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Fact Check: Did a Muslim lawyer represent Bhagat Singh and a ‘Brahmin RSS’ man fought for the British against him?

Social media is rife with misleading claims that Muslim lawyer Asaf Ali, a Congress member, had defended Bhagat Singh against the British government. Furthermore, the claims that 'RSS' man Suryanarayan Sharma fought against Bhagat Singh are also false.

September 28 is celebrated as a day to mark the birth anniversary of revolutionary Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, a leader whose rebellious attitude and daredevilry in confronting the British repression inspired a generation of young Indians and infused fresh energy in India’s independence movement.

The leftist ‘secular liberal’ cabal has often used Shaheed Bhagat Singh to peddle their propaganda. A number of fake claims, propaganda and fake news have been spread on several occasions by them regarding the revolutionary leader.

This year on the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh, they got another opportunity to fill social media with spurious claims and unsubstantial assertions. Social media websites are awash with claims that a Muslim lawyer, namely Asaf Ali, who was also a prominent Congress member during that time, fought the case in the court defending Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt in the court case after they had hurled bombs inside the Central Legislative Assembly in New Delhi to protest against unfavourable Bills.

The other claim that is doing the rounds on the Internet is regarding a legal counsel that represented the British government against Bhagat Singh. The claim says that Rai Bahadur Suryanarayana Sharma represented the Crown against Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt.

Many graphic posters and ‘forwarded’ messages from social media to WhatsApp groups claim that the ‘Brahmin’ lawyer who fought the case on behalf of the British to get Bhagat Singh hanged is one Rai Bahadur Suryanarayana Sharma, who was a close friend of Hedgewar, the founder of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and also a member of the RSS.

Such messages about Rai Bahadur Suryanarayana Sharma are being widely shared on Twitter. The aim for propagating such messages and forwards is twofold: To allege that the freedom fighter Bhagat Singh was represented by a Congress leader and a ‘Muslim’ lawyer and to vilify ‘Brahmins’ and RSS as an organisation whose member allegedly defended the British in the court of law against Singh.

What is the truth behind the claims being made on social media regarding Bhagat Singh’s legal counsel?

While the social media users are enthusiastically claiming that a ‘Muslim’ lawyer named Asaf Ali represented Bhagat Singh, the reality is in stark contrast to what the Congress IT cell members and left would have us believe.

According to a report published in ‘The Hindu’, lawyer Asaf Ali represented Batukeshwar Dutt and Bhagat Singh fought the case on his own with a help of a legal advisor.

Relevant Section from the article published in ‘The Hindu’

In another article published in the Outlook India about how Bhagat Singh’s sentence was based on the testimony of journalist Khushwant Singh’s father Shobha Singh, it categorically mentioned that Asaf Ali represented Batukeshwar Dutt. The mere fact that the article did not mention Asaf Ali fighting for both Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt says that Singh was not represented by him.

Relevant Sections from the article published by ‘The Outlook India’

In addition to this, Professor Malvinderjit Singh Warich, who wrote several books on Sardar Bhagat Singh, also denied the claims that are bandied about that a lawyer named Satyanarayana Sharma had appeared for the British against Bhagat Singh.

Relevant sections of an article published in ‘The Quint’

Professor Chaman Lal of Jawaharlal Nehru University, who wrote ‘Understanding Bhagat Singh and ‘Documents of Bhagat Singh and his companions’, has also explicitly mentioned that no Indian counsel appeared for the British in the case against Bhagat Singh.

It is noteworthy to mention that Sardar Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw bombs in the Central Legislative Assembly on April 08, 1929, to express their opposition to the bills being discussed in the Assembly. He also threw a few handwritten letters and pamphlets to explain their demands.

It was a low-intensity bomb that was not meant to kill or injure any member of the Legislative Assembly. As soon as the explosion took place, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt stood there and later surrendered themselves to the police.

The conclusion

Bhagat Singh was not represented by Congress member and lawyer Asaf Ali in the court. He fought his case on his own and with the help of a legal advisor. Asaf Ali had fought the case for Batukeshwar Dutt. Furthermore, the British government was not represented by any Indian lawyer, let alone Satyanarayana Sharma, and the claim that he fought against Bhagat Singh is false.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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