Over eight decades after he was hanged by the British, people in Bhagat Singh’s village in Pakistan will get an opportunity to know him and understand the sacrifices of the freedom fighter through the play "Mera Rang De Basanti Chola".
Produced by the acclaimed Ajoka theatre group, the play will be staged at Bangay Government Primary School tomorrow, the same school that Singh attended as a child in Faisalabad district of Punjab province. Though the play, written by Shahid Nadeem and directed by Madeeha Gauhar, was originally staged two years ago, this is the first time it will be performed in Singh’s village. "It was long overdue. It is our humble effort to tell people about this great freedom fighter," Gauhar told PTI. "Bhagat Singh is missing from Pakistan’s history and its narrative of the freedom struggle. This is a way of correcting the historical distortion."
The play is based on the struggle of the great freedom fighter, who was hanged by the British rulers in Lahore Central Jail on March 23, 1931. It is also the first original drama on Singh produced by a Pakistani theatre group. "Ajoka is proud to have initiated this historical celebration as we believe that we should not forget our heroes just because they are non-Muslims," Gauhar said.
A roundabout called Shadman Chowk now stands at the site where Singh was hanged. Authorities had decided to rename the roundabout after Singh in October last but the plan had to be put on hold because of opposition from hardline groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawah. "The house where Bhagat Singh lived still exists. A refugee from Gurdaspur in India now stays there. He has tried his best to keep it the same old way," Gauhar said.