His name is close to the proletariat because of his personal background and despite poverty, he led a revolution whose aim was to grant the country independence from colonial bondage. Andres Bonifacio is considered a national hero alongside Rizal because of his heroism and leadership that paved the way for the establishment of a secret society called Katipunan. He symbolically declared Philippine Independence from the Spanish opportunist government at Pugad Lawin on the fateful day August 23, 1896 by leading his men in tearing their cedulas as a signal of revolution against Spanish oppression. Bonifacio is indeed a Filipino icon; he could have fought against the Americans if only he had been not killed by his fellow countrymen.

       Although Bonifacio was revered by others for fighting and dying for the cause of liberation, he was also subjected to rumors such as that he had stolen the funds of the Katipunan; that being a Mason he was anti-Catholic; that he was uneducated, and therefore incapable of becoming a leader, and worst, that he was an atheist. He was one of the most maligned heroes like Macario Sakay who was executed by the Americans. In India there is one freedom fighter named Bhagat Singh, who suffered a similar fate as that of Andres Bonifacio. He was idolized by many Indians, most especially by the Sikh, and considered one of the most influential heroes, yet he was considered as terrorist by some.

        Bhagat Singh was born on September 27, 1907 in the village Banga of Layalpur to Mata Vidyavati and Sardar Kishan Singh. He came from a family who are known for struggling for freedom. 

         He dropped out from school and continued to fulfill his dream of driving the British Empire out of
India. He joined Hindustan Republican Association formed by the revolutionaries of Uttar Pradesh. Bonifacio similarly had no formal education but was a self-educated man. He read books about the French Revolution, biographies of the Presidents of the United States, the colonial penal and civil codes, and novels such as Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, Eugène Sue’s Le Juif errant and José Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Singh also studied European revolutionary movements and was attracted to anarchism and communism. He shared with Bonifacio his interest in fiction of a politico-economic nature. However, he always declared himself to be an atheist

       Both Bonifacio and Bhagat Singh had an ardent passion for writing. Even without formal training, Bonifacio contributed to the Katipunan’s official organ Kalayaan. He wrote the poem Pag ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa and the essay Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog (What the Tagalogs Should Know). His anti-clerical and anti-Spanish writings were significant in igniting the spirit of revolution among the Filipino people. According to Teodoro Agoncillo, Bonifacio’s writings were not polished, but have strong power, which was necessary in an age characterized by chicanery, dishonesty, immorality, cowardice and extravagant pretensions. On the other hand, while in jail, Bhagat Singh wrote a detailed history of the revolutionary movement in India.

        Singh was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement, whom he greatly admired. But even as Gandhi maintained his non-violence policy following the violent murders of policemen by villagers from Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh, Singh, chose to join the Young Revolutionary Movement and began advocating a violent movement against the British.

         Bonifacio sought the support of Rizal for the planned revolution. However, Rizal advised them that it was not yet the right time to commence the revolution because of lack of financial and military resources. Bonifacio, did not take the advice of Rizal, and instead organized the Katipuneros to launch a revolt against the Spanish.

         On April 8, 1929, Singh and Dutt threw a bomb onto the corridors of the Central Legislative Assembly and shouted “Inquilab Zindabad!” (“Long Live the Revolution!” as protest against the wrongful enactment of the Defense of India Act which gave more power to the police. Although nobody was hurt, Singh and Dutt submitted themselves for arrest after the bomb.

         Bonifacio and Bhagat Singh lived in the dark days of revolution and ended in a gloomy journey. Andres was executed by his fellow Katipuneros on May 10, 1897 for the crimes of treason and sedition, while Bhagat Singh died at the gallows on March 23, 1901 in Lahore.

         Both men set an example of character and great courage by sacrificing themselves for the sake of the country’s freedom.