This year, the country is celebrating the centenary of the Gadar Movement, so probably this year UPSC Ghadar Movement se question utha sakti hai !!!!
Ghadar movement was a luminous spark of support in distant California for the struggle for independence being waged at home in our country. Apart from commemorating it by the issue of a special postage stamp, India will also upgrade the Gadar Memorial in San Francisco into a functional museum and library with a sculpture to honour the Gadar Babas, the heroes of this great national movement.
The Ghadar Movement was a movement of patriotic, progressive, democratic, and enlightened Indians living abroad, working for the emancipation of India from the yoke of British colonialism and the birth of a new India based on national and social emancipation. They organized themselves in 1913 among communities throughout the world, adopting the following goals and means:
1-To liberate India with the force of arms from British servitude and to establish a free and independent India with equal rights for all.
2-To establish their headquarters in San Francisco, that would serve as a base to coordinate all the activities for achieving these aims and objectives.
3-To publish a weekly paper, Ghadar, in Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and in other languages of India.
4-To hold organisational elections every year to elect a coordination committee from the different committees to carry out all the work.
5-To organize cells amongst Indian railway, industrial, and farm workers, as well as students who would be directly linked to the centre.
6-The coordination committee would elect a three-member commission to supervise the political and underground work.
7-Revenue would be drawn from each member through a monthly contribution of one dollar.
8-No discussion or debate was to take place on religion within the organization. Religion was considered a personal matter and that it had no place in the organization.
9-Every member was duty bound to participate in the liberation struggle of that country in which they were resident.
Members of the Ghadar Party
--Baba Bhagwan Singh Dhosanjh
--Kartar Singh Sarabha
--Baba Visakha Singh
--Harnam Singh Tundilat
--Harnam Singh Kahira Sahira
--Harnam Singh Saini
--Sohan Singh Bhakna
--Lala Har Dayal
--Tarak Nath Das
--Pandurang Sadashiv Khankhoje
--Ganda Singh (Phangureh)
--V. G. Pingle
--Bhai Randhir Singh
--Munsha Singh Dukhi
At the initial gathering in Astoria in 1913,
- Sohan Singh Bhakna was elected President,
- Kesar Singh Thathgarh, Vice President,
- Lala Hardayal, General Secretary,
- Lala Thakur Das Dhuri, Joint Secretary,
- Pandit Kanshi Ram Mardauli, Treasurer.
Publication of Ghadar
- Publication of Ghadar also began after this conference. On its masthead the paper had inscribed in bold letters -Enemy of the British Rule in India.
- It included articles on the conditions of the people of India under British hegemony, and it also dealt with the problems that confronted Indians abroad such as racial attacks and discrimination.
- It called upon the Indian people to unite and rise up against British rule and throw the British out of India. Ghadar was published in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi and in other languages of India.
- Besides Ghadar, the Yugantar Ashram, the headquarters of the Ghadar Party, also brought out various publications to raise the consciousness of the people and organize them to revolt against the British.
- A poster entitled, "Jang Da Hoka" (Declaration of War) asking for help of people through funds
- The Ghadarites wanted to establish a Democratic Republic of India in which all peoples, irrespective of their race, religion, gender, language, or national origin, would have equal rights.
- They envisioned a United States of India as a federation of all the nations, nationalities and tribal people of Hindustan.
- This was illustrated by the poster of United States of India issued by the Ghadar Party .
- According to Bhagat Singh Bilga one of the few Ghadarites still alive, Ghadarites were influenced by the First War of India's Independence of 1857 (the original Great Ghadar), and the American, French, and Bolshevik Revolutions.
- They wanted a completely independent, secular, and democratic India in which there would be no exploitation of man by man.
- A precursor of Ghadar, The Talvar, which was printed in Berlin, had on its front page in a April-May 1910 issue a couplet from Bhadur Shah Zafar, one of the leaders of the Ghadar of 1857, and the lead article was dedicated to May 10, 1857, the date of the uprising. The article concludes:
In memory of
1-Rani Lakshmi Bai and her comrades
2-Mandar and Kashi
3-Rana Kunwar Singh
4-Maulvi Ahmad Shah
6-Kuar Khuda Baksh
7-Ghulam Ghose Khan
and of those tens of thousand men and women who perished in 1857 in the sacred attempt to wrench the mother from the hands of the Faranghi.
The Ghadar paper invited the patriots with a typical call:
WANTED : Fearless, Courageous Soldiers for launching Ghadar (Mutiny) in India
SALARY : Death
AWARD : Martyrdom and Freedom
PLACE : The Battlefield of India
- A March 19,1917 issue of Ghadar proclaimed in bold letters "RUSSIA HAS BECOME FREE, SOON INDIA WILL BE FREE", following the fall of the Czarist regime in Russia and the beginning of the revolution there.
- In their publications, the Ghadarites dealt with the problems and issues of the day. In Nia Zamana, they urged all Indians to unite and fight for a new India and spare no sacrifice for the freedom of their land and work tirelessly for liberty and the rights of all. They also engaged in polemics against various organisations and tendencies that they regarded as diversions from the most important task at hand
The British government spent $2.5 million on there trial, an enormous sum indicating the degree to which the Empire feared this movement.
few specimens of the ideas of the Ghadar patriots in their simple poetical compositions, such as,
Sade paise naal sada sir kuttade
Zalam farangi lai gaye des lutt ke
[Cruel foreigners have looted away our country
Using our wealth they hit us hard]
Kha kha golian raj nun kaim keeta
Zalam Nazar Aaya daghedar sanoon
[Suffering bullets on our bodies we established the Empire
The Tyrant appeared a cheat to us]
Nawan roop rachan hind de samaj da
Tukham Udaona zalaman de raj da
[To give a new shape (social, political order) to Indian society
The seed of the rule of the Tyrant has to be exterminated]
Deson kadheeaiy chall ke gorian noon
Dekho pher hunde malla-maal kyon nahin
[Returning (to the country) let’s expel the Whites from our land
Then you will see how we become rich and prosperous]
Pehlaan Ghadar Party sare des vich parchar kare
Khullam-khulla parja taayyien choran thein hushiar kare
[First the Ghadar Party should propagate the ideas in the whole country
Openly telling the people to beware of the thieves]
Pindaan vich parchar di lor sanoon
Pher tope bandook di lor sanoon
[We need propaganda in the villages (first)
Then we would need rifles and guns]
Mil ke sabh ghariban ne ghadar karna,
Aas rakhani na sahukar wali.
[All the poor would together fight,
no false hopes of support from the rich.]
Pindan waloe mamle band kar deo
[O’ village folks, stop paying land revenue]
Miloogi azadi kaum sukh paaoogi
[Freedom will come; the nation will live in comfort]
Vidya batheri vadh jawegi azad hoyaan
[Once freedom comes, education will spread fast]
Door tadon hone gharan dian tangian [Then all the household difficulties will be over]
Howegi tarrakki pichhon bahut hi sukhali saadi
Kar lao tayari pehlan ghadar machaun di.
[Making progress will be much easier thereafter;
First let us make preparation for launching the rebellion.]
Sanoon lor na Pandatan Kazian di;
Nahin shauq hai bera dubawne da.
[No Pandits or Mullahs do we need;
We are not for the sinking of our boat.]
Decline of the Movement
- In August, 1914, World War I broke out. Germany offered the Indian Nationalists (Gadarites) financial aid to buy arms and ammunitions to expel the British from India while the British Indian troops would be busy fighting war at the front. The Gadarites drew plans to infiltrate the Indian army and excite the soldiers to fight—not for the British but against the British Empire)and free India from the shackles of British imperialism. The Gadarites inspired an estimated 8000 thousands overseas Indians to go to India to launch a revolution.
- Before leaving for India, the Gadarites had hoped that Indians were ready for a revolution. They however found that the Indian political leadership openly and willingly co-operated with the British. Many Gadarites including Sohan Singh Bhakna, president, and Kesar Singh and Jawala Singh, vice presidents were taken captives on reaching India while Kartar Singh Sarabha, V.G. Pingle and several others were able to evade arrest. An estimated 3000 overseas Indians were intercepted; more than 300 were put in jails while many more were restricted to their villages.
- Kartar Singh Sarabha and other Gadarite leaders worked with all those forces that were working to liberate India. They made alliance with well-known revolutionaries in India such as Ras Behari Bose. They organized meetings to plan for the revolution, procure arms and arrange funds to carry out propaganda and other activities. Since many Gadarites were retired military soldiers, they tried to infiltrate into various units of the armed forces. But, most of the plans of the Gadarites either failed or were foiled by the British agents and by the end of February 1915, most of the Gadar activists were taken captives.
- The Gadarites were prosecuted by the Special Tribunal. As many as 46 including Kartar Singh Sarabha and Vishnu Ganesh Pingle were given death sentences, 69 were imprisoned for life and 125 were given varying terms of imprisonment. In the San Francisco Hindu German Conspiracy Trial (1917-18), twenty-nine “Hindus” and Germans were convicted for varying terms of imprisonment for violating the American Neutrality Laws.
- The Gadarites did not hesitate to make any sacrifice for the cause of freedom, dignity and prosperity of their motherland. They fought valiantly for their cause and left a major impact on India’s struggle for freedom. The heroism, courage and sacrifices of the Gadarites inspired many freedom fighters to continue their mission.
Influence of Ghadar Movement on Bhagat Singh !!
- BHAGAT SINGH and his comrades regarded the Ghadar struggle as the first genuinely revolutionary struggle for the freedom of India.
- he regarded Kartar Singh Sarabha as his hero. Bandi Jeewan by Sachindranath Sanyal, which included the first historical account of the movement by an insider, was “a basic textbook“ which he and his friends at the National School at Lahore read and discussed.
- The Rowlatt Committee Report of 1918, containing the British Government’s secret intelligence version of the Ghadar movement, was another.
- Bhagat Singh had personally met some of the leaders of the Ghadar Party such as Bhai Santokh Singh, the founder and editor of the Kirti monthly, Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna, whom he met in Lahore Central Jail, Lala Ram Saran Das and Bhai Randhir Singh. Bhagat Singh was overwhelmed by their individual heroism and the sacrifices made by them.
- Writing on Kartar Singh, Bhagat Singh described how, like most other Punjabi immigrants on the Pacific coast of the USA and Canada, the young 17-year-old Kartar Singh became a revolutionary. He arrived at San Francisco in 1912 for the purpose of study, but his tender heart was badly bruised by the White Man’s racial insults. He would grow “mad” on hearing abuses such as ‘Damn Hindu’ and ‘Black Man’. On thinking about his homeland, he was distressed by “the image of a hapless India bound in chains”. There could be no respect for subjects of a foreign rule. He could no more think of studying or making a career. Gradually an organisation of immigrant Indian labourers was formed and a passion for India’s freedom was roused. The Indian workers pledged to sacrifice their tan, man dhan (body, mind and wealth) to liberate their country. The Ghadar newspaper was started and Kartar Singh worked very hard in its editorial staff. When he was tired while working at the hand-operated printing machine, he would start reciting his favourite song:
Jinhan des sewa vich pair paya
Ohnan lakh musivataan jhallian ne.
[Those who stepped into service of the country
Faced a hundred thousand pangs.]
- YOUNG Bhagat Singh seemed mesmerised by stories of the courage, dedication and organisational abilities of Kartar Singh Sarabha, whom he lovingly described as his guru, a friend, and a comrade.
- Kartar Singh was told he would be awarded death sentence—‘phansi’, Kartar Singh laughed at it in the court and stated that he would give preference to phansi over life imprisonment, so that by taking birth again I could offer myself for ‘death sentence’ again. Taking birth again I will be executed again until India gains freedom. That is my last wish.
- Bhagat Singh’s contact with the Kirti and the revival of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha in April 1928 with the efforts of Sohan Singh Josh.
- The Ghadar spirit of secularism was, to Bhagat Singh, a distinctly valuable trait, compared to the religious and mystical orientation of the other groups of revolutionaries of India at that time.
Miscellaneous Extra Reading
- Aurobindo Ghosh wrote a series of articles entitled "New Lambs for old"
- Ranade wrote "Essays in Indian Economics" (1898)
- Dadabhai Naoroji wrote "Indian poverty and un-British Rule in India" (1907)
- Swadeshi movement was started in 1905
- The first political murder of Europeon was committed at Poona on 22nd June, 1897 by the Chapekar brothers Damodar and Balkrishna
- The Ghadar Movement – Hardayal an intellectual giant and a firebrand revolutionary from Punjab.
- Ghadar Party which was formed on 1 November, 1913 at San Fransisco in the USA.
- Lucknow Pact between the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Marscist Lenin (ML)
- Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev were executed in the Lahore jail on 23rd March 1931 and their dead bodies were cremated at Hussianiwala (Ferozpur)
- The All India Congress Committee observed 18th August, 1929 or "Political Suffer Day" all over India.