Madan Lal Dhingra

Madan Lal Dhingra was an Indian revolutionary freedom fighter. While studying in England, he assassinated Sir William Hutt Curzon Wyllie, a British official, hailed as one of the first acts of revolution.


Gets thrown out of College
In 1904 he lead a student protest against Principal's order to have college blazer made out of Imported Cloth from England.He was thrown out of college.
He deeply studied the literature concerning the cause of Indian Poverty and famines and as solution to these problems Swaraj and Swadeshi became key issues.


Studies in England
In 1906, Madan Lal departed for England to enroll at University College, London, to study Mechanical Engineering. He was supported by his elder brother and some nationalist activists in England.

With Savarkar
Dhingra came into contact with noted Indian independence & political activists Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Shyamji Krishna Varma, who were impressed by Dhingra's perseverance and intense patriotism which turned his focus to the freedom struggle.
During this period, Savarkar, Dhingra and other student activists were enraged by the execution of freedom fighters such as Khudiram Bose, Kanhai Lal Dutt, Satinder Pal and Pandit Kanshi Ram in India. It is this event that is attributed by many historians as having led Savarkar and Dhingra to exact direct revenge upon the British.

Curzon Wyllie's assassination
On the evening of 1 July 1909 he assassinated Curzon Wyllie.

Trial
He stated that he did not regret killing of Curzon Wyllie as he had played his part in order to set India free from the inhuman British rule.
"I am proud to have the honour of laying down my life for my country. But remember we shall have our time in the days to come."


Statement of Dhingra in the court
"I do not want to say anything in defence of myself, but simply to prove the justice of my deed. As for myself, no English law court has got any authority to arrest and detain me in prison, or pass sentence of death on me. That is the reason I did not have any counsel to defend me."
"And I maintain that if it is patriotic in an Englishman to fight against the Germans if they were to occupy this country, it is much more justifiable and patriotic in my case to fight against the English.I hold the English people responsible for the murder of 80 millions of Indian people in the last fifty years, and they are also responsible for taking away ₤100,000,000 every year from India to this country. I also hold them responsible for the hanging and deportation of my patriotic countrymen, who did just the same as the English people here are advising their countrymen to do. And the Englishman who goes out to India and gets, say, ₤100 a month, that simply means that he passes a sentence of death on a thousand of my poor countrymen, because these thousand people could easily live on this ₤100, which the Englishman spends mostly on his frivolities and pleasures.  Just as the Germans have no right to occupy this country, so the English people have no right to occupy India, and it is perfectly justifiable on our part to kill the Englishman who is polluting our sacred land. I am surprised at the terrible hypocrisy, the farce, and the mockery of the English people. They pose as the champions of oppressed humanity—the peoples of the Congo and the people of Russia—when there is terrible oppression and horrible atrocities committed in India; for example, the killing of two millions of people every year and the outraging of our women. In case this country is occupied by Germans, and the Englishman, not bearing to see the Germans walking with the insolence of conquerors in the streets of London, goes and kills one or two Germans, and that Englishman is held as a patriot by the people of this country, then certainly I am prepared to work for the emancipation of my Motherland. Whatever else I have to say is in the paper before the Court I make this statement, not because I wish to plead for mercy or anything of that kind. I wish that English people should sentence me to death, for in that case the vengeance of my countrymen will be all the more keen. I put forward this statement to show the justice of my cause to the outside world, and especially to our sympathisers in America and Germany."
"I have told you over and over again that I do not acknowledge the authority of the Court, You can do whatever you like. I do not mind at all. You can pass sentence of death on me. I do not care. You white people are all-powerful now, but, remember, it shall have our turn in the time to come, when we can do what we like."


Hanged..He was just 26!
Dhingra was hanged on 17 August 1909. His executioner, gave him an unnecessarily and inhumanely cruel long drop of eight feet, three inches at the execution. The reasons behind this remain unknown and can only be speculated at.

Last words from gallows
The following are said to be Madan Lal Dhingra's last words, just before he died at the gallows:
"I believe that a nation held down by foreign bayonets is in a perpetual state of war. Since open battle is rendered impossible to a disarmed race, I attacked by surprise. Since guns were denied to me I drew forth my pistol and fired. Poor in wealth and intellect, a son like myself has nothing else to offer to the mother but his own blood. And so I have sacrificed the same on her altar. The only lesson required in India at present is to learn how to die, and the only way to teach it is by dying ourselves. My only prayer to God is that I may be re-born of the same mother and I may re-die in the same sacred cause till the cause is successful. Vande Mataram!"


Times,London on Dhingra's death
After Dhingra went to the gallows, the Times, London wrote an editorial (24 July 1909) titled 'Conviction of Dhingra'. The editorial said, "The nonchalance displayed by the assassin was of a character, which is happily unusual in such trials in this country. He asked no questions. He maintained a defiance of studied indifference. He walked smiling from the Dock."

Grudging admiration from the British Cabinet

Blunt writes "Again we sat up late. Among the many memorable things Churchill said was this.Talking of Dhingra, he said that there has been much discussion in the Cabinet about himLloyd George had expressed to him his highest admiration of Dhingra's attitude as a patriot, in which he shared…He will be remembered two thousand years hence, as we remember Regulus and Caractacus and Plutarch's heroes and Churchill quoted with admiration Dhingra's last words, as the finest, ever made in the name of patriotism…"

Madan Lal Dhingra
Original picture of Madan Lal Dhingra 


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