Ghadar Movement: Motives, Achievements and Drawbacks

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Ghadar Movement

The Ghadar Movement was one of the many contributions by Indians on foreign land to the National Movement which was to remove the British from India. In 1913, the revolutionary Lala Hardayal, founded the Ghadar Party in San Francisco, USA. The British rule in India had numerous drawbacks for the Indians, one of the main reasons was the status of Indians around the globe, especially in Canada and the USA where Indians were considered inferior and were not allowed to own land. 

What was the Ghadar Movement?

The Ghadar revolutionaries were mainly Punjabi immigrants who had settled on the west coast of North America, Canada and the USA and were facing problems in the country due to the status of Indians. The Ghadar Movement also included the revolutionaries, Ram Chandra and Barakatullah who were Lala Hardayal’s active supporters. Most of the revolutionaries were ex-soldiers who had served in the British Indian Army and had gained the confidence for migration. The main motive was to eradicate the colonial rule of the British from India. 

Also Read: India’s Journey to Independence from 1857 to 1947

What were the Motives of the Ghadar Movement?

The motives of the Ghadar Movement were as follows:

  • The Alien Land Law: The law prohibited Indians from owning land in the USA as they were considered to be inferior in the USA because they were citizens of an enslaved country. Thus, they decided to organise themselves with the aim of securing India’s independence from the British. 
  • Migration was Difficult: By the year 1908, effective restrictions on Indian immigration into Canada had been put in place. This caused immense dissatisfaction among those who wanted to move to Canada.

What were the Activities of the Ghadarites?

The Activities of the Ghadarites were:

  • Organisational Efforts: Swadeshi Sevak Home in Vancouver(Canada), and United India House in Seattle(USA) were formed and weekly meetings of Indian labourers were held. 
  • Literary Works: Circular-e-Azad in 1907 was published by Ramnath Puri, a political exile, to support the Swadeshi Movement. Free Hindustan, a paper, was started by Tarak Nath Das. 
  • Hindustan Ghadar Party: It was formed in 1913 to fill the need for a central body headquartered in San Francisco and the meeting collected a sum of $10,000.
  • Ghadar Paper: It consisted of 14 points enumerating the negative effects of the British rule such as the drain of wealth, high land revenue, recurring famines, increasing poverty, and heavy expenditure on the army, low expenditure on health, education, and the policy of divide and rule. These were just a few of the problems that came along with the British. 

Also Read: The Revolt of 1857 

What were the Achievements of the Ghadar Movement?

The achievements of the Ghadar Movement were as follows:

  • Spread Inspiration: The martyrdom of influential Ghadar leaders awakened the Indian masses and served as inspiration for new nationalists. 
  • Powerfully Secular: The ideology of the Ghadar party was powerfully secular. Sohan Singh Bhakna had declared, “We were not Sikhs or Punjabis. Our religion was patriotism.” This resonated with the millions of new nationalists that were budding around the country and the globe. 
  • Mode of Resistance Alternatives: The Ghadar Party raised the passions and emotions of ordinary Indians against the oppressive rulers which made the British look extremely foreign to them. Indians became extremely motivated to drive out the British from India. 

What were the Drawbacks of the Ghadar Movement?

The Drawbacks of the Ghadar Movement were as follows:

  • The Power of the Britishers was Underestimated: The Ghadar revolutionaries urged people to return to India in large numbers and begin a rebellion in India as World War 1 was happening and the British attention was mostly towards the War. However, the war was not enough to drive the British rule out of India. 
  • An Ideological Split: The Ghadar Movement started losing effectiveness because of the immense crackdown of the British regarding the defensiveness of the Indians. By the time World War 1 ended, the Ghadar Party split into Socialist and Communist ideologies. This divide drove the movement away from their main goal. 
  • Leadership Lacked Organisation: On the grounds of spreading lawlessness, Lala Hardayal was arrested by the US authorities though, it is truly believed that the British influence is responsible for his arrest. Hardayal escaped to Switzerland once he was granted bail. 
  • Brotherhood of the British: Strict restrictions on Indian immigration were imposed by Canada. At the possible instruction of the British, a Japanese ship named Komagata Maru was not allowed to dock in Vancouver, Canada. 
  • Organisation of Revolts in India was not possible: As most of the Ghadar leaders were arrested and imprisoned before even setting foot on Indian soil, they could not even arrange rebellions in India. 

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What was the reason for the Ghadar revolution?

The Ghadar revolution occurred because of the British Imperialistic rule in India and the inferior status of Indians in foreign lands around the globe. 

Where was the Ghadar Movement Party HQ?

The Ghadar Movement Party HQ was in San Fransico, USA. The Ghadar Party was founded by Lala Hardayal in 1913. 

Who founded the Ghadar Movement?

The Ghadar Movement was founded by Lala Hardayal. Sohan Singh Bahkna is also considered the founder of the Ghadar Movement. 

What was the reason for the failure of the Ghadar movement?

The reason for of failure of the Ghadar Movement was that as the leaders of the movement arrived in India they were arrested and the Movement could no longer go on. 

Which newspaper was started by the Ghadar Party?

The Ghadar Party started the newspaper, “The Ghadar.” The newspaper put forth the reason as to why the British rule in India was a bane for the citizens of India. 

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