Shahid-E-Azam Bhagat Singh’s Famous Article, ‘WHY AM I AN ATHEIST?’


Shahid-E-Azam Bhagat Singh’s Famous Article, ‘WHY AM I AN ATHEIST?’: This article was written by Bharat Mata’s Veer Saput Bhagat Singh while in jail and it was published on 27 September 1931 in Lahore newspaper ‘The People’. In this article, Bhagat Singh has raised many logical questions on the existence of God and creation of this world, the birth of man, the imagination of God in the mind of man as well as the humility of man in the world, his exploitation, the chaos prevailing in the world and The conditions of class discrimination have also been thoroughly analyzed. It is one of the most popular articles of Bhagat Singh’s writing. Today, on the occasion of his birthday, we have brought for you the most famous article of Bhagat Singh, ‘Why am I an atheist?’ Let me tell you here that I have used birthdays instead of birth anniversaries, because heroes like Bhagat never die, they live in their thoughts….

A new question has arisen. Do I not believe in the existence of God Almighty, omnipresent and omniscient due to any ego? Some of my friends – perhaps by saying so that I am not gaining much authority over them – are eager to reach the conclusion that I am going beyond the necessity of denying the existence of God and in my little contact with me Boasting has somewhat provoked me to this mistrust. I do not boast that I am far above human weaknesses. I am a human being, and nothing more. No one can claim to be more than this. This weakness is also within me. Ego is also part of my nature. Among my comrades, I was called autocratic. Even my friend Mr. Batukeshwar Kumar Dutt used to say this to me sometimes. I have also been condemned on many occasions as an arbiter. Some friends have a complaint, and seriously, that I involuntarily impose my thoughts, on them, and get my proposals accepted. This is true to some extent. I do not deny it. It can be called ego. As far as our own opinion is concerned against other popular opinion. I am definitely proud of my opinion. But it is not personal. It may happen that it is justified pride in its faith and it cannot be called arrogant. Boasting is an excess of undue pride towards oneself. Is it unreasonable pride that led me to atheism? Or did I disbelieve in God after studying this subject very carefully and considering it very carefully?

I have completely failed to understand how unreasonable pride or boast can become an obstacle in a person’s way of believing in God? I do not recognize the greatness of a truly great person – this can only happen when I too have received a little fame which I either do not deserve or I do not have the qualities that are necessary for it. Even this makes sense. But how can it be that a person, who believes in God, suddenly stops believing in him because of his personal ego? Only two ways are possible. Either man starts thinking of himself as a rival of God or he starts considering himself as God. In both these situations he cannot become a true atheist. In the first stage, he does not deny the existence of his rival. Even in the second stage, he assumes the existence of a consciousness that conducts all the activities of nature from behind the curtain. I only deny the existence of that almighty supreme soul. It is not arrogance that inspired me to accept the doctrine of atheism. I am neither a rival, nor an avatar nor the divine self. Let us consider the facts to deny this charge. According to these friends of mine, due to the unnecessary fame I got during the Delhi Bomb Case and Lahore Conspiracy Case, I have probably become old-fashioned.

My atheism is not of recent origin. I had stopped believing in God when I was a young man. At least one college student cannot cultivate any undue ego that leads him to atheism. Although I was a favorite of some teachers and some others I did not like. But I have never been a hardworking or educated student. Could not get any chance to get trapped in ego-like feeling. I was a very shy boy who had some pessimistic nature about the future. My Baba, under whose influence I grew up, is a conservative Arya Samaj. An Arya Samaj is anything but an atheist. After completing my primary education, I joined D.A.V. School, Lahore and stayed in its hostel for a whole year. There, in addition to morning and evening prayers, he used to chant Gayatri Mantra for hours. I was a devotee in those days. Later I started living with my father. As far as religious orthodoxy is concerned, he is a moderate person. His education inspired me to dedicate my life to the cause of freedom. But they are not atheists. He has a strong belief in God. They used to encourage me to pray and pray every day. This is how I was raised. Entered the National College in the days of Non-Cooperation Movement. It was only here that I began to think, think and criticize all religious problems – even the existence of God liberally. But still i. SHAHID-E-AZAM BHAGAT SINGH’S FAMOUS ARTICLE, ‘WHY AM I AN ATHEIST?’

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