Udham Singh got Laddos( Indian Sweet,) from the Indian restaurant through Balbir Singh another revolutionary and distributed among his colleagues. Every body thought that Udham Singh has finalised his fiancée to marry her. On enquiry he said he has been already married to the cause of his mother land and every body shall know through news papers tomorrow the cause of his happiness.At last, the opportunity came on 13 March 1940, almost 21 years after the Jallianwala Bagh killings: After praying in Shephard Bush Gurudwara and taking Parsad from the Granthi, he came bach to to home and then reached Caxton Hall. A joint meeting of the East India Association and the Royal Central Asian Society was scheduled at Caxton Hall, and among the speakers was Michael O'Dwyer. Singh concealed his revolver in a book specially cut for the purpose and managed to enter Caxton Hall. He took up his position against the wall. At the end of the meeting, the gathering stood up, and O'Dwyer moved towards the platform to talk to Lord Zetland. Singh pulled his revolver and fired. O'Dwyer was hit twice and died immediately. Then Singh fired at Lord Zetland, the Secretary of State for India, injuring him but not seriously. Incidentally, Sir Luis Dane was hit by one shot, which broke his radius bone and dropped him to the ground with serious injuries. A bullet also hit Lord Lamington, whose right hand was shattered.[19] Udham Singh did not intend to escape. He was arrested on the spot.
Back in India, there was a strong reaction to this assassination. While the Congress-controlled English speaking press of India condemned Singh's action in general terms, independents like Amrit Bazar Patrika and New Statesman took different views. In its March 18, 1940 issue, Amrit Bazar Patrika wrote, "O'Dwyer's name is connected with Punjab incidents which India will never forget". The most telling reaction came from the common man on the street who hailed Udham Singh as a hero and patriot. Indians all over regarded Singh's action as justified and an important step in India's struggle to end British colonial rule in India
Ironically, in a statement to the Press, Mahatama Gandhi had condemned the Caxton Hall shooting saying that "the outrage has caused me deep pain. I regard it as an act of insanity...I hope this will not be allowed to affect political judgement".[22] A week later, Harijan, his newspaper further wrote: "We had our differences with Michael O'Dwyer but that should not prevent us from being grieved over his assassination. We have our grievances against Lord Zetland. We must fight his reactionary policies, but there should be no malice or vindictiveness in our resistance. The accused is intoxicated with thought of bravery Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru wrote in his National Herald: "Assassination is regretted but it is earnestly hoped that it will not have far-reaching repercussions on political future of India. Most of the press worldwide remembered the story of Jallianwala Bagh and held Michael O'Dwyer fully responsible for the events. Singh was called "fighter for freedom" by The Times, London,
While in Police custody, Singh remarked: "Is Zetland dead? He ought to be. I put two into him right there" indicating with his hand the pit of his stomach in left side. Singh remained quiet for several minutes and then again said: "Only one dead eh'. I thought I could get more. I must have been too slow. There were a lot of women about, you know"
On 1 April 1940, Udham Singh was formally charged with the murder of Michael O'Dwyer. On 4 June 1940, he was committed to trial, at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, before Justice Atkinson. When the court asked about his name, he replied "Ram Mohammad Singh Azad", which Singh believed would demonstrate his transcendence of race, caste, creed, and religion. Singh explained his actions to the court at his trial:He did it because he had a grudge against him. He deserved it.
Atkinson sentenced him to death. On 31 July 1940, Udham Singh was hanged at Pentonville Prison. As with other executed prisoners, he was buried later that afternoon within the prison grounds. In March 1940, Indian National Congress leaders, including Jawahar Lal Nehru and Mahatama Gandhi, condemned the action of Udham as senseless, but in 1962, Nehru did an about-turn and applauded Singh with the following statement in the daily Partap: "I salute Shaheed-i-Azam Udham Singh with reverence who had kissed the noose so that we may be free.".
In July 1974, Udham Singh's remains were exhumed and repatriated to India at the request of S. Sadhu Singh Thind an MLA from Sultanpur Lodhi at that time. He asked Indira Gandhi to force the then British Government to hand over Udham Singh's remains to India. Sadhu Singh Thind himself went to England as a special envoy of Indian Government and brought back the remains of the Shaheed. He was given a martyr's reception. Among those who received his casket at Delhi airport were Shankar Dayal Sharma, then president of the Congress Party, and Zail Singh, then chief minister of Punjab, both of whom later went on to become Presidents of India. Indira Gandhi, the prime minister, also laid a wreath. He was later cremated in his birthplace of Sunam in Punjab and his ashes were immersed in the Ganga river.