21 December 2016
The Ghadar Movement Centenary 8.1.2013
The Ghadar Movement constitutes an important milestone in the history of India’s struggle for freedom. The word Ghadar means mutiny. The movement aimed at bringing about a revolution in India in order to secure liberation from the British rule. Organised in USA (Astoria, Oregon) in the year 1913, the headquarters of the Ghadar Party was established in San Francisco.
The birth of such a movement in America was a result of an exceptional coming together of a number of Indian revolutionaries in exile and a large number of migrant Punjabi Sikh farmersand workers. The contact with the outside world and exposure to new ideas opened their minds. They started understanding the meaning of freedom and reasons of the poverty and exploitation under colonial domination. They dreamt of complete independence of India and worked towards instilling patriotic feelings in young Indians and train them for a rising in India. A distinguishing feature of this movement was its inclusive character; it shed parochialism and transcended the boundaries of caste, religion and region.
The name of the movement came from the weekly newspaper named Ghadar which was published first in Urdu then in English, Hindi, Gujrati, Gurumukhi and Pushtu and circulated free of charge among Indians settled in different parts of the world. The declaration made by the paper Ghadar in its first issue of November 1, 1913, was categorical and audacious: “Today there begins in foreign lands, but in the language of the country, a war against the English rule in India”.