March 21, 2023

Sardar Udham Singh: The Martyr Who Avenged Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

Sardar Udham Singh was an Indian revolutionary who dedicated his life to fighting for India’s freedom from British rule. He is remembered for his act of avenging the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which shook the entire nation and played a significant role in India’s struggle for independence. This article delves into the life of Sardar Udham Singh, his contributions to the Indian freedom movement, and the events that led to his ultimate sacrifice.

Early Life and Education

Sardar Udham Singh was born on 26 December 1899 in Sunam, Punjab, in a Sikh family. His father, Sardar Tehal Singh, was a railway guard, and his mother, Sardarni Punjabi Kaur, was a homemaker. Udham Singh lost his parents at a young age and was brought up in an orphanage in Amritsar. He received his education at the Central Khalsa Orphanage School in Amritsar, where he was also exposed to revolutionary ideas.

Involvement in the Indian Freedom Movement

Sardar Udham Singh was a committed freedom fighter who was inspired by the ideals of revolutionaries such as Bhagat Singh and Kartar Singh Sarabha. He joined the Ghadar Party, a revolutionary organization that aimed to overthrow British rule in India. He also worked with the Kirti Kisan Party, a communist organization that focused on the rights of farmers and laborers.

Sardar Udham Singh

Sardar Udham Singh’s most significant contribution to the Indian freedom movement was his act of avenging the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. On 13 April 1919, British troops opened fire on unarmed protesters in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, killing more than 1,000 people. Udham Singh witnessed the atrocity firsthand and was deeply affected by it. He vowed to avenge the massacre and left for England in 1920, where he spent the next 21 years planning his revenge.


Assassination of Michael O’Dwyer

On 13 March 1940, Sardar Udham Singh carried out his act of revenge by assassinating Michael O’Dwyer, the former Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, who had ordered the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. O’Dwyer was giving a speech at Caxton Hall in London when Udham Singh fired five shots at him, killing him instantly. Udham Singh was arrested and tried for murder, but he did not deny his actions, stating that he had only done what was necessary to avenge the innocent lives lost at Jallianwala Bagh.

Legacy and Commemoration

Sardar Udham Singh’s act of revenge shocked the British Empire and brought the plight of India’s struggle for freedom to the world’s attention. His sacrifice and courage inspired generations of Indians to fight for their rights and work towards independence. In his honor, the Indian government established the Sardar Udham Singh Memorial Trust in 1956, and a memorial was built in his hometown of Sunam in 1986. The Punjabi movie “Sardar Udham Singh” released in 2021 starring Vicky Kaushal was based on his life, and many books and documentaries have been made about his life and legacy.

Sardar Udham Singh


Sardar Udham Singh’s life and sacrifice exemplify the resilience and determination of the Indian people in their fight for freedom. His act of avenging the Jallianwala Bagh massacre is a testament to his unwavering commitment to justice and his willingness to lay down his life for his beliefs. His legacy continues to inspire generations of Indians, reminding them of the sacrifices made by those who fought for India’s independence. Sardar Udham Singh’s legacy is also a reminder of the importance of standing up against injustice and oppression, even in the face of insurmountable odds.

As India celebrates its 75th Independence Day in 2022, the memory of Sardar Udham Singh and other freedom fighters is being commemorated through various events and initiatives. The government of India has also announced plans to develop a National Museum of Indian Freedom Struggle in New Delhi to honor the contributions of freedom fighters like Sardar Udham Singh.

In conclusion, Sardar Udham Singh’s life and legacy continue to be a source of inspiration and a symbol of hope for millions of Indians. His unwavering commitment to justice and his willingness to sacrifice his life for his beliefs make him a true hero and a martyr in India’s struggle for independence. His story serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought for India’s freedom and the need to cherish and preserve the hard-won independence for future generations.

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