off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid

Try to win Hearts of
People to earn Respect

Bhagt Singh was an Indian socialist revolutionary whose two acts of dramatic violence against the British in India and execution at age 23 made him a folk hero of the Indian independence movement. He was born at Banga in Punjab in September 1907 and died through execution by hanging in 1931 in Central Jail Lahore as he had plotted in 1928 with others to kill the Police Chief who was responsible for the death of an influential Indian writer and politician Lala Lajpat Rai. Though mistakenly he and his colleagues killed the Assistant Superintendent of Police J. Saunders. After that he fled the city to Lahore to escape execution.

Bhagt Singh was an intellectual of highest order besides being a prolific writer who read over two hundred books in Jail. He was involved in two high-profile plots against the British authorities in India which helped galvanize the Indian Independence Movement. Protesting against the Defense of India Act he and an accomplice threw a bomb at the Central Legislative Assembly in Delhi before they surrendered. While in Jail, Bhagt Singh helped organize a hunger strike to protest against prisoner’s mistreatment, a demonstration that gained him wide support in India. However, he was eventually hanged on March 23rd 1931 for Sounder’s murder.

During the trial when he was asked Muslims ruled India for over two hundred years but there was no protest against their rule while the British has ruled only for over a hundred years and why they were protesting? Bhagt Singh replied that Muslims ruled here by winning the hearts of the people, they never tried to conquer them. Whatever they earned, they spent it here while the British Government takes away everything from here to London and uses it for the development of their country. Bhagt Singh’s reply had an important message for the rulers of the world in general and rulers in the Muslim World in particular. If they wish to rule comfortably, try to win the hearts of the people, do not try to conquer them, suppress them and use oppressive measures.

The same principle applies everywhere. If Vice Chancellors of universities, Deans or Principals of Medical and Dental Colleges and other educational institutions, heads of various organizations wish a smooth sailing while managing the affairs of their institutions, they should take care of those working under them, try to win their hearts and refrain from using coercive methods. Strong arm tactics and dictatorial measures never work in the long run. If they wish to earn respect, they must try to win their hearts. These days there is an increasing trend of violence against the healthcare professionals and healthcare institutions. Hence it is the responsibility of the heads of these institutions to ensure safe and comfortable working environment because it is only happy healthcare professionals which will ensure patient safety as well. Hence, try to win their hearts and earn respect. You will be remembered for all times to come. On the contrary those who ruled and managed these institutions as dictators, once they retire, no-one remembers them and they are never welcome back in those institutions.


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