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Sikh-Americans Demand Historic Ghadar Site Be Opened To Public


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Sikh-Americans Demand Historic Ghadar Site Be Opened To Public
by JASKI SINGH


Not many people know there's an important piece of Sikh and India's revolutionary history in the middle of San Francisco (California, U.S.A.).

At 5 Wood Street stands Ghadar Memorial Hall, a modest, little-known building that was the head office of the Ghadar Party, an organization founded by mostly Sikh immigrants - aided by a handful of Muslim and Hindu Indians - in 1913 to liberate India from British rule.

To visit, it you have to get permission from the Indian Consulate.

But now Sikh- and Indian- Americans are asking that it be made open to the public. There is no reason for this important American historic site to be in foreign hands.

Ghadar, which means "revolution" in Urdu, was the first secular movement to use arms to free India. It brought together Sikh and Punjabi immigrants in the United States and Canada, along with students from the University of California at Berkeley.

The party was built around The Ghadar, a weekly paper with a masthead that declared, "Enemy of the British Rule." Its first issue was published in San Francisco on Nov. 1, 1913.

The movement motivated thousands of Sikhs and other Indians living in foreign countries to return to India and participate in the freedom struggle.

In India, the Ghadaris raided British treasuries for funds, collected arms, established bomb factories and mobilized students, villagers and troops.

Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee, which tries to keep the ideals of the Ghadar Movement alive, has formally requested in an open letter to the President of India, the Prime Minister and the members of the Parliament, that the Ghadar Memorial be opened to the public, and that its documents, pictures and other artifacts related to the movement be displayed for the public to see.



[Courtesy: The Bay Citizen]

July 28, 2010
 

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