Martyrs of Punjab:Kanshi Ram (Pandit)
Kanshi Ram (Pandit)
Pandit Kanshi Ram was one of the founder-members of the Ghadr party. He was born in 1883 at village Maroli Kalan. District Ambala, in the house of Pandit Ganga Ram. After passing his Matriculation examination from Patiala, he learnt telegraphy and got employment in the District Office, Ambala City on Rs. 30 per month.
At the age of 20, Kanshi Ram embarked on a revolutionary career. While at America he saw with his own eyes the miserable plight of his country-men over there. Though he was just a labour contractor in a timber factory, lie soon became well known on the west coast on account of his revolutionary ideas. He was a great admirer of Sufi Amba Prasad and Lala Hardyal and among his close associates were Soha n Singjt Bhakhna. Kartar Singh Sarabha, Santokh Singh and G.D. Kumar. Before the Ghadr Party was founded Kanshi Ram was a prominent member of the Indian Association and a founder of the Indian Independence League at Portland. The Ghadr Party, when founded, owed much of its success to the intellectual and financial contribution of Kanshi Ram At the very outset of the Ghadr Party’s career he made a handsome donation of 200 dollars towards its funds. As Propaganda Secretary and later as Treasurer he rendered meritorious services both in the consolidation and expansion of the Party.
When in 1914, the Ghadr Party decided to send bands of freedom fighters to India. Kamhi Ram readily offered his services. On his arrival in India in October. 1914 he selected Ludhiana as the centre of his activities. An essential part of the programme being to spread sedition among Indian soldiers, Kanshi Ram visited several army cantonments and explained the aims and objects of his Party.
To secure more funds fee the implementation of the secret plan, he decided with the help of a bond of 15 revolutionaries to plunder the MOO Government Treasury on November 25. 1914. Somehow, the police came to know of their design and tried to intercept them. A violent clash occurred in which a Sub lnspeclor of police and a Zaildar were shot dead_ But the contemplated attack failed to materialize and Kanshl Ram and some other were arrested. They were tried and sentenced to death with confiscation of property in the First Lahore Conspiracy Case_ On this occasion Kanshi Ram was asked by the Judge,”Why don’t you apologize and secure your release. I have done my duty and now you do your, was the prompt reply of Kanshi Ram. He was hanged on March 27. 1915 and his property worth rupees forty thousand was confiscated.