August the 17th was the
day set for Dhingra's death. It was decided to hang him in the Pentonville Jail.
It was a day of great sorrow for his friends. Outwardly he had looked like a dandy but
what patriotism flooded his heart! His friends wept in grief and admiration.
Savarkar and his friends were not idle on that day. They printed a handout. They stood
in the streets, their hearts heavy with sorrow, their minds tense and anxious. They
distributed copies of the handout to passers-by pleading, "Read this, we beg of you,
read this." And this is what it said:
"Today is the 17th of August, 1909. This is a date that should be written in the
heart of every patriotic Indian in blood. Today will Dhingra, our best friend and greatest
patriot, be hanged in the Pentonville Jail. His spirit will guide us. His sacred name will
adorn the pages of history. Our enemies will kill him. But they cannot kill our struggle
for freedom. Let them never forget this!"
This happy-go-lucky young man came to London in the month of July 1906. He used to take
pleasure in wearing smart clothes and roaming about in the streets of London. He was fond
of cosmetics and used to sit before the mirror for hours on end making him handsome.
Just three years later the same young man welcomed his death with a smile. What a great
change in so short a time!
Wearing nice clothes, going to parties with friends, whistling and roaming about in the
streets, they were all natural to a young man of his age. If Dhingra had remained just a
dandy, nobody would have remembered him today. He would be just one of the many nameless
ones of the earth that are born and dead, and are heard of no more.
But Dhingra wanted to be of use to his country. He died for its sake, but he lives in
our hearts. He is immortal.
He went to England to study engineering. As an engineer he could have earned heaps of
money, acquired a status, and led a comfortable life. He would have lived longer and lived
But his countrymen were living like slaves. They were dead though living. Dhingra died
so that we could live. He and martyrs like him laid down their lives and gave life to us.
His body died, but he lives in the hearts of his countrymen.