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Baba Hari Singh Usman

Discussion in 'Sikh Personalities' started by dalvindersingh grewal, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. dalvindersingh grewal

    dalvindersingh grewal India
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    Writer Historian SPNer Contributor

    Jan 3, 2010
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    He was born in 1880 at Baddowal, District Ludhiana. He served the British Indian Army for a short spell. AT the age of 27 he went to U.S.A. found the Indians were given a shabby treatment. He joined Ghadar movement which was launched by Lala Hardyal, Baba Sohan Singh and other revolutionaries. In 1914 the Ghadar Party planned an armed uprising in India . Baba Hari Singh was entrusted with the delicate and dangerous task of accompanying the ship from US laden with arms and ammunition, procured with German assistance, to centers of rebellion of India.

    The British intelligence came to know of it and the ill fated cargo was consigned to the sea and he had to take refuge in Indonesia . He then acquired the name and passport of Usman Khan. He even embraced the religion of Islam for the sake of his country's freedom. Orders to shoot him at sight were issued in India by the British. With the help of German Consul to Indonesia he got jobs in tea, rubber and coffee plantations. And he made substantial fortune.

    When the Second World War broke he readily offered his services to the Japanese who were then giving tough time to the British. In liaison with their secret service, he started working among the Indian forces in South East Asia to arouse their patriotic feelings against British imperialism. He played a significant role in the foundation of the Indian Independence League and the India National Army and was the Secretary of the Overseas Recruiting Department in the League Headquarters. This brought him to close contact with Netaji Subash Chandra Bose. Here on the South Eastern Front his eldest son Hira Singh Handry who was born and brought up in Indonesia , laid down his life fighting for the freedom.

    When the war ended he went back to Indonesia and helped the Indonesians in their freedom struggle. He was put behind the bars. He escaped death sentence. Then with the help of some Indian merchant friends in Jakarta , he secured his release from prison, and in October, 1948, set foot on the soil of free India , after an absence of 41 years, to spend the rest of his days in his ancestral village, Baddowal. He died on 15 th August, 1969 .
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