History / 26.09.2016

By Ahmed Kamran Chapter One: The Roots of Revolution (Continued) III. The Jihad Movement Almost simultaneous to these events but, apparently independent of them, some other developments were taking place in India. By early 1900s, the international situation in Europe and the Middle East was getting tense, especially for Indian Muslims. Their anxiety was increasing with the successive bad news coming from the borders of the then vast Muslim Turkish Empire. While the British Empire was in ascendancy in late 1800s and early 1900s, the Turkish Empire was disintegrating bit by bit. Much of its possessions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia had already been broken away or annexed by other empires in the previous century. Italy had landed its army at Tripoli (in today’s Libya) in 1911, initiating the first War of Tripoli between Turkey and Italy. The Italian invasion of Tripoli was soon followed by the start of Balkan Wars...

History / 13.09.2016

By Ahmed Kamran Chapter One: The Roots of Revolution (Continued) II. International Revolutionaries While a steady migration of Indian peasants and working classes as indentured labour was slowly taking place towards the British colonies in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, a new and more comprehensive political and administrative order as crafted by Lord Macaulay was put in place in India by the colonial rulers. With it gradual reforms in education and political life of India were introduced. Schools and colleges with instruction in English language were set up by the Missionary churches and the secular government in major Indian towns. In these schools, modern education was imparted to Indian children to produce a new breed of loyal and educated gentlemen, imbibed with western ideas and colonial outlook. This brought a slow but significant social change, particularly, in the middle classes. They were getting engaged in commerce or in services...

History / 11.09.2013

The International Revolutionaries By Ahmed Kamran (Editor’s Note: Owing to an editorial error, this post is appearing out of sequence. It should follow the two posts on the Ghadar Party and precede the post on the Jihad Movement. The error is regretted.) Tewar a’atey hain haqeeqat main bhi afsanon kay Kuch haqeeqat bhi hua karti hay afsanon ki While a steady migration of Indian peasants and working classes was taking place towards other British colonies in Asia, Africa, and the Americas (as discussed in the previous posts on Ghadar Party), a new and more comprehensive political and administrative order as crafted by Lord Macaulay was put in place by the colonial rulers in India. With it came gradual reforms in education. Many schools and colleges were set up in most of the major cities. Here modern education was imparted to the Indian youth to produce a new breed of loyal and...

History / 01.09.2013

By Ahmed Kamran Call for Revolt With the extensive organizational work of the Ghadar Party among Indians spread all over the world, soon party organizations sprang up in China, Malaya, Siam (Thailand), Europe, the Philippines, Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Panama, Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Afghanistan, Japan, Russia, and Canada. In a few years, by 1916, it is estimated that about one million copies of Ghadar were published every week. Special issues of Ghadar were also printed in Nepali, Bengali, Pashto, Gujarati, and many other languages. After the outbreak of WW1 and Great Britain joining it in August 1914, the Ghadar Party, taking this moment as an opportunity for itself, decided to organize a revolt in the Indian army against the British rulers. Many of the party workers had served in the army at some time in their careers. They were aware of some working of armed forces and its organizational structure...

History / 31.08.2013

By Ahmed Kamran The Beginning Although almost forgotten among the younger generations of today’s India and Pakistan, it has generally been believed by those few who are aware of this part of our common history that the Hindustan Ghadar Party (more commonly known as the Ghadar Party) was founded in California with headquarter in San Francisco. Few trace its origins to the Sikh Gurdwara in Stockton, California. Others believed that the small revolutionary group of Indians that was, later, converted into the Ghadar Party was founded in 1913 in the small town of Astoria, Oregon. Recently, the Ghadar Party and its history have also come into the limelight of some US academic circles. Johanna Ogden, a history researcher, drawing upon her University of British Columbia MA thesis (2010), Oregon and Global Insurgency: Punjabis of the Columbia River Basin wrote an article Ghadar, Historical Silences, and Notions of Belonging:...

History / 27.08.2013

Some forgotten chapters of the Indian Independence Movement (This is the centenary year of the founding of the Hindustan Ghadar Party in USA in 1913. This chapter of our independence movement, together with few other allied movements, is almost completely forgotten in the subcontinent and finds little mention in history books. We are beginning an exciting new series to remember the Ghadar Party together with two other important movements of that time – the Berlin Committee and the Muslim Hijrat Movement. We invite readers to contribute and enrich this history.) By Ahmed Kamran The City Council of an obscure sleepy town in the north-east of US on the Pacific coast is busy with planning a unique centenary celebration in October of this year. One of the City Councilors, Karen Mellin, is particularly excited about it. The city is Astoria, situated near the mouth of Columbia River in the...