Haryana Heroes Martyrdom Day | Shaheed Diwas
Haryana’s War Heroes Martyrdom Day or Shaheed Diwas is observed on 23rd September in Haryana. This is a regional festival held only in the Indian state of Haryana. The day is to pay tribute to the freedom fighters and martyrs, who laid down their lives to make Haryana a wonderful state.
On this day the family members of the Martyr gather together to pay tribute to the war heroes. Functions, seminars, meetings, and rallies are organized in each district headquarters. Participants of the functions and rallies are members of Youth Clubs, students, sportspersons, and staff of the District Sports and Youth Welfare Department. Dependents of the martyrs are additionally honored by means of giving them mementos.
People from all walks of life participate to honor the martyr during the ‘Shaheedi Diwas’. People who are particularly honored during this day are those who gave their lives for the benefit of the country. Martyr’s Day in India is observed on 30th January (the date of the assassination of Mohandas Karamchand), and 23rd March (commemorates the deaths of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and Shivaram Raj Guru). 23rd June (marks the death of Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee), 21st October (Police Martyr’s Day), 17th November (the death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai), and 19th November (the birthday of Lakshmibai).
History of Shaheed Diwas on 23 September
The day is the death anniversary of Rao Tula Ram (9 December 1825 – 23 September 1863) who was a freedom fighter during India’s First War of independence in 1857. He was the Ahir leader from Haryana’s Ahirwal region, who led a spirited uprising against the British. He raised the flag of revolt against the British on 17th May 1857 and kept it fluttering, through thick and thin, till his last breath.
His story is one of rebellion and guerrilla warfare against the stronger and better-equipped imperialist forces of the British Army. He is regarded as the state hero of Haryana. He is credited with temporarily driving all of the British rules from the region that today is southwest Haryana during the Rebellion. He also helped rebel forces fighting in the historic city of Delhi with men, money, and material. He was the first rare good administrator and military commander.
After the 1857 uprising ended he left India, met the rulers of Iran and Afghanistan, and also established contacts with the Tsar of Russia, to seek their help to fight a war to free India from the British. His plans were cut short by his death from dysentery in Kabul on September 23, 1863, at the age of 38.
Haryanvi were brave; not only in the freedom struggle but afterward also. A number of soldiers sacrificed their lives for the sake of the unity of the country. In the Kargil war alone, the number of martyrs from Haryana was 80 which was the maximum from a single state in the country.
Martyrs Day in Haryana is dedicated not only to Rao Tula Ram but also to all other people who gave their lives for the freedom and independence of their land. This day is marked by wreath-laying ceremonies at memorials to fallen soldiers. Various educational and cultural programs are held to remind the residents of Haryana of their glorious past and people who have left an indelible mark on its history.
State functions are held at the war memorial in the John Hall on the Civil lines Road, Gurgaon. The function is attended by the Chief Minister of the state and other government officers. Various shows, fairs, and flea markets are organized on this day and people travel from different corners of Haryana to witness this celebration, a symbol of Haryana’s bravery.
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