Tribute to Pioneers, Patriots and Gadar Heroes
Click here to
see an article “Gadar – Overseas Indians Attempt to Free India from British
Serfdom” by Mr. Inder Singh
The National Federation of
Indian American Associations (NFIA), with co-sponsorship of Global Organization
of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), Federations of Indian Associations in the
San Francisco/Bay area and Global Punjabi Diaspora will hold celebrations of
Indian American heritage at the 90th anniversary of Gadar Movement
in order to pay tribute to our pioneers, patriots and Gadar heroes. The
inaugural function is slated for May
31, 2003 followed by an all day seminar and a gala dinner banquet on
June 1, 2003 at the Santa
Clara Marriott, San
Jose. According to GOPIO
President Dr. Thomas Abraham, India’s
former president Dr. K.R. Narayanan has consented to deliver a valedictory
address. The program is being coordinated by NFIA President Niraj Baxi and
GOPIO President-Elect Inder Singh.
Indian immigrants started
coming to the United States
more than a hundred years ago. In the U.S, they faced many difficulties,
suffered numerous hardships and encountered rampant discrimination. In the
beginning, they could find only menial jobs, but with their hard work and
determination many of them became successful farmers with their own land. They
had a burning desire to succeed, made many sacrifices and despite their small
population, succeeded in gaining rights of U.S.
citizenship. They may have lived ordinary life but left an extra-ordinary
legacy. They paved the way for people of Indian origin in the U.S. to enjoy
freedom, liberty and equal rights under the U. S.
laws. They were our pioneers and we will recognize and celebrate their
“The Indian Immigrants in
were lucky, for they had experienced liberty and freedom in this country and
thus were motivated to gain freedom for their Motherland India from British
serfdom,” said Inder Singh. In 1913, these community pioneers formed Hindustan
Association of the Pacific
with the hope to liberate India with the
force of arms from British colonialism, just as Americans had done more than a
century ago, and help establish a free and independent India
with equal rights for all. Lala Har Dayal, a visiting professor at Stanford University, who was the
central figure of the movement until he was forced to leave the United States
in April 1914, started the association.
association began publishing a magazine, Gadar, for free distribution to promote the objectives and
activities of the organization. The Gadar
publication carried articles on the conditions of the people of India under
British Raj and called upon the Indian people and the overseas Indians to unite
and rise up against the British rule and throw the British out of India.
The publication Gadar, over a period
of time, became well known among Indians and the Hindustan Association of the Pacific Coast itself
became known as the Gadar party.
“The history of the Gadar
movement was a testimony of the deep love that the Indian immigrants had for India,” said
NFIA President Niraj Baxi. The Gadarites had a flame of liberty lit in their
hearts, and did not hesitate to make any sacrifice for the cause of freedom,
dignity and prosperity of their motherland. They fought valiantly for their
cause; several Gadarites were imprisoned, many for life, and some were hanged
to death. They are our heroes, deserving our admiration and deepest respect.
Although the movement did not achieve its stated objective, it had a major
impact on India’s
struggle for freedom. The determination, courage and sacrifices of the
Gadarites inspired many freedom fighters to continue their mission. “For the
Indian Americans, the community movement of Gadarites is an integral
part of their rich heritage in the United States,” Baxi added.
The organizers, as part of
the celebrations, are planning publication of a souvenir for which articles are
invited covering some aspect of the Gadar movement or struggles and
achievements of Indian American pioneers. Similarly, academicians and others
who have done work on the subject are requested to contact Inder Singh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818 708-3885 so that they can
be reached for speaking engagement for the all day conferecne on June 1, 2003.