Why I Am an Atheist
Why I am an Atheist is an essay written by Indian revolutionary Bhagat Singh in 1930 in Lahore Central Jail. The essay was a reply to a religious man who thought Bhagat Singh became an atheist because of his vanity.
Bhagat Singh was a member of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, a revolutionary party in the Indian freedom struggle. He was an atheist who believed in communism, and he wrote several articles on anarchism and communism for Kirti. He was arrested on 8 April 1929 in connection with the Central Legislative Assembly bombing case and was sentenced to 14 years life imprisonment. He was re-arrested in connection with the murder of one Saunders, a deputy superintendent of police who was killed by Sukhdev, Rajguru, and Bhagat Singh in 1928 in retaliation for the death of Lala Lajpat Rai. In that case, the trial began and he was transferred to Lahore jail. In the jail, on 4 October 1930, Baba Randhir Singh, a religious man and member of Ghadar Party who was convicted in the first Lahore conspiracy case, met Bhagat Singh and tried to incite his belief in God; however, Bhagat Singh did not change his stand. Thereafter, Randhir Singh said "You are giddy with fame and have developed an ego which is standing like a black curtain between you and the God". As a reply to Randhir Singh, he wrote this essay on 5 and 6 October 1930. On 7 October 1930, all three of the defendants were convicted in the murder of Saunders and sentenced to death. On 23 March 1931, they were executed by hanging in the Lahore jail (present-day Shadman Chowk or Bhagat Singh Chowk).
After the death of Singh, the essay was published on 27 September 1931 in Lala Lajpat Rai's English weekly The People.
On the request of Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, P. Jeevanandham translated the essay to the Tamil language. The Tamil version of the essay was published in Kudi Arasu in 1935. According to Chaman Lal, "at one time after Partition, the English copy of this essay was not found anywhere. It was then re-translated from Tamil to English, and some websites still carry the re-translated English version of this essay".
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
In the essay, Bhagat Singh discussed his atheism, which did not come because of his vanity. He explained how a religious boy who chanted a mantra for hours, brought up in the Arya Samaj tradition, became an atheist. He also questioned theists about the existence of God.
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