The fearless soul that he was, Bhagat Singh was not a man to be deterred by the fear of police atrocities or long stretches of imprisonment. After exploding bombs in the Central Assembly on April 8, 1929, Bhagat Singh voluntarily courted arrest along with comrade Batukeshwar Dutt. From that moment onwards, Bhagat Singh was never to set his feet again outside the prison confines as a free man. He was sentenced to transportation for life and when the police got an inkling of his involvement in the Lahore Conspiracy case, Bhagat was charged with the murder of DSP Saunders.
Once inside the jail, Bhagat Singh was left aghast at the shoddy
treatment meted out to the Indian political prisoners. He and
Batukeshwar Dutt launched a hunger strike demanding equal rights for
Indian and British prisoners and an overall improvement of the plight of
the prisoners and undertrials. Soon other Indian prisoners too joined
the strike and thus ensued an inspirational saga of human endurance and
courage that stirred the conscience of the entire nation. Despite police
brutality and repeated attempts of forced feeding, the strikers led by
Bhagat Singh carried on their fast for 63 days at the end of which the
government had to yield to their demands.
An avid reader, Bhagat Singh spent the long period of incarceration
reading socialist literature. Not only did he read, he also penned down
his thoughts in a note book. Bhagat Singh's 404-page jail diary is
replete with his ideas, philosophy and his dreams for the country.