Shivaram Rajguru

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Shivaram Rajguru
Born 24 August 1908
Rajgurunagar, Pune, Maharashtra, British India
Died 23 March 1931(1931-03-23) (aged 23)
Lahore, Punjab, British India
Organization Hindustan Socialist Republican Association
Movement Indian Independence movement

Shivaram Hari Rajguru (24 August 1908 – 23 March 1931) was an Indian revolutionary from Maharashtra, known mainly for his involvement in the murder of a British Raj police officer. He is amongst those great Indian revolutionaries who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of country.[1] [2]

Early life[edit]

Rajguru was born at Khed, near Pune, India. He was a Maharastrian and belonged to the Deshastha Brahmin community. As a fourteen year old youth, on failing in the English subject, his elder brother punished him by making him read out an English lesson before his new wife. Rajguru could not bear this insult. He left the house with only the clothes he was wearing and the 11 paisa given him to buy oil and the fruit. Later, he first reached Nashik and then finally reached Kashi for his studies. Most of his time in Kashi was spent reading at the Lokmanya Tilak Library, listening to speeches and debates organised by the Maharashtra Vidya Mandal and at the gymnasium run by the BharatSeva Mandal in learning traditional gymnastics. Rajguru’s requirements were perfectly met; his personality started to bloom.

He was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army, who wanted India to be freed from British rule by any means necessary. He believed that ferocity against oppression was far more effective against British rule than the nonviolent civil disobedience preferred by Mahatma Gandhi. Since his childhood days, he had witnessed that the Imperial British Raj inflicted on India and her people. This makes within him a strong urge to join hands with the revolutionaries in a bid for India's freedom struggle. At a very young age he came to Varanasi where he learnt Hindu religious scriptures as well as Sanskrit.He had a liking for loved physical exercises and was associated with a number of such associations. He also greatly admired Shivaji and his guerrilla tactics. He had also a very sharp memory and he learnt by heart the Laghu Siddhant Kaumudi.

Achievements and philosophy[edit]

Rajguru became a colleague of Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev, and took part in the murder of a British police officer, J. P. Saunders, at Lahore in 1928.[3][4] The protest against the Simon Commission in October 1928 saw the British police lathi-charge the protestors, severely injuring veteran leader Lala Lajpat Rai. Owing to the excessive beating, Lala succumbed to his injuries, which thus instilled revenge in the hearts of the revolutionaries. On 18 December 1928, in Ferozepur, Lahore, a planned retaliation was enforced that led to the assassination of Deputy Superintendent of Police, J.P. Saunders. The feeling was that Rai's death resulted from the police action, although he had addressed a meeting later. Shivaram Rajguru, along with Sukhdev Thapar, was accomplice of the legendary Bhagat Singh who spearheaded the attack.

The police launched a massive operation to find out the culprits and kept a block on all possible exits and entrances. Rajguru along with the other revolutionaries and hid for next two days. On 19 December 1928, Sukhdev called on Durga Devi Vohra, wife of Bhagwati Charan Vohra for help which she agrees. They decided to catch a train from Lahore to Howrah. To avoid recognition, Bhagat Singh cut his hair short and shaved off his beard. In the early morning next day, dressed in Western attire, Bhagat Singh passed of a young couple with Vohra's child on his shoulder. Rajguru disguised as their servant carrying their luggage. They managed to escape to Cawnpore. On reaching there, they boarded a train to Lahore. In Lucknow, Rajguru left separately for Benares while Bhagat Singh and Vohra with the child left for Howrah. Rajguru then went into hiding in Nagpur. Whilst taking shelter in the house of an RSS worker, he even met Dr. K. B. Hedgewar. On his travel to Pune, however, Shivaram was finally arrested. Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar were then convicted of their crime and sentenced to death. The three men and 21 other co-conspirators were tried under the provisions of a regulation that was introduced in 1930 specifically for that purpose.[5]


On 23 March 1931, all the three members were hanged. The authorities of the jail then broke the rear wall of the jail and secretly cremated the three martyrs under the cover of darkness outside Ganda Singh Wala village and then threw their ashes into the River Sutlejin the Ferozepur district of Punjab. Shivaram Rajguru was only 23 years old when he became a martyr. [6]

Statues of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev


His birthplace of Khed has since been renamed as Rajgurunagar in his honour. Rajguru Market, a shopping complex at Hisar, Haryana, was named in his honour in 1953.[7]

Works on Rajguru[edit]

Anil Verma, a judge wrote a book on Rajguru titled ‘Ajeya Krantikari Rajguru’ which was published by the Indian Government and released on 24 August 2008 on the birth centenary of Shivaram Rajguru.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Role of Rajguru in Indian Freedom Movement
  2. ^ Martyr Shivram Hari Rajguru
  3. ^ Sawhney, Simona (2012). "Bhagat Singh: A Politics of Death and Hope". In Malhotra, Anshu; Mir, Farina. Punjab Reconsidered: History, Culture, and Practice. Oxford University Press. p. 380. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198078012.003.0054. ISBN 978-0-19807-801-2. 
  4. ^ Nair, Neeti (May 2009). "Bhagat Singh as 'Satyagrahi': The Limits to Non-violence in Late Colonial India". Modern Asian Studies (Cambridge University Press) 43 (3): 649–681. JSTOR 20488099. (subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ Dam, Shubhankar (2013). Presidential Legislation in India: The Law and Practice of Ordinances. Cambridge University Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-10772-953-7. 
  6. ^ Shiv Ram Hari Rajguru
  7. ^ Shivaram Rajguru Biography

Further reading[edit]

  • Noorani, Abdul Gafoor Abdul Majeed (2001) [1996]. The Trial of Bhagat Singh: Politics of Justice. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195796675.