Bhagat Singh wrote this article in prison on 5-6 October 1930. It was first published in the September 27, 1931 issue of The People, an English language newspaper based in Lahore. In this important article, Bhagat Singh, while presenting a materialist awareness of the evolution and dynamics of creation, has very logically disproved the concept of the existence of any non-human divine power behind it.
Bhagat Singh wrote – Why am I an atheist?
A new question arises: Am I denying the existence of an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God simply because of my egoism? I never thought I would have to face this question. But as I was talking to my friends, I noticed that these friends of mine – I don’t think I have a lot of authority over them as a friend – almost all of them have come to the conclusion that disbelief in God is my ‘extreme’. There is only water and the egoism in me has led me to have such disbelief.
Overall, the problem is serious. I do not boast that I am completely free from the shortcomings of human nature. I am a man. Well, no one can claim to be more than that. Naturally I also lack this. Really, egoism is a part of my nature. My colleagues used to call me a tyrant. My friend BK Dutt also used to call me that sometimes. I was also often considered a dictator. Some friends have such complaints, and serious complaints that I unknowingly impose my views on others and get my decisions accepted. I do not deny that there is some degree of fact in it. This can be called egoism. As much as there is egoism in our thinking compared to other popular schools of thought, there is also in me. But it is not personal. He may be proud of his faith and may not be considered arrogant. Egoism, or more strictly, ‘ego’ is unreasonable pride in oneself. Have I turned to atheism because of this unreasonable pride? Or have I come to disbelief in God after careful study and reflection? I would like to discuss this question here. First of all I want to make it clear that egoism and ego are two different things.
First of all, I don’t really understand how unreasonable pride or free pride can hinder a believer. Even if I have some degree of fame as a truly great man, without merit, or without the qualities that are fundamentally necessary, I can deny the greatness of that man. It’s so understandable. But how can a person who believes in God stop believing in God because of personal egoism? This can happen in two ways. If that man began to consider himself a rival of God, or if he began to consider himself God. But in both cases he cannot be a true atheist. In the first case, he does not even deny the existence of a rival. In the second, too, he acknowledges the existence of an invisible force that controls the affairs of nature. It does not matter to us whether he considers himself to be superior to someone else. The original point remains the same. His faith remains the same, he is by no means an atheist.
Listen to me now. I do not fall into the first category, nor the second. I basically deny the existence of the Supreme God. I’ll see why later. All I want to make clear here is that I am not motivated by my egoism to adopt the teachings of atheism. I myself am not that supreme power or its rival or incarnation. One thing is for sure now that I am not driven by egoism to turn to this kind of thinking. I should be allowed to verify the facts to prove that this allegation is false. According to my friends, I may have been proud of the publicity I received during the Delhi bomb case and the Lahore conspiracy trial. Let’s see if they are right.
The origins of my atheism are not so recent. I had stopped believing in God ever since I was an unknown young man whose friends above were not even aware of his existence. There can be no reason for any undue pride in oneself to develop in a college student that could lead to atheism. Although I liked some professors and disliked others, I was never a studious or hardworking boy. I have never had a chance to feel proud. I was a timid boy and lost in some pessimistic thoughts about my future and I was not a complete atheist at the time. My grandfather Karmat Arya Samaj was the one under whose care I grew up. Arya Samaj is nothing but an atheist. After completing my primary education, I went to Lahore to study at D.C. A. V. I went to school and stayed in a hostel for a year. Apart from morning and evening prayers, I used to recite Gayatri mantra for hours. I was completely devout at the time. Later I moved in with my father. They are liberals when it comes to religious activism. It was his teachings that gave me the desire to sacrifice my life for freedom. But they are not atheists. He encouraged me to pray every day. That’s how I grew up. In the days of non-cooperation, I started going to the National College. It was there that I began to think liberally, discuss religious issues, and discuss and criticize God. But I still had faith in God. By that time I had begun to keep it long without cutting my hair, but I could never believe the myths and doctrines of Sikhism and any other religion. But I firmly believed in the existence of God.
Later I joined the revolutionary party. The first people I came in contact with did not have faith in God, but they did not have the courage to deny his existence. He used to say on my constant inquiries about God, ‘Pray whenever you want.’ That is, I wanted to become an atheist, but I did not have the courage to become an atheist. The other leader I came in contact with was a staunch believer. His name is Sachindranath Sanyal, a respected colleague who is currently serving a life sentence for tax evasion. From the very first page of his well-known and unique book ‘Bandijivan’, God’s great passion has been sung. On the last page of the second part of that beautiful book, a shower of hymns in harmony with Vedanta is a strange part of his mystical thought. According to the government, the ‘Revolutionary Book’, which was distributed all over India on January 28, 1925, was also written by him. It is a common thing in the work of the secret organization that the leading leader presents his own opinion which is dear to him on an individual level and others have to accept it despite the differences. An entire paragraph in that booklet focuses on the greatness of Almighty God, and his profound pastimes. It’s all mysticism.
I wanted to show that the idea of atheism was not rooted even in the revolutionary party. All the four famous martyrs of Kakori Kanda had spent their last days in prayer to God. Ram Prasad Bismil was a Karmath Arya Samaj. Despite much study in the field of socialism and communism, Rajendra Lahidi could not resist his desire to recite hymns in the Upanishads and Gita. I was the only one of them who never prayed, and he used to say, “Philosophy is the end of man’s weakness and the limit of his knowledge.” This man too is being punished with black water for the rest of his life. But he also never had the courage to deny the existence of God.
Until then I was just a dreamy idealistic revolutionary. Until that time we were just followers. Next it was time to shoulder all the responsibility. Inevitably the reaction was so overwhelming that the very existence of the party seemed impossible for some time. Enthusiastic colleagues – not leaders – began to harass us. One day I too began to feel that our program was in vain. It was a turning point in my revolutionary life. A single call rang out in the corner of my mind – “Study. Study to equip yourself to face the opposition’s logic. ” “Study to build strong arguments for your loyalty.”
I started studying. My previous beliefs and convictions changed dramatically. The dream of emphasizing only violence, which was effective among our predecessors, has disappeared and is now being replaced by serious thinking. Mysticism and superstition no longer exist. Realism became our allegiance. It was realized that the use of force would be appropriate only when absolutely necessary and that non-violence was an indispensable policy for the people’s movement. It was all about the procedure. Most importantly, we had a clear idea of the ideals we were fighting for. Since there was not much work in the field of actual action at that time, there was plenty of time to study the ideals of other revolutions in the world. I read about the anarchist leader Bakunin. Marx, the father of communism
After several days of talking to police officers, I guessed that they had learned something about my relationship with the Kakori Party and other revolutionary activities. He told me that I had gone to Lucknow while the trial was going on, that I had made a plan in consultation with him for his release. With his consent, we seized the bomb and threw it in the crowd gathered for the Dussehra celebrations in 1926. He also told me that it was in my interest to make some statements that would shed light on the movements of the revolutionary party, and that I would not be imprisoned for doing so. Instead, he will be released without even standing as a witness in court. I laughed at their proposal. It was all nonsense. Thoughtful people like us do not drop bombs on our own innocent people. One morning Newman, the then superintendent of intelligence, approached me. After speaking sympathetically for a long time, he – saddened by the news – told me that if I did not make the statement he asked for, he would have to sue me for plotting to wage war against the government in the Kakori case and for the brutal killings in the Dussehra bombings. He also told me that he had the necessary evidence to order and hang. Even though I was innocent, I believed that the police could do that if they wanted to. From that day on, some police officers began to persuade me to pray to God twice a day, morning and evening. I was an atheist. Only in times of peace and happiness can I boast of being an atheist, that even in such a difficult situation I can stick to my principles, I had to test myself. After much thought, I decided that I did not want to believe in God and pray to him. And I did not pray. Not once. It was a real test and I passed the test. I never once wanted to save my life in exchange for something else. Thus I was a staunch atheist, and have remained an atheist to this day. It was not an easy task to pass that test. Theism reduces the severity of crises, in fact it can make these things comfortable. Faith in God brings comfort and strength. Without God, man has to depend on himself. Standing on one’s own feet in storms and hurricanes is not a child’s play. Pride in such a test moment, if any, flies away like cotton and man cannot dare to resist established ideas, and if he does, we must conclude that he must have some power beyond mere hollow egoism.
The situation is the same today. Everyone knows what the outcome of the court will be. It will be announced within a week. I am sacrificing my life for my cause, what other consolation can there be for me? A Hindu who believes in God can hope that we will be born as the next born king. A Muslim or a Christian can dream of the riches to be enjoyed in heaven and the rewards for their sufferings and sacrifices. But what should I expect? The moment the noose is wrapped around my neck and the bottom plate is pulled, I know it’s all over. That will be the last moment. To put it bluntly, or even in strict spiritual language, my soul would end there. There will be no balance after that. If I have the courage to believe that, then my reward is a small, struggling life with no glorious end. Nothing more. With no selfish motives, and no desire for any reward in this world or in the hereafter, I devoted my life to the cause of freedom, even with a non-attachment, because I could not live without doing so.
The age of freedom will begin on the day we find countless men and women who have the mentality of devoting themselves to the service of mankind and the liberation of suffering humanity above all else. Only when they are inspired to challenge the tyrants, exploiters and oppressors to establish freedom and peace by overthrowing the yoke of slavery on the necks of mankind, not to become the next born king or to go to heaven after the next birth or death. On a personal level this path may be dangerous for them, but it is the only glorious path for their great souls.
Is it possible for them to take pride in dedicating themselves to this great cause? Who would dare to inflict such a disgusting stigma on them? If anyone does, he must be a fool or a liar, I would say. But we will forgive him, because he cannot understand the depth and impulse of man’s heart, the emotions and the sublime sensations that arise in it. His heart is a lifeless ball of flesh. There is a veil of other interests in their eyes, so she cannot see well.
Self-reliance is always likely to be seen as egoism. It’s like a traumatic event, but there is no cure. If you try to oppose a popular belief, to criticize a hero or a great person who is never considered to be wrong, because of the power of your reasoning, many will begin to ridicule you as arrogant. Mental inertia is the reason for this. Critical vision and independent thinking are the two essential qualities of a revolutionary. No one should criticize Mahatmaji for being great; They have risen to the top, so whatever they say – whether it’s about politics or religion or economics or ethics – is right; Believe it or not, you have to say, ‘Yes, yes, that’s the truth.’ This mentality does not lead to progress. Apparently she is reactionary.
Anyone who challenges the truth of this belief or doubts the existence of that supreme power will be considered an apostate, a traitor, if his argument is strong enough to refute it, and his argument is strong. His heart will be strong enough not to be intimidated by the threat of God’s wrath, so if he is being denounced as arrogant and egotistical, then why waste time in this futile discussion? Why debate all these things? This is the first time this question has come before the general public today, and the first time it has been dealt with so bluntly, so I am discussing this in detail.
Considering the first question, I have made it clear that I did not turn to atheism because of egoism. It is up to the reader, not me, to decide whether my argument is valid or not. I know that in my current situation, if I had become a believer, my life would have been easier, my mind would have been lessened. On the contrary, my lack of faith in God has made my situation worse, worse, and worse. She would have been tolerant with a touch of mysticism. But I don’t want the help of any such sexy caffeine in dealing with my fate. I am realistic. I try to overcome my natural inclinations by force of conscience. It’s not like I’ve always had success. But it is man’s duty to try, to stumble. Success depends on coincidence and the surrounding situation.
The second question is that if it is not hollow pride, then there must be some other reason to reject the old religious belief. I mean yes, there is a reason. In my opinion, a person who has at least some conscience is always trying to understand the situation around him in a rational way. Philosophy is effective when clear evidence is not available. As I said before, a revolutionary friend of mine used to say that philosophy is formed from the weakness of man. When our ancestors were trying to discover the mystery of this world, its past, present and future, the question of why and how of the world, they had no shortage of time, but very little actual evidence. So everyone went on to figure out the mystery of the universe in a way that would suit them. And that is why we find so many differences in the fundamentals of different religions. Sometimes this difference is very contradictory and hostile.
There are differences between Eastern and Western philosophies, there are differences between our ideologies in every part of the world. In Eastern religion, Muslim faith is not at all compatible with Hindu faith. Even in India itself, Buddhism and Jainism are very different from Brahmanism. Again, Brahmanism has been divided into contradictory streams like Arya Samaj and Sanatan Dharma. Charvak is another independent philosophy of antiquity. Even in ancient times, he challenged the existence of God. All these cults differ from each other in the fundamental questions of life and the world, and each seems to have its own right. This is the reason for all the malpractices.
Instead of solving these profound questions by using the experiments and philosophies of ancient sages and thinkers for our next fight against ignorance, we incompetent people – we have proved that we are incompetent – are screaming unwavering and unwavering faith in our religion. . Thus we are guilty of obstructing human development.
The man who is ready to make progress has to criticize, show disbelief and challenge everything in the old faith. He has to look for the corners of the prevailing faith and treat every small matter with discretion. With so many thoughts, if he thinks it is right to believe in a theory or philosophy, we will welcome his belief. His thinking may be wrong, misguided, or false and deceptive. But he can improve his thinking and come to the right path, because conscience is the guiding pole of his life. But this superstition alone is dangerous. It relaxes the brain and makes a person retrograde.
A person who calls himself a realist should challenge the entire Sanatan Dharma. If that superstition could not withstand the onslaught of conscience, it would collapse. So the realist man must first eradicate all the old beliefs and make room for the construction of a new philosophy.
This was the downside. After this, when the work of positive construction begins, sometimes some aspects of the old faith can be used for the reconstruction of the new faith. For my part, I admit from the outset that I have not been able to study these issues much. I really wanted to study Oriental philosophy, but I never got the chance. But as long as we are discussing the study on the negative side, I think I am convinced that it raises serious doubts about the veracity of the old beliefs. I am convinced that there is no supreme power that controls and guides the affairs of nature. We believe in nature and the direction of the overall progressive movement is to control nature by man for our service. It is our philosophy that there is no conscious force behind all this creation.
On the negative side, we ask believers some questions about the truth of religion – according to your belief, if this earth or this universe was created by that omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent being; So can you please tell me why he created all this? Why did he create this world full of misery and torment, this ever-changing but eternal entanglement of millions of mourners, in which no creature is satisfied with all omnipotence?
Please don’t say this is his law. If he is bound by rules and laws, then he is not omnipotent, he is a slave just like us. Please don’t say this is his pastime, and he enjoys it. Nero burned only one Rome, killing very few people like that. He created very few tragedies. He did all this for his own enjoyment. But what is its place in history? By what name do historians refer to it? All the poisonous adjectives are raining down on him. The pages are full of writings condemning the cruel, heartless, perverted and evil Nero. Genghis Khan was a man who took thousands of lives for his own happiness, and we hate his name. So how are you going to support your eternal Infinite Nero – the Almighty God – who is causing and still causing countless tragedies every day, every moment, every moment? How are you going to follow in the footsteps of Genghis Khan?
I ask, why did he create a world that is really hell, burning with perpetual discontent? If He had the power not to create such a creation, then why did He create this creation of man? What is the justification for all this? What did you say He created it to reward innocent people who are suffering, and to punish sinners. Wow, wow! So tell me one, then if a man inflicts numerous wounds on your body just to rub a soft, soothing ointment, where are you going to support him? Where was the support of the Gladiators’ supporters in Rome, who were playing the game of throwing people in front of hungry, chewed lions and taking care of them if they survived the clutches of the beast? And so I ask, ‘Why did that knowing Supreme Being create this world and this human being in it? For your own fun? So what’s the difference between Nero and Vidhata?
Hindu philosophy will have some answer to this too, but Muslims and Christians! I would like to ask you, what is your answer to the above question? You don’t believe in ancestry. You can’t say that people who look obviously innocent are suffering because of their past sins, like Hindus. I ask why Almighty God did this six-day effort to make the world a reality through words and why he said, “Everything is fine” every day. Call that Vidhatya today, show him the past history. Make him think about the current situation. And let’s see, does he have the courage to say, ‘Everything is fine’? Millions starving to death in prison cells, slums, and slums; The waste of human energy from the exploited workers who patiently or melancholy watch the process of their blood being sucked by the capitalist monsters, the surplus production thrown into the sea instead of being distributed to the needy workers, and the palaces standing at the feet of human traps – Let’s say, ‘Everything is fine.’ Why all this and for what? This is my question. You are silent Okay. I move on.
Well, Hindus, you believe that those who suffer in this life are sinners of the previous life. OK. You say that these oppressors were mahatmas in their ancestry, so they are enjoying power today. Admittedly, your ancestors were very tall. He tried to develop strong scriptures so that all attempts at rational thinking and disbelief in theology could be thwarted. Let us examine how much breath there is in this logic.
From the point of view of the most famous and respected jurists, the punishment of a criminal can be supported only for three or four purposes. The three main types are resistance or revenge, correction means to get the guilty person on the right path and to prevent him from committing misdeeds for fear of punishment. The doctrine of punishment for vengeance has been opposed by most modern and progressive thinkers. Punishment for crime prevention, this is also going to be the end of this theory. Punishment is the only principle for reform that is meaningful and indispensable for human progress. Its purpose is to enable the guilty person to return to society as a decent and peaceful citizen. But even if we consider human beings as past-born criminals, what kind of punishment does God give to them? You say that he sends them into the world by giving birth to cows, cats, trees, shrubs, animals, etc. You say the number of these punishments is 84 lakhs. I ask you, what is the effect of this in terms of improvement in man? How many people have you met who say that I was born a donkey because of sin? None. Do not give evidence from your Puranas. I don’t have time to consult your myths anymore. Did you know that being poor is the greatest sin in the world, but according to you, it is a punishment from God? How do you justify a lawyer, a jurist, or a jurist who suggests a punishment that leads to more crime? Didn’t your God think this before? Or does he just not pay attention when you tell him something to do? But how much does mankind have to endure?
What do you think is written about the destiny of a man born in a poor and uneducated family of a Chambhara or Mehta? He cannot get an education because he is poor. Born into the so-called upper caste, he is hated by other people who consider themselves superior, he is kept away as untouchable. The ignorance, the poverty, and the humiliation that befell him, made him bitter about society. Suppose he commits a sin, who should atone for it? By God, by himself or by the wise men of society? What about the punishment meted out to arrogant and selfish Brahmins who were deliberately kept ignorant, and who were punished for pouring molten lead into their ears because they heard a few sentences from your holy Vedas? If they have committed a crime, who should be held responsible and who should bear the consequences?
My dear friends, these principles are tricks invented by privileged people. On the basis of this principle, they support the power, wealth and superiority they have seized. Yes, most likely Upton Sinclair wrote somewhere, ‘Just make a man believe in immortality and then rob him of his wealth and possessions! He won’t let you down, maybe he’ll help you. Prisons, crucifixions, whippings, and these religious ideologies have been born out of an alliance between the clergy and the authorities.
I ask you that when a man thinks of sinning or committing a crime; Then why doesn’t your Almighty God repel such a person? It is easy for him to do that. Why did he not kill the warlords or save humanity from the scourge of World War II? Why doesn’t he create the feeling of making India independent in the minds of the British? Why doesn’t he instill in the minds of all capitalists the noble philanthropic spirit of giving up his personal ownership of the means of production? In this way, why does he not liberate not only the working people, but the entire human society from the bondage of capitalism? Do you want to treat the practicality of socialist theory? I entrust the responsibility of making it viable to your God. Socialism is a good thing for the good of the common man, as far as people agree. The only reason they have to oppose it is that it is not feasible. Then call on your Almighty God and tell him to establish socialism in the vertical world. Now don’t try to make a smooth objection. They are of no use.
I want to tell you that the British rule over us is not because God wants it to be so; So they have power and we don’t oppose them, so that’s it. They have enslaved us not with the help of God but with the help of guns, cannons, ammunition, police, army and their indifference and they are committing a heinous sin from the point of view of human society like demonic extortion of one nation from another. Where is god What is he doing Is he overjoyed by the suffering of mankind? So then he is Nero, Genghis Khan. May it be destroyed, Nero! If I do not believe in God, do you believe that I believe in the origin of the universe and man? Okay, let’s say. Charles Darwin has tried to shed light on this subject. Study it. Read Niralamba Swamy’s book ‘Common Sense’. To some extent it will answer your question. This is a natural phenomenon. The earth was formed by an accidental mixture of different substances in the galaxy. When Search history. Animals evolved from the same process, and after a long time, they eventually evolved into humans. Read Darwin’s book The Origin of Life. And all the progress since then has been due to man’s constant struggle with nature and his attempt to overcome nature. To give a very brief explanation of this process, it is as follows.
Your next argument would probably be that if a child is born blind or lame, not because of pre-existing sins, then why? Biologists have explained this question in such a way that it is a biological phenomenon. According to him, the parents of the child are responsible for this, then they may or may not be aware of their own actions that cause malformations in the child during pregnancy.
Although childish, you will of course ask me another question – if God does not exist, how did people begin to believe in him? My clear and concise answer was: As they began to believe in demons, so it happened; The only difference is that faith in God is almost universal and the philosophy behind it is well advanced. Some evolutionists believe that God originated from exploitative plots to enslave people by preaching the existence of God’s sovereignty and claiming power and privilege from him. I do not believe that such exploiters gave birth to God, but I do agree that all faiths, religions and other such institutions eventually became supporters of oppressive and exploitative organizations, individuals and classes. Rebellion against the king is a sin in the eyes of all religions.
My own opinion of how God originated is that when man became aware of his limitations, weaknesses, and faults, he had to face all situations with courage; To deal firmly with all kinds of crises; In times of prosperity and prosperity, the imaginary existence of God was created as a controlling and controlling force. The exaggerated idea of a perfect God with both his own special rules and the generous kindness of his parents was painted in more detail. The idea of divine wrath and law was put forward for the purpose of using God as a preventive measure to prevent man from becoming a destroyer of society. He became known as a father, a mother, a sister, a brother, a friend, and a helper. When a man is in a state of extreme despair due to betrayal or alienation, he is comforted by the idea that he has a true friend to help and support him and that he is the Creator, the Almighty. This was really useful during the primitive state of society. The concept of God was very helpful to a man in trouble.
In the same way that society has fought against idolatry and dogmatic beliefs, society must also fight against this belief in God. Also, when a person tries to stand on his own two feet and become a realist, he must shake off his theism and show that he is capable of coping with any situation that puts him in a predicament. This is exactly my situation.
Friends, this is not my pride. I have become an atheist because of this way of thinking. By believing in God and praying daily – which I consider to be the most selfish and filthy act of man – I would have been a little relieved that my condition would have gotten worse, I don’t know. I have read about atheists who bravely face all kinds of adversity, and so I try to act like a man who stands firm with his neck stiff to the very end.
Let’s see how successful my attempt is. A friend of mine asked me to pray. When I told him about my atheism, he said, “In your last days you will begin to believe in God.” I said, “No sir, that will never happen. To do so would be insulting and cowardly to me, I understand. I will not pray for selfish reasons. ” Be a reader and be a friend, “Would you call this egoism?” If so, I’m proud of it!