Trinidad, Congregation of only Gurdwara ( Sikh Temple) in Trinidad located at Tuna Puna on Sunday, 20th March was dedicated to memory of Bhagat Singh, who was martyred by British colonialists 80 years ago on 23rd March 1931. Congregation of Gurdwara is held twice a month. On this occasion, Professor Chaman Lal, Visiting Professor on Hindi Chair at The University of the West Indies, Trinidad &Tobago delivered a lecture highlighting the life and ideas of Bhagat Singh along with display of rare photographs of Bhagat Singh, his family and Comrades, locations relating to birth, education and life of Bhagat Singh.
Lecture delivered through power point projection was liked by the audience present, many of whom came despite the big festival of ‘Phagwa’ or Holi being celebrated on this day in whole of Trinidad in more festive way. Professor Chaman Lal,a Professor and former Chairperson of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, a most prestigious University of India, who has edited Bhagat Singh’s original writings in Hindi and many other languages, focused on Bhagat Singh’s concept of Indian freedom and socialist society to be built upon after acquiring freedom from British colonialism. He also focused upon his intellectual qualities and his voracious reading habits. He dwelt upon in detail about his prolonged hunger strikes in jail to demand ‘political prisoner’ status, which in total came nearly to five months. He also narrated his comrade’s eye witness accounts of his and his comrades’ very cruel thrashing at the hands of police in courts. Prof. Chaman Lal also exposed the farcical nature of trial, through which Bhagat Singh and his comrades were convicted.
At this occasion, Prof. Chaman Lal, presented the copy of his Punjabi language book—‘Bhagat Singh:Vicharvan Inqlabi(A Thinker Revolutionary) to Sardar Dev Duggal and Mrs. Duggal, organizers of Gurdwara functions for the library of Gurdwara. The lecture was first of its kind exposure to Bhagat Singh in Trinidad, a country where 40% population is of Indian descent, but who have now forgotten their native languages and English has become their mother tongue. Another lecture by Prof. Chaman Lal is likely to be delivered in main campus at St. Augustine of The University of the West Indies on Bhagat Singh next week.