Today India celebrate the 116th birthday of Indian revolutionary and martyr Udham Singh. Udham Singh was born on 26 December, 1899, in Sunam of Punjab. He lost his mother in 1901 and father in 1907. After being orphaned, Singh and his brother were under the custody of Central Khalsa Orphanage Putlighar in Amritsar, Punjab. On 13th April, 1919, approximately 20,000 people had gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar in an unarmed protest against British Rule. Singh and other boys from the orphanage were serving water to the protesters.
A large British Troop commanded by Reginald Dyer opened fire on the crowd without any warnings. Approximately 379 people were put to death and 1,200 injured in that incident which became infamous as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Udham Singh was deeply affected by the massacre and joined active politics and revolution shortly after.
Singh suspected then Punjab Governor Michael O’Dwyer was the mastermind behind this shooting and vowed to kill him. He reached London via Germany in 1934. On 13th March, 1940, Udham Singh arrived at Caxton Hall where O’Dwyre was scheduled to give a speech. He shot O’Dwyer twice who died on spot.
Singh was arrested and put on trial. He received death sentence and was hanged at Pentonville Prison on 31st July, 1940. His body was buried in the prison compound but was later exhumed and sent to India in 1974. His remains were creamated at his birthplace Sunam.