Friday, September 30, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

1st November

 

1916 Punjabi Americans and the Ghadar Party established a Punjabi newspaper "Ghadar." It advocated armed revolutionary struggle for India's freedom.

==> GHADAR PARTY, a revolutionary group, founded in United States of America (USA) for the independence of India. Its members were Indian residents, primarily Sikhs, settled in USA. Their prime objective was to actively cause rebellion among members of the British forces, thereby forcing the fall of the British empire and hasten their departure from India.

Ghadar Organization and Hindu Leaders

Some revealing insights taken from the book "THE SIKH STRUGGLE - origin, evolution and present phase" by Ram Narayan kumar and George Sieberer

Sikhs in Canada and the USA took lead in organizing Hindustani Workers of Pacific Coast. The organization started bringing out a weekly tabloid called GHADR meaning rebellion in Urdu. The paper became popular and was a catalyst of revolutionary activities. Sikh members of the organization volunteered to return to Punjab to initiate terroist activities with the objective to drive the British out of the country. Control of the paper and the funds of the organization slipped into the hands of Hindus who stayed back. Roughly 1000 Sikhs came back to India. They had been promised arms on their arrival in India. Contacts had been established with the GERMAN government which promised support. But no arms arrived mainly because of the ineptitude and lack of the integrity among the leader of the organization. MONEY PROVIDED BY THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT WENT INTO THE POCKETS OF LEADERS LIKE RAM CHANDRA AND HARAMBA LAL GUPTA. They could not keep their secrets from the British agents. The ship Henry S. loaded with five thousand revolvers was caught by the British navy. Another ship Annie captured by the United State army. In the meanwhile one DR. CHANDRA KANT CHAKRAVARTY, A BENGALI LIVING IN BERLIN, CAME TO THE USA WITH THE POCKETS BULGING WITH MONEY PROVIDED BY THE GERMANS TO THE RUN THE GHADR ORGANIZATION EFFICIENTLY. HE NEVER SPENT A PENNY ON THE ORGANIZATION. THE GERMANS FINALLY DECIDED TO FORGET THE CORRUPT INDIANS.

Ram Chandra was later shot dead by Ram Singh in court. Ram Singh who owned hundereds of acres of land in Canada had sold it all to finance the revolution. Ram Chandra, a Bengali Hindu, had taken the money and used it to enhance his personal financial interests.

1921 Gurdwara Hothian was foribly captured and brought under SGPC's control. As the movement of non-cooperation gained momentum among Sikhs, the Akali leaders began their tour of the provinces urging the Sikhs to join the Akali Dal and rise as one man to liberate their Gurdwaras. On this day a large number of Akalis suddenly appeared at Gurudwara Hothian and captured it.
1921 Karam Singh of Daulatpur leads a jatha of 50 Akalis at the call of SGPC to capture the Gurudwara of Hothian.
1925 The Punjab Gurudwara Act established on July 8, 1925 was enacted. Speaking on the occasion, Tara Singh said that during the Gurudwara reform movement, Akalis suffered 30,000 men and women behind bars, 400 dead and 20,000 injured, besides dismissals from services, withdrawal of jagirs and pensions, confisication of properties and imposition of fines, etc. These numbers were never refuted. Giani Nahar Singh, a contemporary, put the figures at 40,000 behind bars and 500 dead. With the enactment of Gurudwara Act, came to fruition, teh Sikh efforts to assert its identity. However, this came only after a bitter struggle and a great deal of sacrifices.

-Source "The Sikhs in History," by Sangat Singh, 1995

1966 Punjab Suba came into existence.
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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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