Ghadar Party: Founder, Members, Ghadar Movement UPSC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The Ghadar Party was an international movement comprising non-native Indians who wanted to end British rule in India. Its foundation may be traced back to a gathering in the United States. Indians who lived and worked there made up the majority of this party. However, as a result of World War 1 in 1914, members of the Ghadar Party returned to Punjab to support the armed uprising for India’s independence.

The Ghadar Party is an important topic for the UPSC exam. To understand the Ghadar movement’s background, legacy, activities and the founder of the Ghadar Party, we have provided thorough UPSC notes below for better preparation.

Ghadar Party

A transnational political organisation called the Ghadar Party was started by Indian expatriates in the early 20th century to end British rule in India. However, the movement gradually extended to India and Indian diasporic groups worldwide. The early Ghadar movement was founded by conspirators who resided and worked on the Western Coastline of the USA and Canada. The official origin was attributed to a gathering on July 15, 1913, in Astoria, Oregon, with the Hindustan Ghadar newspaper’s headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Ghadar Party PDF

Several Ghadar party activists travelled to Punjab to spark an armed uprising for Indian independence after the start of World War I in 1914. Ghadarites transported weapons into India and encouraged a mutiny among Indian soldiers against the British. After the Lahore Conspiracy Case trial, 42 mutineers were killed because the Ghadar movement uprising was put down. With the backing of Germany and Ottoman Turkey from 1914 to 1917, the Ghadar party carried out secret anti-colonial activities known as the Hindu-German Conspiracy, which resulted in a dramatic trial in San Francisco in 1917.

History of the Ghadar Party

Beginning in the early 20th century, the increasing Indian Independence Movement had given birth to nationalist sentiments among students and people from the Indian subcontinent living all over the world. Lala Har Dayal and Taraknath Das, two revolutionary intellectuals, made an effort to organize these students while promoting nationalist ideologies. The Pacific Coast Hindustan Association, formerly known as the Ghadar Party, was founded in the USA on July 15, 1913. Among Indians residing in the United States, East Africa, Canada, and Asia, the Ghadar party developed a significant support base.

Ghadar Party Founder

The Ghadar Party was multiethnic and included Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu leaders when it was founded. The Ghadar Party was founded by the members listed below.

  • Sohan Singh Bhakna (President)
  • Kesar Singh, Baba Jawala Singh (VP)
  • Kartar Singh Sarabha (Editor)
  • Pt. Kanshi Ram (Treasurer)
  • Munshi Ram (Secretary)
  • Lala Thaker Das (VS)
  • Tarak Nath Das
  • Lala Hardayal
  • Bhai Parmanand
  • Udham Singh
  • Bhagwan Singh Gyanee
  • V. G. Pingle
  • Rehmat Ali
  • Balwant Singh
  • Santokh Singh
  • Nidhan Singh Chugha
  • G. D. Verma
  • Harnam Singh Tundilat
  • Mangu Ram Mugowalia
  • Baba Harnam Singh
  • Baba Chattar Singh Ahluwalia
  • Karim Bakhsh
  • Maulavi Barkatullah
  • Sant Baba Wasakha Singh
  • Amir Chand
  • Karim Bux
  • Baba Prithvi Singh Azad
  • Ganda Singh Phangureh
  • Harnam Singh Saini
  • Pandurang Sadashiv Khankhoje
  • Sohanlal Pathak
  • Pt. Ram Rakha
  • Gulab Kaur

Features of Ghadar Party

The Ghadar Party was established in the United States. The major goal of all its members was the independence of India. This organization has so many differences from other Indian revolutionary organizations. The following are the features of the Ghadar Party:

  • The Ghadar Party was a primarily Indian revolutionary organisation. The party was multi-ethnic but largely had Punjabi, Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim members.
  • In the first decade of the 20th century, revolution and terrorist activities became more common in Bengal.
  • However, before the planned Ghadar revolt in 1915, a small gang of terrorists operated in Madras as well as the Poona province.
  • Bengal rose to prominence as one of the major revolutionary centres.
  • In Bengal, the revolutionary appeal was highest among the bhadralok, the state’s western-educated elite.
  • The Ghadar party, with headquartered in San Francisco and origins in rural California’s Punjab immigrant population, was likewise dedicated to gaining India’s independence by revolution.
  • Unlike in Bengal, the impulse for terrorism and revolution violence in Punjab came not from a disgruntled & underemployed intellectual class but from Punjabi peasants who had moved to the United States and Canada.

Activities of Ghadar Party

When the First World War broke out in 1914, a few Ghadar Party members went to Punjab to boost an armed uprising for India’s freedom struggle. Trying to incite the Indian soldiers inside the British Army to revolt and smuggle in weapons were also successful operations. The British dealt ruthlessly with the ensuing insurrection, which is popularly called the Ghadar Movement, putting an end to it with the execution of 42 revolutionaries after the Lahore Conspiracy Case trial. Nevertheless, the Ghadar Party persisted in its fight for colonialism from 1914 to 1917, supported by both the Ottoman Empire and Imperial Germany, which were the crucial Central Powers at war with the British.

The weekly newspaper The Ghadar, whose masthead read Angrezi Raj Ka Dushman, served as the foundation for the party (an enemy of British rule). The newspaper stated that they “wanted courageous troops to incite insurrection in India. Pay = death; Price = martyrdom; Pension = freedom; Battlefield = India. After the Komagata Maru Incident, 1914, which directly contested Canadian anti-Indian immigration rules, many Indian Americans sold their businesses and homes in preparation for driving the Britishers out of India, building up the Ghadar Party’s numbers.

Legacy of Ghadar Party

Following the severe British crackdown, the Ghadar Movement started to lose momentum. 1917 saw the ending of WWI, at which point the Ghadar Party divided into a Communist and a Social democratic party. Despite this loss, the Ghadar Party was a source of motivation for many revolutionaries involved in the liberation struggle, Bhagat Singh being the most renowned.

The Ghadar Party can be described as a tale of extraordinary bravery, determination, and labour that impacted every Indian residing abroad. The strong statements given by its leaders did influence the view of foreigners against the British misrule in India. It truly meets the criteria for a significant conflict since it inspired the populace to fight for their independence and planted the seeds for all other subsequent actions.

Causes of Failure of Ghadar Party

Although the Ghadar movement did not fulfil its declared objectives, it can’t be considered a complete failure. The following are the causes of the failure of the Ghadar Party:

  • Many Ghadar leaders were arrested before they arrived in India, and they were jailed when they landed.
  • Kartar Singh Saraba, Pandit Kanshi Ram, and G. Pingale, among others who escaped imprisonment, assembled in Punjab to carry out the revolution.
  • At the time, Micheal O’ Dwyer was the Lieutenant-General of Punjab.
  • Ghadar leaders in Punjab adopted a variety of strategies. They were labelled as dacoits by the British, and they were not welcomed by the native Punjabi people. The Ghadar leaders were labelled as apostates by some Punjabi Sikhs.
  • At the time, Sikhs were the most loyal troops in the British Army, and they had garnered enough rewards from their positions.
  • The Ghadar leaders were shocked by their people’s commitment to the British. Winning over native Punjabis proved vital to the revolution’s success.
  • One of the many strategies they tried to carry out operations in India was to recruit Indian soldiers from British Army.
  • They achieved this by secretly entering cantonments and chatting with well-trained soldiers inside the lines. Kartar Singh Saraba, 19, was the most heavily involved in this operation.
  • The bombs sparked considerable discontent, causing the British-Indian administration, commanded by Micheal O’Dwyer, to conduct an aggressive response.
  • O’Dwyer ordered the detention of all members of Ghadar party, whether lawfully or illegally.

Ghadar Party UPSC

The Ghadar Movement is acknowledged as part of Punjab’s legacy. According to the history of this movement, Mela Gadri Babian Da is conducted each year at the start of November. In addition, The Ghadar is performed to memorialize this struggle. Ghadar Party UPSC notes are essential from the point of view of IAS preparation. Studying the following important points will certainly help and further improve your knowledge about the Ghadar Party topic.

  • The Ghadar Party sought to bring about a revolt in India & overthrow British authority.
  • The party split into socialist & communist groups in 1917.
  • The core members of the Ghadar Party were Dayal, Harman Singh, Tarak Nath Das, and Kartar Singh Sarabha.
  • Angrej Raj Ka Dushman, or “the enemy of Britishers,” was the party’s slogan.
  • The Ghadar Movement was a democratic, secular movement that Bhagat Singh subsequently supported by introducing communist philosophy.
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