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 achievements.  


“The Indian Immigrants in the U.S. 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 Coast 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.


The 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 or 818 708-3885 so that they can be reached for speaking engagement for the all day conferecne on June 1, 2003.