Madan Lal Dhingra

Madan Lal Dhingra

Madan Lal Dhingra Amritsar was born on 1883 in Punjab, British India & died on 1909 in Pentonville Prison, London, Britain, 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 revolutionin the Indian independence movement in the 20th century. Madan Lal Dhingra Amritsar had to work as a clerk, a Tonga (horse-driven cart) puller, and a factorylabourer. Madan Lal Dhingra Amritsar attempted to organise a union there, but was sacked. He worked for sometime in Bombay, before acting upon the advice of his elder brother and going to England for higher studies. In 1906, Madan Lal Dhingra 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.

Madan Lal Dhingra came into contact with noted Indian independence & political activists Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Shyamji Krishna Varma, who were impressed by Madan Lal Dhingra’s perseverance and intense patriotism which turned his focus to the freedom struggle. Savarkar believed in revolution by any means, and supposedly gave Madan Lal Dhingra arms training, apart from membershipin a secretive society, the Abhinav Bharat Mandal. He was also a member of India House, the base for Indian student political activity.

During this period, Savarkar, Madan Lal 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 Madan Lal Dhingra to exact direct revenge upon the British.

On the evening of 1 July 1909, a large number of Indians and Englishmen had gathered to attend the annual day function of the Indian National Association. When Sir Curzon Wyllie, political aide-de-camp to the Secretary of State for India, entered the hall with his wife, Madan Lal Dhingra fired five shots right at his face, four of which hit their target. Cowasji Lalkaka, a Parsee doctor who tried to save Sir Curzon, died of Madan Lal’s sixth and seventh bullets, which the latter fired because Lalkaka caught hold of him. Failing to commit suicide by turning his pistol on himself, Dhingra was arrested after a brief struggle.

Madan Lal Dhingra AmritsarMadan Lal Dhingra was tried in the Old Bailey on 23 July. 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. Also, that he had not intended to kill Cowasji Lalkaka. He was sentenced to death. After the judge announced his verdict, Madan Lal Dhingra is said to have stated, “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.” Contemporary press reports record a somewhat different version. Madan Lal Dhingra was hanged on 17 August 1909.

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