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100 Years of Ghadr Movement
History and Ideology

Harjinder Kaur and Balbir Madhopuri


Intro

Ghadr Movement is a golden chapter in the history of our freedom movement .The movement was raised in the foreign-land, USA, to finish the British rule in India. It was the second national armed struggle fought by the Ghadr freedom fighters after 1857 rebellion against the foreign rule. The British Empire crushed it mercilessly and ferociously. However, the Ghadr Party (founded in 1913) and army soldiers’ role in the movement could not take appropriate place in the mainstream history of free India. 
Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh said in January 2013 at Kochi on Pravasi Bhartiya Divas that we are celebrating the centenary of Ghadr Movement this year. He said that the Ghadr Memorial in San Francisco will be upgraded into a “functional museum and library with a sculpture to honour the heros of the great movement.”

Background:

Before we go into the history of the Ghadr (revolution) Movement, it is but necessary to know about the contemporary economic and political conditions and the reasons for it. The prevailing conditions gave rise to this revolutionary, socialistic and Indian nationalism movement from a foreign land, the United States of America to free India from the clutches of the British imperialistic rule. It spread throughout the length and breadth of India with deep inspiration for sacrifice. The main logical reasoning behind it was:
o After two to three decades of British rule over Punjab in 1850, the economic condition of the people deteriorated. The government brought land under private control after going in for land settlement. Small holdings became the provocation for land title disputes. Orders were issued to pay land revenue in cash instead of kind. Payment of land revenue became difficult for small traders and they became dependent on money lenders. They were forced to pay high interest demanded by the money lenders. Forced by the circumstances, they started looking for alternatives to earn a square meal. Such a scenario created a new class of big land owners which included businessmen, mainly money lenders. According to the Punjab Government Agricultural Report (1924-25), nearly two and a half crore acres of land was mortgaged during1901 to 1909 and the courts sided with the money lenders in court cases.
o India faced a spate of natural calamities during that period. Drought withered away crops. The long drawn famine and hunger put thousands of people into the jaws of death. Plague took a heavy toll wiping out large number of families across India. The germs of this disease were carried by the army men of the British regime. As per newspapers reports during the 1911-1914 period a large number of people had died due to plague, measles, cholera and ulcer etc. in India. The other reality was that people were dying of hunger in large numbers and the government was regularly exporting food stuffs. During 1911-12, foodstuffs worth about 260 million dollars were exported and in 1913-14 these figures were about 216 million dollars worth of exports of food stuffs. Similarly, 880 lakh pounds cotton was sent to Britain in 1884 and the process continued regularly thereafter. In 1914, 9,630 pounds cotton was exported to Britain but the government was not worried for providing clothes to Indians to wrap their naked bodies or to give food to them to avoid hunger.
o No visa or passport was required in those days for going abroad or staying there. Taking advantage of this situation, thousands of Punjabi- Indians went to foreign countries by ships taking a voyage off Asia’s east coast i.e. off the coast line of China. After suffering great hardships, they finally reached Canada. According to the Labour Commissioner of the Canadian government Mackenzie King, from July 1904 to June 1905, 43 Hindi (Indians were called Hindi at that time) had arrived there. And in June 1908 there were 4880 Indians. Fearing large scale Indian influx to Canada, the Canadian government had put a ban on their arrival and stay there.
o The demand for Indian labour increased in the meantime as the United States and Canada were cutting the Western side jungles to make the land ready for agriculture. The laying of rail lines connecting the North and West coasts was also going on. Some of the Indians were expert handicraftsmen but majority of them did not have any expertise in just like other Asian labourers. Therefore, they were mainly engaged in forest cutting, working on saw mills, laying of railway tracks or straightening these up. They were required to work for ten hours a day but were paid one dollar less wages than their white counterparts. The Indians who had migrated to Canada shifted to the United States considering it profitable. There were no restrictions on crossing the border and no permission was required for it.
o One of the reasons for the Indians to go to the United States of America was the inspiration by Swami Vivekananda and Swami Ram Tirath. Both the Swamis had gone on a sojourn to foreign countries in 1902 and 1904 respectively to preach Hindu philosophy. On return to India, they inspired the people, especially Punjabis through their public speeches and their writings in the newspapers to go to the United States of America.
o US President Woodrow Wilson praised India’s freedom struggle in his book New Freedom and criticized British imperialism. As a result, Indo-American Society came into being. The possibilities of Indo-US friendship and partnership increased and consequently many students and other people started migrating from India. Someone got the job of a professor in Universities and some others got employed in some other avocations. It could happen as the United States successfully overcome the recession of 1907 by 1909 and people were getting jobs easily. According to reports, thousands of Indians (about 30 thousand) had gone to the United States of America by 1909. The fact which needs to be noted is that the US labour force did not like migrant workers for the reason that they worked in the industrial units and agriculture at less wages and were taking away the jobs which could have gone to the Americans. The Indians became the target of the ire of the Americans. The government started enacting laws against the immigration of Indians. Acquiring citizenship, ownership of land and marriage with US women was banned. Thereafter, racial riots broke out at many places. The worst of racial riot was witnessed in Washington State. A 400 to 500 strong mob of perpetrators of violence set on fire Indian homes and their luggage. They were mercilessly beaten. They were attacked at their work places. Many of them were jailed in the name of maintaining law and order. Many injured in the riots were admitted to hospitals. Hundreds of Indians took shelter at the beaches of British Columbia and Bellingham and some of them entered Canada.

The New York Times, January 28, 1908, (news reports), twenty citizens of Live Oak Saturday Night attacked two houses occupied by seventy Hindus who had been discharged from the Southern Pacific Company and ordered the Hindus to leave town. The Hindus were driven to the edge of the town and told to travel. One want to Yuba City and swore to complaints charging the members of the mob with stealing $1,930. They also took the case to the British Council at San Francisco. As British subjects, the Indians who were attacked applied for help with the British Consul in San Francisco.

Indian workers were mainly concentrated at three places - the areas around San Francisco in California, the cities situated on the banks of Columbia river flowing between Oregon and Washington States, Oregon, St. John, Portland, Seattle, British Columbia’s Vancouver situated between Astoria and Canada, the cities of Victoria and West Minster and the areas around them. The Indian workers used to get together on a holiday or on a day when there was no work. They used to discuss the difficulties being faced in the United States and Canada. The workers who had migrated from Punjab (India) often discussed about the struggle going on against the British rule in India. Most of them were army men. They were in a way, carriers of the spark of independence. In this manner, the protest against the British rule spread far and wide. Letters, circulars and newspapers were the main link of this fury of revolution and freedom.
o Meanwhile, the Indian students joined hands with the Irish and American protesters in mounting publicity against the British Empire. The foregoing facts instigated the Indians to fight for their rights, which was the beginning of political awakening. The congregations in the newly opened Gurudwaras in Canada and the United States played a significant role in propagating the awakening about self rights.
o During this period, Ramnath Puri who was expelled from India ignited the fire of valiant nationalism from the West coast of the United States and started bringing out in 1907 a publicity paper in Urdu ’Circular-e-Ajadi’ which was being published on stone printing. An announcement about the setting up of ‘Hindustani Sabha’ in San Francisco was published in it. The Sabha already had its branches in Astoria and Vancouver.

Alongside this paper, Taraknath Das started publishing an 8-page magazine in English in April 1908 named ‘Free Hindustan.’ As a result, he was dismissed from the government job of interpreter by the Canadian government. This magazine later continued to be published from Seattle and thereafter from New York. Some more organizations came up later for protection of human rights. These mainly publicized inspiring matter in order to arouse national awakening for independence of India.
The period after 1907 was quite significant and eventful. This brought about a sharp change in the economic and political thinking of the Indians. In the meantime, several revolutionary, fighter and shrewd Indians had settled down in Seattle, migrating from the different cities of United States of America and Canada. Prominent among them were G.D. Kumar, Babu Harnam Singh Sahri, Taraknath Das, Prof. Surendra Bose, Sant Teja Singh and many others. They used to visit Indians camps and seminaries to propagate nationalism. They preached loudly and in unequivocal words that ‘the time for political reformation has gone by. We should now work for the independence of our country.’ 
In the beginning of 1912, a big gathering was held in Portland. Harnam Singh Kotla Naudh Singh and companions, Pandit Kanshi Ram from St. John, Ram Rakha Sahiba Sarhoa and companions, Sohan Singh Bhakna, Udham Singh Kasel and other comrades who worked in Portland participated. An organization by the name ‘Hindustan Association of the Pacific Coast’ was unanimously formed. Its office was set up in a rented house in Portland. Sohan Singh Bhakna was elected as its President, G.D. Kumar, General Secretary and Pandit Kanshi Ram as Treasurer. All others were members of the Association. Later, a branch of this Association was opened in Astoria. The Urdu edition of the Association’s newspaper was closed down when the health of G.D. Kumar deteriorated. Lala Thakar Das Duri was in Portland in those days. He advised Sohan Singh Bhakna and Pandit Kanshi Ram that Lala Har Dayal be called and the Association work should be handed over to him.
In fact, Har Hayal had reached the US city of Berkley in February 1911. He was appointed as Lecturer in Stanford University situated there. He continued teaching Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy in the University till 1912. During his stay there, he met Baba Jwala Singh and resigned from the job. Joining hands with others, he set up a Students Club in Berkley and that was the beginning of political career of Har Dayal. He was an advocate of revolutionary thinking. While he was still studying in the Oxford University in the United Kingdom earlier, he was greatly influenced by Indian revolutionaries. He had written to a friend in a letter, “…..half hearted efforts will not succeed. We should cut at the roots of slavery.”
Thereafter, a letter was written to Har Dayal by the Hindustan Association of Pacific Coast. He reached St. John after about three months on 25th March 1913. All comrades were contacted on telephone and asked to reach by 9 p.m. The exchange of views continued till late in the night. Leaders presented their points of view. Har Dayal told the gathering that the British government was at the root of the sufferings of the Indian people. It is not possible to ameliorate the conditions of the people without ending the foreign rule. He told them that to achieve it preparations should begin for a revolution to throw the British out of the country by forming a political organization. The British regime should be put to an end through armed rebellion and a democratic government should be set up on the lines of the US system. Every Indian should get freedom and equality.
Har Dayal also said that let the British call our 1857 struggle for independence as mutiny or rebellion. This word connotes our struggle against the British government for our independence. Therefore, we should continue our struggle for independence under the banner of ‘Ghadr’ and to always remember the 1857 mutiny (our first struggle for independence) and continue harassing the British. The meeting decided to bring out a weekly paper ‘Ghadr’ to propagate the programmes of the organization and for publicity purposes. The word ‘Ghadr’ was synonymous to revolution.

Publication of ‘Ghadr’:
For publication of ‘Ghadr’ newspaper, House No. 436, Hill Street, San Francisco was taken on rent. Yuganter Ashram or ‘Ghadr Ashram was the headquarters of revolutionary activities. Raghbar Dayal Gupta (Uttar Pradesh) started working in it. The inaugural issue of ‘Ghadr’ came out on 1st November 1913 in Urdu and it was released at a function in Shattuck hotel in Barkley. A large number of Indians participated in the function. The issue in Urdu was full of write-ups, poems and news items. All materials were translated by Vishweshwar Prasad from Uttar Pradesh. Several speeches were made on this occasion as if another revolutionary movement was enacted, recalling the 1857 rebellion.
The Punjabi copy of the Ghadr issue came out five weeks later (9th December, 1913). Kartar Singh Sarabha did the work in Punjabi and Raghubar Dayal Gupta in Urdu.
The initial two to three issues of the ‘Ghadr’ stirred the Indians staying abroad. It came in for hot demand from many countries in the world. The ‘Ghadr’ newspaper started reaching the countries like India, Malay, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Siam, Panama, Argentina, South Africa and the Philippines. It became difficult to meet the growing demand for the paper published in a cyclostyled format and soon a large Litho machine was purchased. This machine was made functional from a rented house No. 1324 in Valencia Street ,San Francesco. 
On some occasions, ‘Ghadr’ issue was published in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati and English. The first issue of ‘Ghadr’ in Hindi had come out on 1st March 1915 and in Gujarati it had started publication from 10th May 1914. Khem Chand Damji used to translate Punjabi poems into Gujarati for publication in this issue. The ‘Ghadr’ was published in Pushto also but the Urdu and Punjabi issues came out regularly. This 8-page paper contained write-ups, versified poetry and important world news against colonialism. ‘Ghadr’ was distributed free but the money orders used to be received regularly. Another notable fact was that no staff member working to bring out the ‘Ghadr’ was paid any salary. They were all whole timers, without any remuneration on their own accord, full of patriotic zeal.
Har Dayal worked as Editor of the ‘Ghadr’ until March 1914, only five and a half months. The reason was that the Party had asked him to leave the country as early as possible. T was very secret move. The ‘expulsion’ of Har Dayal led to stimulation of the rebellious feelings among patriotic people. Showing great prudence, the leaders gave these sentiments, the shape of an organization. Ten thousand copies of Har Dayal’s writings in Urdu and Punjabi were published in each language and distributed free among the people to oppose the treacherous moves of the British and turn these, a damp squib. Protest demonstrations were held at many places. ( Har Dayal left for his heavenly abode on 4th March 1939 in Philadelphia while he was on a visit to the United States. He was born on 14th October 1884 in a Mathur family at Heer Khana behind Gurudwara Sis Ganj in Delhi).
The ‘Ghadr’ issue had two inspiring slogans on the top of its title page, which were as follows:

If ye desireth playing game of love,
Enter herein sporting head on your palm.
(Translated from Punjabi)
And:
Vande Matram
The page had two columns. The first column carried ‘naked truth about British rule’- major excesses were given in bold letters. These were mentioned as 11 points which were as under:
1. We Indians have become so poor that in India the daily wages are five paise (income per member) because the British take away 50 crore rupees to England every year.
2. The land revenue has been increased up to 65 percent.
3. The government spends quarter to eight crore rupees on the education of 24 crore people while it spends 29 crore rupees annually on protecting its empire.
4. Famine incidents have increased during the British rule and nearly two crore people had died due to hunger in the last ten years.
5. Plague has taken away a toll of 8 lakh people during the last 16 years.
6. The British instigate violent quarrels among Indian states and make people more fearful of them.
7. The British are never punished for killing Indian men and for dishonouring Indian women.
8. The Christians are given aid out of the money collected from the Hindus and Muslims.
9. Efforts are made to instigate communal clashes among the Hindus and Muslims. 
10. By spending Indian money, Indians are recruited as Sepoys and deployed to be killed in the battles fought by the British to conquer Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Egypt, Iran and China.
11. The British sell their goods destroying the Indian art and handicraft industry and skill.

All communication and donations may be sent at the following address:
Secretary, Yugantar Asharm, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Another significant 12th point was added in the second issue of the ‘Ghadr’ (23rd December 1913) which came out after two weeks: ‘56 years have elapsed to the 1857 rebellion (our freedom struggle). Another is needed very soon.’ In the 3rd issue of the ‘Ghadr’ (30th December 1913), it was written in bold letters near the title word ‘Ghadr’ “Enemy of the British Rule, Weekly paper in Urdu and Gurmukhi”. Similarly, in the 7th April 1914 issue No.1, ‘Hindustan Ghadr’ words were mentioned. This nomenclature was given by Editor Ram Chander who took over from Har Dayal. In this manner, organizational skill went on getting more mature. The Indians settled in foreign countries got all the more enraged to free their country from the British rule at the earliest.
All out efforts were made to popularize the Ghadr and make it the real peoples’ paper. It carried the writings of farmers, workers and students along with the write-ups of economic, political and social thinkers. The theme of all the writings used to be sharp and revolutionary.


Ghadr Party’s Ideology:
The ideology of the Ghadr Movement could be well understood from an advertisement published in the Ghadr paper. For example, it is written on the front page of the 1st September,1914 issue of the Ghadr :

Wanted : Fearless and brave soldiers to create mutiny in India
Award : Martyrdom
Pension : Independence
Area of operation: India

The ideology of the Ghadr Party was revolutionary. It was to set up a government having democratic and socialist system through armed struggle. The ambit of the war of independence being fought from a foreign land, the United States of America (about 10,000 Miles away) was the entire India and other countries under imperialistic rule. 
The Ghadr Movement adopted secularism as its motto. It gave priority to project views against social inequality, economic discrimination and mutual hatred among various religions and caste war and untouchability. The leaders kept before them the ideal to create a society devoid of exploitation which is classless, colour less and caste less. It short, it was to build revolutionary socialism and Indian nationalism.
The Ghadr Movement in its mouthpiece Hindustan Ghadr and other publications criticized all those contemporary parties and organizations which were limited to demanding only more rights or were happy at getting government jobs.
The Ghadr Party sent two armed missions for the complete independence of India but these failed. Another attempt was made a third time. The mission included five revolutionaries. They were Mangu Ram (Mugowal), Hari Singh Usman, Harnam Das, Gambhir Singh and Harnam Chand.
Actually, Schooner Annie Larsen was not suitable for a trans-Pacific voyage.An other ship the SS Maverick was arranged, to be parched under the illusion that it was used by the American-Asiatic Oil Company. According to plan, The Annie Larsen transfer its shipment to the Maverick which would be proceed towards South-Asia. However, the plan started failing as challenged by an American from Allied warships. After failing to meet Annie Larsen, the Maverick was directed to Hilo, Hawai.The four Ghadrites attempted to flee in ship but they were captured by British cruiser. However, above revolutionary were taken to Singapore. But the Indian spies of the British government, Bela Singh and Bhag Singh recognized Mangu Ram at Singapore. All of them were caught and handed over to the authorities. This mission also failed but party workers were full of courage.
But before the aforesaid significant and historic events took place, the First World War, 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918 broke out and a formal announcement about it was made on 4th August 1914. 
Thousands of Indian patriots started donating their properties and other valuables to Yugantar Ashram (Ghadr Ashram) and began migrating to India. They used to sing patriotic songs full of rebellion on their way home in the manner as their companion Kartar Singh Sarabha used to sing his following song:

Serving ones country is very difficult
It is so easy to talk
Anyone who walked on that path
Must endure millions of calamities.
(Translated from Punjabi)

Role of ‘Ghadr’ Literature in the Revolution:


The poems published in the Ghadr di Goonj had major impact on Indian patriots. The Ghadr (poetry collection) became more popular than even the Ghadr Party. The poems were in traditional folklore style. The patriotic zeal and the sharp militant appeal in these poems stirred the nationalists to the hilt. These carried the message of freedom of the country from the foreign yoke and at the same time conveyed the pitiable conditions of the Indians residing abroad. For example:

Humiliated back home, no solace abroad
For us aliens no refuge around.
(Translated from Punjabi)


The ‘Ghadr di Goonj’ apparently preached unity of Indian workers, patriots, students and religious personalities through poetry. 
The ‘Ghadr di Goonj’ (Poetry collection) issues Nos. 1, 2 and 3 were published under the banner of ‘Voice of the Patriots’. 15,000 copies of the issue No.1 were published. The booklet was published from Yugantar Asharm and sent free of cost to foreign countries. The mailing address from where its copies could be asked for was: Editor, Hindustan Ghadr 5,Wood Street, San Francisco, California, United States of America.
Ghadr Movement Trial Cases:
Leaders of the revolutionary movement and patriots were being arrested based on concocted reports, false witnesses and spying. They were tried in courts but no stress was given to defend them by advocates, through arguments or going in for appeal. It would be pertinent to give details in brief of some of the famous cases against the revolutionaries.
15 Ghadrites met with police encounter at Ghall Kalan, district Ferozpur. Two Ghadrites were killed on the spot, seven were arrested subsequently tried and hanged including Pandit Kanshi Ram.

Mutiny broke out in the army stationed at Singapore on February 15, 1915. The mutineers were influenced by Ghadr Party. Latterly, they were captured by the British army. Forty one were publically shot dead. Out of them some hanged and many awarded different sentence.

The first, Lahore Ghadr Conspiracy Case 1915. 61 revolutionaries were arrested in this case. The Tribunal awarded death sentence to 24 revolutionaries and 27 others were sent to Cellular Jail, Port Blair, Andemans. Out of the remaining, 6 were awarded less quantum of sentences and 4 were let off. Thereafter, Lord Hardinge himself visited Lahore. Exercising his special powers, he commuted the death sentence of 17 revolutionaries to transportation for life. Seven revolutionaries including Kartar Singh Sarabha, Harnam Singh, Jagat Singh Sur Singhwala and Vishnu Pingle were hanged till death in Lahore Central Jail on 16th November 1916, Tuesday.
The Second Lahore Conspiracy Case ended on 30th March 1916. In this case, five revolutionaries were awarded death sentence, 18 life imprisonment and 36 long and harsh prison terms. In the third, fourth and fifth Conspiracy Cases, decided in 1917 death sentences and life terms were announced. Properties were also ordered to be confiscated. Some more cases were presented before the same Tribunal in Lahore Central Jail. As per the details available about the criminal cases connected with the rebellion, 202 revolutionaries got martyrdom by hanging till death or were killed facing police bullets, 315 were given life imprisonment and were sent to Cellular Jail in Andaman and Nicobar islands. The number of those awarded lesser terms was 122.
Another world famous case of Ghadr Movement was Hindu German Conspiracy Case 1915. This was the costliest case of its times. Many Germans were involved in this case along with the Indians. The case was tried in the Northern District Court of California. The details were as follows:
“Case No. 6133, Box No. 575, File No. 1 (File, National Archives and Record Administration, NARA, San Bruno, California, U.S.A.). As per the case diary and Department of Justice, Office of United States Marshal, Western District of Washington- Indians, Irish Republican Brotherhood and Germans jointly acquired a Annie Larsen ship on rent and sent it to India which carried 554 cases of rifles about seven or eight thousands (Carbines with bayonets), about 3773 cases of cartridges, making about 3,500,000 rounds, about ten packages of cartridge belts, about 200 or 300 to the packages and some forty five caliber pistols, and inspirational literature of the Ghadr Movement. 
As discussed earlier, the patriotic revolutionaries connected with Annie Larsen and Maverick ships were five. One of them, Mangu Ram was hanged till death in Singapore by the government. According to the writings of Mangu Ram, he had read this news in the Manila Times. In fact, the government to save itself from the humiliation had hanged someone else whereas he was staying incognito in hiding with the aboriginals of the Philippines islands. What is more astonishing is that on 7th July 1917, the Northern District Court of California had issued warrants/summons against Mangu Ram and directed the Marshal to arrest him and present him before the Court. Another interesting fact was that according to the C.I.D. file on Mangu Ram, File No. 1273 of 1915, he was staying in the United States till September 1915. This file exposes the lethargy of the government intelligence department and the cleverness of the secret activities of the revolutionaries. Indiscriminate arrests of the Indians and the Germans began after the United States joined the British Alliance forces.

Revolutionaries Back to Homeland:


Many revolutionaries returned to India by September 1914. Among all those revolutionaries who had gone to the United States and Canada, 90 percent were Sikhs. They started returning to homeland in batches. Thereafter they went to the war front. There were many Muslims, Hindus and those belonging to the so called low castes among the patriots.
The revolutionaries started preparing for rebellion in the whole of India, especially in North India. Ghadr Sandesha and Elan-e-Jung were published in thousands and distributed free in villages, cities and cantonments. The party headquarters was shifted from Amritsar to Lahore on 6th February 1915. A house was taken on rent for Bibi Gulab Kaur. She was responsible for keeping a tab and latest information about party bases and party activities.


Rebellion Day in India


At long last, it was decided on 12th February 1915 to mount a revolt on 21st February. The programme was to capture the cantonments of Mianmir and Ferozepur on that night. Parmanand, Kartar Singh Sarabha and Vishnu Ganesh Pingle visited Ambala, Meerut, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Dinpur and Faizabad. Many more revolutionaries were involved in this planning. Meanwhile, a need was felt to have a national flag to fight against the British regime under one banner.
In the United States, blue and saffron colours were displayed at the Ghadr Ashram as the symbols of the Muslim and Hindu religions. Standing underneath it, they vowed to sacrifice their lives for getting freedom for the country. But later some changes were made in it. Through a resolution, it was decided to have red, yellow and green colours which chronologically represented Hindu, Sikh and Muslim religions. It was a symbol of unity for all.
In short, all the preparations were complete. But after the plunder in village Chabba on the night of 2nd February 1915, the entire planning went fut. Kala Singh who was arrested during the plunder revealed everything to the police. It became a talk of the town that the informer had put a death blow to the movement. But there were many other reasons for the failure of the revolution such as ill preparation for the attack, lack of contacts, tattling and many more.

Ghadr Party Foundation Day – 1913
The founder members of Ghadr movement who instilled a sense of Patriotism and the zeal for getting the country free
Among Indians and the Indians settled in foreign countries were:
1. Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna
2. Maulvi Barktulla
3. Pandit Kanshi Ram
4. Lala Har Dayal
5. Baba Kartar Singh Thathgarh

Conclusion:


The Ghadr Movement has a unique, magnificent and significant revolutionary role in India’s independence struggle. Even though the timing of its valiant, revolutionary and nationalist activities was much less but in the long run it became a solid foundation and a fountain of inspiration for the complete independence of the country. This movement gave many revolutionary brave persons who embraced the hanging noose smilingly to throw away the British rule out of the country. Martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev and many more are living example of this unparalleled sacrifice. Founders of the Azad Hind Fauz were from Ghadr Party. Karam Singh, Daulatpur the founder of The Babbar Akali Movement was also a Ghadrite.

Despite all this, the Ghadr Movement has not received its due place of pride in the independence struggle so far. This fact also cannot be denied that the British government has in its archives voluminous files on the revolutionary Hindustan Ghadr Party and its revolutionary patriotic warriors.
One thing which is highly satisfying and is of great pleasure is that we have now acquired two important documents of the C.I.D. One of these is the Ghadr Directory, Punjab Section Volume IV, 1913-15 (and a Supplementary directory). It contains the names, addresses and information about 461 revolutionaries. The second one is The Ghadr Directory. It contains information about the revolutionaries connected with the Ghadr from the United States, Europe, Africa, Afghanistan and India. It has detailed information about 766 revolutionaries along with their names and addresses. Both these are based on true and false reports. The first Directory was issued in Lahore in 1916 and the second one in 1934. These were later published by Gobind Sadan, Mehrauli, New Delhi and Punjabi University, Patiala.
The purpose of this detailed account is that the role of Ghadr Movement in India’s independence struggle still needs to be done properly analysed by our historians and intellectuals.
A Patriotic Memorial Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Kender is situated on the G.T. Road at Jalandhar in memory of the Ghadr Movement. Its large hall room adorns the photographs of valiant revolutionaries of the Ghadr along with captions. Its large library contains numerous historical books and documents relating to the Ghadr Movement.
In the United States, some organizations are engaged in the proper upkeep of the documents relating to Ghadr Movement. These are: 1. American Cultural Organization, California (America), 2. Mother Heritage Foundation (America), 
3. Indo-American Heritage Forum (Frizino), 4. Indo-American Patriotic Foundation, 5. Folklore Institute, Berkley, California 6. GOPIO, New York.
The Communications Ministry, Government of India issued postage stamps in memory of Lala Hardayal and Bhai Parmanand on 18th March 1987 and 24th February 1979 respectively. The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh released a postage stamp on 8th January 2013 at Kochi (Kerala) to commemorate the anniversary of the Ghadr Movement. He said that the Ghadr Memorial in San Francisco will be upgraded into a “functional museum and library with a sculpture to honour the heros of the great movement.” Now a portrait of Ghadr Hero, Kartar Singh Sarabha has been displayed in the Consulate General of Indian, San Francisco, U.S.A
Some patriots and historians believe that there is need to rewrite the history of India’s freedom struggle to give its due place of pride to the Ghadr Movement. This would be a true compliment to the patriots and the revolutionaries of Ghadr Movement.

Note:
o Hindi or Hindustani words have been used in this research paper. Hindi meant Hindustani during that period.
o Hindustani was prevalent during the undivided country (India-Pakistan)
o After independence, we constitutionally became Indians.
o The word Ghadr connotes revolutionary but the British government considered it as mutiny, rebellion or uprising against the regime.
o British Govt. had always used the word revolutionist for Ghadrites in their records.


This Research Paper is based on the following books:


1. Unread pages of the Ghadr Movement – Bhagat Singh Bilga
Edition: 1989; Publisher: Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee, Jalandhar.
2. History of Ghadr Party – Gurcharan Singh Sainsra
3rd Editon November 2006; Publisher: Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee, Jalandhar.
3. Ghadr Movement – Ideology, Organisation and Strategy (Punjabi): Dr. Harish K. Puri; Edition: 2006; Publisher: Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.
4. Ghadr – Ghadr Party’s Weekly Paper, Volume 1,issues 1-52,year 1913-14); Reprinted by: Dr. Ved Parkash ‘Vatuk’; Publisher: Folklore, P.O. Box 1142, Berkley, California,USA.
5. Ghadr di Goonj – The Sayings of Patriots; Edition: 1993; Publisher: Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee, Jalandhar. 
6. The Story of Ghadr Movement as told by Ghadr Revolutionaries: Compiler: Chain Singh Chain; Edition: 1st November 2002; Publisher: Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee, Jalandhar.
7. New Ideals of New Age: Lala Hardayal; Edition: November 1994; Publisher: Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee, Jalandhar.
8. Hindustan Ghadr Party – A Short History by Sohan Singh Josh; Edition: June 2007; Publisher: Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee, Jalandhar.
9. Hindu-German Conspiracy Case – Documentary Judgment and some other documents provided by Sita Ram Madhopuri.
10. Another Ghadr – (A paper) by Malwinder Jit Singh Waraich
11. Ghadr Directory (Punjab Section), Vol.IV, 1913-1915, Lahore 1916; Edited by Bhai Nahar Singh M.A., Bhai Kirpal Singh; Edition: 1996; Published by Gobind Sadan Institute for Advance Studies in Comparative Religion, Gadaipur, Mehrauli, New Delhi – 110030.
12. The Ghadr Directory compiled by H.Williamson, Director, Intelligence Bureau, Home Department, Govt. of India, 1934; Reprint: 1997 by Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala.
13. India’s Freedom Struggle, Through India Postage Stamps by Vishnu S. Saksena, Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications, Government of India.
14. War Against Emperor –Ghadr of 1914-15 by Malwinder Jit Singh Waraich, Harinder Singh, published by Unistar Books, Chandigarh.

* Researcher of Indian History and literature.
**writer and editor, Yojana (Punjbi), Publications Division New Delhi.


EMAIL FROM DESH BHAGAT YADGAR COMMITTEE


From: "Desh Bhagat Yadgar Committee, Jalandhar" <dbycjal@gmail.com>
To: bmadhopuri@yahoo.in 
Sent: Tuesday, 20 August 2013 3:49 PM
Subject: Regarding your Article

Dear Harjinder Kaur and Balbir Madhopuri ji,

Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee (Ghadr Memorial Hall),Jalandhar feels proud and appreciates your article ‘Hundred Years of Ghadr Movement: History and Ideology’ published on the front pages of Employment News, including Hindi and Urdu, in 2 parts, a widely circulated weekly, Govt. of India, dated August 3 and August 10, 2013. It is matter of satisfaction and pleasure that you have done a great work with labourious research on Ghadr Party in the recent times.The article inspires the young generation to do their best for the country. Our office have received so many telephones regarding the article of Employment News as it is published first time in the paper of Govt. of India .

We know this article will be useful for researchers,students and historians. We are preserving it for our library and archive. Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Hall Committee Jalandhar, hopes that you will continue to contribute your valuable research in future writings on Ghadr Movement.
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ग़दरआंदोलन के सौ साल: इतिहास और विचारधारा

बलबीर माधोपुरी


 

ग़दर आंदोलन हमारे स्वतंत्रता संग्राम के इतिहास का एक सुनेहरी अध्याय है। आंदोलन पराई धरती अमेरिका से भारत में ब्रितानवी हुकूमत को खत्म करने के लिए उठा। विदेशी राज के विरुद्ध 1857 के विद्रोह के बाद, यह दूसरा राष्ट्रीय हथियारबंद संघर्ष ग़दर स्वतंत्रता सैनानियों की ओर से लड़ा गया। ब्रितानवी हुकूमत ने इसको बेरहमी और ज़ालिमाना ढंग से कुचल दिया। फिर भी, ग़दर पार्टी (1913 में स्थापित) और फौजी सिपाहियों की आंदोलन में भूमिका को स्वतंत्र भारत के मुख्यधारा के इतिहास में उचित स्थान प्राप्त नहीं हो सका है।  प्रधानमंत्री, डाॅ. मनमोहन सिंह ने जनवरी, 2013 में कोच्चि में प्रवासी भारतीय दिवस के अवसर पर ग़दर आंदोजन को याद किया और कहा कि ‘साॅन फ्रांसिस्को में ग़दर के महान आंदोलन के नायकों को सम्मान देने के लिए उनकी मूर्तियों सहित एक सक्रिय संग्रहालय और पुस्तकालय भी उन्नत किया जाएगा।’

पृष्ठभूमि ग़दर आंदोलन के इतिहास के विस्तार में जाने से पूर्व उसकी तत्कालीन आर्थिक व राजनीतिक परिस्थितियों के साथ-साथउनके कारणों को जान लेना आवश्यक है। वे परिस्थितियों जिनकी वजह से यह क्रांतिकारी, समाजवादी और भारतीय राष्ट्रवादी आंदोलन हिंदुस्तान को अंग्रेजी हुकूमत के साम्राज्यवादी शिकंजे से मुक्त करवाने के लिए अमेरिका की पराई धरती से उभरा। असीम बलिदानी भावनाओं और शहादतों के साथ यह समूचे भारत में फैला। इसके पीछे जो प्रमुख तर्कपूर्ण कारण रहे, वे निम्न प्रकार हैं:- ऽ 1850 में पंजाब पर अंग्रेजी कब्ज़े के ढाई-तीन दशकों के बाद लोगों की आर्थिक दशा दयनीय हो गई। सरकार द्वारा भूमि-अधिग्रहण कानून बनाकर भूमि को निजी स्वामित्व के अधीन ले आया गया। इससे भूमि के छोटे-बड़े स्वामित्व के झगड़े बढ़ गए। लगान जिन्स के बदले नकद रूप में अदा करने का हुक्म दिया गया। छोटे किसानों के लिए लगान चुकाना कठिन हो गया। वे साहूकारों पर निर्भर हो गए। मुँह मांगा ब्याज देने के लिए विवश हो गए। आखि़र, वे रोज़ी-रोटी का दूसरा साधन खोजने के लिए देश छोड़कर जाने लगे। इस हालात ने जागीरदारों की एक पृथक श्रेणी खड़ी कर दी जिसमें अधिकतर साहूकार(बनिये) शामिल थे। पंजाब सरकार की खेतीबाड़ी रिपोर्ट 1924-25 के अनुसार 1901 से 1909 तक करीब ढाई करोड़ एकड़ ज़मीन गिरवी पड़ गई थी। मुकदमों में अदालतों ने साहूकारों का साथ दिया। ऽ उस दौर में प्राकृतिक आपदाओं ने भी हिंदुस्तानियों पर एक के बाद एक क़हर बरपाया। सूखे ने फसलें तबाह कर दीं। लंबे अकाल और भुखमरी ने हज़ारों लोगों को मौत के मुँह में धकेल दिया। प्लेग ने पूरे हिंदुस्तान में घर के घर खाली कर दिए। बीमारी के कीटाणु अंग्रेजी सरकार के फौजी लेकर आए थे। अखबारी रिपोर्टों के अनुसार 1911 से 1914 तक भारत में प्लेग, चेचक, हैजा, अल्सर आदि से 2,87,31,324 लोग मरे थे। दूसरी सच्चाई यह है कि लोग बड़ी संख्या में भूख से मर रहे थे और सरकार खाद्य सामग्री निरंतर निर्यात करती जा रही थी। 1911-12 में 260 मिलियन डाॅलर की खाद्य-सामग्री (फूड स्टफ्ज़) निर्यात की गई जबकि 1913-14 में करीब 216 मिलियन मूल्य की खाद्य-सामग्री का निर्यातहुआ। ऐसे ही, 1884 में  880 लाख पौंड कपास ब्रितानिया को भेजी गई। यह सिलसिला निरंतर जारी रहा। 1914 में 9630 लाख पौंड कपास भेजी गई, पर सरकार को न तो हिंदुस्तानियों के नंगे बदनों की चिंता थी और न ही भुखमरी की। ऽ उन दिनों मंे विदेश जाने और वहाँ रहने के लिए वीज़ा-पासपोर्ट की आवश्यकता नहीं पड़ती थी। हालात का लाभ उठाते हुए हज़ारों पंजाबी-हिंदुस्तानी एशिया के पूर्वी अर्थात चीन के तट से होकर जहाजों द्वारा दूसरे देशों में चले गए। अनेक कष्टों का सामना करते हुए अन्त में कैनेडा पहुँचे। कैनेडा सरकार के लेबर कमिश्नर, मैकन्ज़ी किंग के अनुसार, जुलाई 1904 से जून 1905 तक 43 हिंदी (उस समय हिंदुस्तानियों को ‘हिंदी’ कहा जाता था) वहाँ गए थे। इस प्रकार जून 1908 तक वहाँ 4,880 हिंदुस्तानी थे। हिंदुस्तानियों की बड़ी संख्या में आमद को देखते हुए कैनेडा सरकार ने उनके वहाँ आने और रहने पर रोक लगा दी। ऽ इसी दौरान अमेरिका में हिंदुस्तानी श्रमिकों की मांग बढ़ गई क्योंकि अमेरिका और कैनेडा अपने पश्चिमी भाग के जंगल काटकर उन्हें खेती के लिए तैयार कर रहे थे। उŸार और पश्चिमी तटों को रेल पटरियाँ बिछाकर जोड़ने का काम चल रहा था। कुछेक हिंदुस्तानी मज़दूर दस्तकारी का काम जानते थे, पर अधिकांश एशियाई मज़दूरों की भाँति वे कारीगिरी अथवा कोई हुनर नहीं जानते थे। इसलिए वे जंगल काटने, आरा मिलों में काम करने और रेल पटरियाँ बिछाने या उन्हें सीधा करने का काम करने लग पड़े। उन्हें दस घंटे काम करना पड़ता, पर मज़दूरी गोरे मज़दूरों की अपेक्षा एक डाॅलर कम मिलती। अपना नफ़ा-नुकसान सोच कर कैनेडा गए हिंदुस्तानी अमेरिका चले गए। सरहद के आर पार जाने पर कोई पाबंदी नहीं थी और न ही किसी प्रकार की कोई अनुमति लेनी पड़ती थी। ऽ ऊपरोक्त के अलावा, हिंदुस्तानियों का अमेरिका जाने का एक कारण स्वामी विवेकानंद और स्वामी रामतीर्थ का प्रचार भी था। दोनों स्वामी क्रमशः 1902 और 1904 में अपने हिंदू दर्शन का प्रचार करने गए थे। उन्होंने हिंदुस्तान आकर अपने भाषणों द्वारा और अख़बार के माध्यम से लोगों को, विशेषकर पंजाबियों को अमेरिका जाने के लिए प्रेरित किया। ऽ वुडरो विल्सन, अमेरिका के प्रधान ने अपनी पुस्तक ‘न्यू फ्रीडम’ में हिंदुस्तान की आज़ादी और आंदोलन की प्रशंसा की और अंग्रेजी साम्राज्य की आलोचना की। परिणास्वरूप, इंडो-अमेरिकन सोसाइटी बनाई गई। मित्रता की संभावनाएँ बढ़ीं। परिणाम यह हुआ कि बहुत सारे विद्यार्थी और अन्य लोगों ने हिंदुस्तान से उधर जाना आरंभ कर दिया। किसी को यूनिवर्सिटी में प्रोफ़ेसरी मिल गई और किसी को कोई अन्य काम। इसलिए कि अमेरिका 1907 की आर्थिक मंदी में से 1909 में निकल गया था और लोगों को आसानी से काम मिल रहा था। रिपोर्टों के अनुसार 1909 तक हज़ारों की संख्या(लगभग 30 हज़ार) में हिंदुस्तानी अमेरिका पहुँचे। यहाँ यह हक़ीकत गौरतलब है कि अमेरिकी मज़दूर प्रवासी मज़दूरों को अच्छा नहीं समझते थे। इसलिए कि वे कम मज़दूरी लेकर कारखानों में और खेतीबाड़ी के धंधों में अमेरिकी लोगों की नौकरियाँ हथिया रहे थे। फिर, हिंदुस्तानी अमेरिकी लोगों के गुस्से का शिकार होने लग पड़े। हिंदुस्तानियों की आमद के विरुद्ध सरकारी कानून बनने लग पड़े। नागरिकता, भूमि-स्वामित्व और अमेरिकी स्त्रियों से विवाह पर प्रतिबंध लगा दिया गया। कई स्थानों पर साम्प्रदायिक दंगे हुए। सबसे ख़ौफनाक हिंदुस्तानी विरोधी दंगा वाशिंग्टन स्टेट में हुआ। 400 से 500 दंगाइयों की भीड़ ने हिंदुस्तानियों के घरों और सामान को आग लगा दी। उन्हें निर्दयता से मारा-पीटा गया। जहाँ-जहाँ वे काम पर जाते थे, वहाँ-वहाँ हमले किए गए। सुरक्षा के नाम पर कइयों को जेलों में ठूँसा गया। कई घायल अस्पतालों में भर्ती हुए। सैकड़ों की संख्या में हिंदुस्तानियों ने बलिंघम और ब्रिटिश कोलम्बिया के बीच पर शरण ली। कुछेक कैनेडा चले गए। दि न्यूयाॅर्क टाइम्ज़ - 28 जनवरी, 1908 के अनुसार दो घरों में रह रहे सŸार हिंदुओं जिन्हंें सदर्न पैसेफिक कंपनी ने काम पर से हटा दिया था और उनको आदेश दिया गया था कि वे शहर छोड़कर चले जाएँ, उन पर लाईव ओक के बीस नागरिकों ने शनिवार की रात में हमला कर दिया। वे हिंदू भागकर शहर के किनारे चले गए और वहाँ से भी उन्हें चले जाने के लिए कहा गया। उनमें से एक भागकर यूबा सिटी चला गया और भीड़ के लोगों पर 1930 डाॅलर चोरी करने की शिकायत की। वे अपना मामला साॅन फ्रांसिस्कों में स्थित ब्रिटिश काउंसिल के पास भी ले गए। उन्होंने काउंसिल से मदद की मांग भी की। ऽ हिंदुस्तानी मज़दूरों की बहुसंख्या तीन स्थानों पर थी। कैलिफोर्निया में साॅन फ्रांसिस्को और आसपास का इलाका। ओरेगन और वाशिंग्टन राज्यों में कोलम्बिया दरिया के किनारे बसे शहरों- ओरेगन, सेंट जाॅन, पोर्टलैंड, सिआटल, आॅस्टोरिया और कैनेडा के अंदर ब्रिटिश कोलम्बिया के वैनकूवर, विक्टोरिया और वैस्ट मिन्स्टर के शहर और इनके आसपास का क्षेत्र। हिंदुस्तानी मज़दूर अवकाश वाले दिन अथवा काम बंद होने पर एकत्र होते रहते थे। वे अमेरिका-कैनेडा में आने वाली कठिनाइयों को लेकर परस्पर विचार-विमर्श करते रहते। जो मज़दूर सीधे पंजाब से आए थे, वे हिंदुस्तान में ब्रितानवी शासन के विरुद्ध चल रहे संघर्ष की चर्चा करते। उनमें से अधिकांश फौजी थे। वे एक तरह से आज़ादी की चिंगारी के हरकारा थे। इस प्रकार मज़दूरों के अंदर अंग्रेजी राज्य का विरोध व्यापक तौर पर फैलता चला गया। रोष-विद्रोह का सम्पर्क पत्रों, सर्कुलरों और अख़बारों के माध्यम से बना हुआ था। ऽ इसी दौरान हिंदुस्तानी विद्यार्थी अंग्रेजी साम्राज्य के विरुद्ध प्रचार में आयरिश-अमेरिकी आंदोलनकारियों के साथ शामिल हो गए।

ऊपरिलिखित इन तथ्यों ने हिंदुस्तानियों को अपने अधिकारों की प्राप्ति के लिए पे्ररित किया। इस प्रकार राजनैतिक चेतना का प्रारंभ हुआ। कैनेडा, अमेरिका में नए-नए बने गुरद्वारों में इकट्ठा होने वाले जन-समूहों ने अधिकार-चेतना को बढ़ावा देने में अपनी अहम भूमिका निभाई। इसी दौरान, हिंदुस्तान से जलावतन हुए रामनाथ पुरी ने पहले जुझारू राष्ट्रवादी सरगरमी अमेरिका के पश्चिमी तट पर शुरू की और 1907 में उर्दू में ‘सर्कुलर-ए-आज़ादी’ पत्थर के छापे वाला प्रचार पर्चा शुरू किया। उसमंे साॅन फ्रांसिस्को की ‘हिंदुस्तानी सभा’ स्थापित करने की घोषणा की गई। इस सभा की आॅस्ट्रोरिया और वैनकूवर में पहले ही शाखाएँ थीं। उसके साथ-साथ अप्रैल 1908 में तारकनाथ दास ने अंग्रेजी में आठ पृष्ठों का ‘फ्री हिंदुस्तान’ नाम का एक मैगज़ीन छापा। परिणामस्वरूप, उसको दुभाषिये की सरकारी नौकरी से कैनेडा सरकार द्वारा हटा दिया गया। यह मैगज़ीन बाद में सिआटल और फिर न्यूयाॅर्क से छपता रहा। इसके उपरांत कुछ और संगठन मानवीय अधिकारों की प्राप्ति के लिए खड़े किए गए। इन संगठनों में मुख्य कार्य था -राजनैतिक चेतना और हिंदुस्तान की आज़ादी को लेकर प्रचार करना। 1907 से अगला समय बहुत महत्वपूर्ण और सरगर्मियों से भरा था जिसने हिंदुस्तानियों की आर्थिक और राजनैतिक सोच में तीखा मोड़ पैदा कर दिया। इस दौरान कई क्रांतिकारी, जुझारू और सूझवान हिंदुस्तानी अमेरिका और कैनेडा के भिन्न-भिन्न शहरों से आकर सिआटल में टिक गए। उनमें से प्रमुख थे - जी.डी. कुमार, बाबू हरनाम सिंह साहरी, तारकनाथ दास, प्रो. सुरेन्द्र बोस, संत तेजा सिंह और अन्य। वे हिंदुस्तानियों के डेरों पर जा-जाकर प्रचार करते। वे ललकारते हुए स्पष्ट शब्दों में कहते, “अब राजनैतिक सुधारों का समय बीत गया है। हमें अपने देश की आज़ादी के लिए काम करना चाहिए।“ और फिर, 1912 के आरंभ में पोर्टलैंड में एक बड़ा जन समारोह किया गया। उसमें ब्राइडविल से हरनाम सिंह कोटला, नौध सिंह और अन्य साथी, सेंट जाॅन से पंडित कांशीराम, राम रक्खा, साहिबा सड़ोआ तथा अन्य, मोनार्क मिल से सोहन सिंह भकना, ऊधम सिंह कसेल और पोर्टलैंड में काम करने वाले अन्य साथी। सर्वसम्मति से ‘हिंदुस्तान एसोसिएशन आॅफ़ दि पैसेफिक कोस्ट’ नाम का संगठन बनाया गया। इसका दफ़्तर पोर्टलैंड में एक किराये के मकान में खोला गया। सोहन सिंह भकना - अध्यक्ष, जी.डी. कुमार -महासचिव और पंडित कांशीराम खजानची के रूप में चुने गए। शेष सभी इसके सदस्य बन गए। बाद में, आॅस्टोरिया में भी इसकी एक शाखा खोली गई। जब जी.डी. कुमार की सेहत खराब हो गई तो एसोसिएशन का उर्दू अख़बार बंद हो गया। लाला ठाकर दास उन्हीं दिनों पोर्टलैंड पहुँचा हुआ था। उसने सोहन सिंह भकना और पंडित कांशी राम को सलाह दी कि लाला हरदयाल को बुलाकर एसोसिएशन का काम सौंप दिया जाए। दरअसल, लाला हरदयाल फरवरी 1911 में अमेरिका के शहर बरकले पहुँच चुका था। वहाँ उसको स्टैनफोर्ड यूनिवर्सिटी में लेक्चररशिप मिल गई। वहाँ वह 1912 तक संस्कृत और हिंदुस्तानी दर्शन पढ़ाता रहा। इसी दौरान उसकी भेंट बाबा ज्वाला सिंह से हुई और उसने नौकरी से इस्तीफ़ा दे दिया। अन्य लोगों के साथ मिलकर उसने बरकले में स्टुडेंट क्लब बना लिया। इस प्रकार लाला हरदयाल का राजनैतिक जीवन प्रारंभ हुआ। वह क्रांतिकारी विचारों का समर्थक बन गया। इससे पूर्व आॅक्सफोर्ड यूनिवर्सिटी, यू.के. में पढ़ते हुए हिंदुस्तान के इंकलाबियों से प्रभावित हो चुका था। एक पत्र में उसने अपने मित्र को लिखा था, “...अधूरे यत्न लाभदायक नहीं होंगे, हमको गुलामी की जड़ पर कुल्हाड़ा चलाना होगा।“ और फिर, हरदयाल को ‘हिंदुस्तान एसोसिएशन आॅफ़ दि पैसेफिक कोस्ट’ की ओर से पत्र लिखा गया। उसके लगभग तीन महीने बाद वह 25 मार्च 1913 को सेंटजाॅन पहुँचा। टेलीफोनों पर सभी साथियों को रात के नौ बजे तक पहुँचने का संदेश दे दिया गया। देर रात तक विचार-विमर्श होता रहा। हर दयाल ने बताया कि हिंदुस्तान में ब्रितानवी हुकूमत लोगों की दुःख-तकलीफ़ों की जड़ है। इसलिए राजनैतिक संगठन बनाकर अंग्रेजों को देश में से निकालने के लिए ग़दर(इंकलाब) की तैयारी करनी चाहिए। हथियारबंद बगावत से फिरंगी सरकार को ख़त्म किया जाए और अमेरिकी प्रणाली की भाँति लोकतंत्रीय सरकार स्थापित की जाए। हर हिंदुस्तानी को आज़ादी और बराबरी हासिल हो। हरदयाल ने आगे कहा कि अंग्रेज हमारे 1857 के स्वतंत्रता संग्राम को ग़दर (बगावत) कहते हैं तो कहते रहें। यह शब्द ब्रितानवी हुकूमत के विरुद्ध हमारी स्वतंत्रता के संघर्ष को प्रकट करता है। सो, 1857 के संघर्ष को ताज़ा रखने और अंग्रेजों को निरंतर परेशान करते रहने के लिए हमें अपना संग्राम ‘ग़दर’ नाम के अधीन ही लड़ना चाहिए। बैठक में संगठन के कार्यक्रमों के प्रचार-प्रसार के लिए ‘ग़दर’ नाम का साप्ताहिक अख़बार निकालने का निर्णय लिया गया। ‘ग़दर’ शब्द को ‘इंकलाब’ के अर्थ के तौर पर लिया गया।

ग़दर का प्रकाशन ‘ग़दर’ नाम के अख़बार के प्रकाशन के लिए साॅन फ्रांसिस्को में हिल स्ट्रीट पर मकान नंबर 436 किराये पर लिया गया। युगांतर आश्रम यानीग़दर आश्रम को सरगर्मियों के लिए हैडक्वार्टर बनाया गया। प्रारंभ में हर दयाल, करतार सिंह सराभा और रघबर दयाल गुप्ता(उŸार प्रदेश) इसमें काम करने लगे। ‘ग़दर’ का पहला अंक 1 नवंबर 1913 को उर्दू में प्रकाशित हुआ और इसका बरकले के शेटक होटल में लोकार्पण किया गया। समारोह में बड़ी संख्या में हिंदुस्तानी शामिल हुए। उर्दू में छपा यह अंक लेखों, कविताओं और समाचारों से भरपूर था। समस्त सामग्री का अनुवाद यू.पी. के विशेश्वर प्रसाद ने किया था। इस अवसर पर भाषण दिए गए। अंग्रेजी साम्राज्य के विरुद्ध जंग की शुरुआत की घोषणा की गई। यानी 1857 के ‘ग़दर’ की याद को ताज़ा करता एक और ग़दर।  ऊपरोक्त अंक का पंजाबी रूप पाँच सप्ताह बाद (9 दिसंबर 1913) को छपा। पंजाबी में सारा काम करतार सिंह सराभा करता था और उर्दू का रघबर दयाल गुप्ता।  ‘ग़दर’ के पहले दो-तीन अंकों ने हिंदुस्तानियों में हलचल मचा दी। दुनिया के कई देशों से इसकी बड़ी संख्या में मांग आनी शुरू हो गई। ‘ग़दर’ अख़बार हिंदुस्तान, मलाया, हांगकांग, शिंघाई, सिंगापुर, स्याम, पनामा, अर्जन्टीना, दक्षिणी अफ्रीका, फिलिपीन्ज़ आदि देशों को भेजी जाने लगी। लेकिन सायक्लोस्टाइल रूप में छपने वाली इस अख़बार की मांग पूरी नहीं हो पा रही थी, इसलिए बड़ी लीथो मशीन खरीदी गई। इन मशीन को वैनलशिया स्ट्रीट में किराये पर लिए गए मकान नंबर 1324 में चालू किया गया।  कभी कभी ‘ग़दर’ के अंक हिंदी, बंगाली, गुजराती और अंग्रेजी में छपते। हिंदी में ‘ग़दर’ का पहला अंक 1 मार्च 1915 को प्रकाशित हुआ था। गुजराती में पहला अंक 10 मई 1914 को छपा था। इसमें पंजाबी कविताओं का अनुवाद खेमचंद दामजी गुजराती किया करता था। पश्तों में भी ‘ग़दर’ का अंक छपा था। मगर उर्दू और पंजाबी अंक निरंतर छपते रहे। कुल आठ पन्नों के इस अंक में लेख, छंदबद्ध कविता और अंग्रेजी साम्राज्य के विरुद्ध विश्वभर की महत्वपूर्ण ख़बरें छपतीं। ‘ग़दर’ को सभी जगहों पर मुफ्त में भेजा जाता, परंतु मनीआर्डर अपने आप आते रहते। एक अन्य विलक्षण सच्चाई यह थी कि ‘ग़दर’ में कार्यरत पूरे स्टाफ को वेतन नहीं दिया जाता था। वे सभी अपनी इच्छा और राष्ट्रीय भावना से इसमें पूर्णकालिक वर्कर थे।  हरदयाल ने ‘ग़दर’ के संपादक के रूप में मार्च 1914 तक काम किया - केवल साढ़े पाँच माह। कारण था -ग़दर पार्टी की तरफ से उसको देश छोड़ने के लिए आदेश दिया जाना। वह उसको बचाकर रखना चाहती थी। यह सब गुप्त था।इससे ग़दर लहर में और अधिक रोष-विद्रोह पनपा। सूझवान नेताओं ने स्थिति का लाभ उठाते हुए इसे संगठन का रूप दे दिया।‘अंग्रेजों की चाल’ को असफल करने के लिए लाला हर दयाल की रचनाओं को उूर्द और पंजाबी में छपवा कर दस-दस हज़ार की संख्या में लोगों के बीच मुफ्त बांटा गया। भिन्न भिन्न स्थानों पर विरोध प्रदर्शन हुए। (हरदयाल का 4 मार्च 1939 को अमेरिका जाते हुए सफ़र के दौरान फिलाडेलफिया (च्ीपसंकमसचीपं) में देहांत हो गया। वह 14 अक्तूबर 1884 में दिल्ली के गुरद्वारा शीशगंज के पिछले हिस्से हीरख़ाना में एक माथुर परिवार में पैदा हुए थे।)   ‘ग़दर’ के अंक के मुख्य पृष्ठ पर सबसे ऊपर निम्नलिखत दो नारे होते थे:-

 (1) जे चिŸा प्रेम खेलण का चाओ।   सिर धर तली गली मेरी आओ।।

 (2) वंदे मातरम।   पृष्ठ के दो काॅलम हैं। पहले में ‘अंग्रेजी राज का कच्चा चिट्ठा - मोटी मोटी बातें’ वाली सुर्खियाँ हैं। इसके अधीन 11 बिन्दु गिनाए गए हैं जो निम्नलिखत हैं:- (1) अंग्रेज हर वर्ष हिंदुस्तान से 50 करोड़ रुपये इंग्लैंड ले जाते हैं जिस कारण हम इतने गरीब हो गए हैं कि हिंदुस्तान में पाँच पैसे (प्रति सदस्य आमदनी) की दिहाड़ी है। (2) ज़मीन का लगान 65 प्रतिशत तक थोप दिया गया है। (3) सरकार 24 करोड़ व्यक्तियों की शिक्षा और स्वास्थ्य पर पौने आठ करोड़ रुपये खर्च करती है जब कि अपने साम्राज्य को बचाने के लिए 29 करोड़ रुपये सालाना खर्च करती है। (4) अंग्रेजी राज में अकाल बढ़ गएहैं और पिछले दस वर्षों में 2 करोड़ लोग मारे गए हैं। (5) प्लेग से पिछले 16 सालों में 8 लाख लोग मारे जा चुके हैं। (6) अंग्रेज हिंदुस्तानी रियासतोंके बीच फसाद करवाते हैं और लोगों पर अपना खौफ़ बनाये रखते हैं। (7) हिंदुस्तानी लोगों को मारने और हिंदुस्तानी स्त्रियों की इज्ज़त लूटने पर अंग्रेजों को कोई सज़ा नहीं दी जाती। (8) हिंदुओं-मुसलमानों के पैसे से ईसाइयों की मदद की जाती है। (9) हिंदुओं-मुसलमानों के बीच फसाद करवाने की कोशिश की जाती है। (10) हिंदुस्तान के पैसे से हिंदुस्तानी सिपाही भर्ती करके उन्हें मरवाने की खातिर अफगानिस्तान, बर्मा, सिस्र, ईरान और चीन में लड़ने के लिए भेजा जाता है। (11) हिंदुस्तान की दस्तकारी और कला को नष्ट करके अंग्रेज अपने माल की बिक्री कर रहे हैं।

 समस्त पत्र-व्यवहार और धनादि का दान निम्नलिखित पते पर करें -   सचिव, युगांतर आश्रम   साॅन फ्रांसिस्को, कैलिफोर्निया, यू.एस.ए.।

‘ग़दर’ के दूसरे अंक (23 दिसंबर 1913) जो सप्ताह बाद छपा, में एक अन्य महत्वपूर्ण 12वाँ बिन्दु जोड़ा गया जो इस प्रकार है -

“1857 के ग़दर को 56 वर्ष हो गए हैं। दूसरे की शीघ्र ज़रूरत है।“

‘ग़दर’ के तीसरे अंक (30 दिसंबर 1913) के शिखर पर ‘ग़दर’ शब्द के पास बायीं ओर लिखा हुआ है - ‘अंग्रेजी राज का दुश्मन, उर्दू-गुरमुखी साप्ताहिक अख़बार’। इसी प्रकार 7 अपै्रल 1914 के अंक संख्या 1 पर लिखा मिलता है - ‘हिंदुस्तान ग़दर’। यह नाम लाला हर दयाल के बाद बने संपादक राम चंदर ने रखा। इस तरह संगठनात्मक सूझ और अधिक परिपक्व होती गई। अपने देश को शीघ्र से शीघ्र आज़ाद करवाने के लिए देश-विदेश में बसते हिंदुस्तानियों का खून और अधिक उबाल खाने लगा। आठ पृष्ठीय ‘ग़दर’ को लोगों का अख़बार बनाने के लिए पूरी शक्ति लगा दी गई। आर्थिक, राजनीतिक और सामाजिक चिंतकों के लेखों के साथ-साथ उसमें किसानों, मज़दूरों और विद्यार्थियो के लेख व कविताएँ भी छपा करती। सभी रचनाओं का स्वर तीख़ा और क्रांतिकारी होता।

ग़दर पार्टी की विचारधारा ग़दर पार्टी की विचारधारा का पता ‘ग़दर’ में छपने वाले इश्तहार से सहज ही लग जाता है। उदाहरण के तौर पर ‘ग़दर’ के 1 सितंबर 1914 के अंक में मुख्य पृष्ठ पर यह इश्तहार देखने को मिलता है -

ज़रूरत है - निडर और बहादुर सिपाहियों की, हिंदुस्तान में ग़दर मचाने के लिए  ईनाम  - शहीदी पेंशन  - आज़ादी मैदा