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Gur Panth Parkash

Gur Panth Parkash
by Rattan Singh Bhangoo
Translated by
Prof Kulwant Singh

 

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Genesis of Struggle

Jagjit Singh

In American continent, political struggle of Indians generated in Canada. Like in America, its roots cause was also racial and colour hatred, which got intensified by economic conditions. But the economic, political and societal conditions were different in America and Canada .This reflected in the different attitude against the Indians and a different form of struggle in both the countries.

The pace of agricultural and industrial development was slower in Canada as compared to America, and due to this, the requirement of demand for labour and workers was not such as was in America. American society consisted of various European national elements, which were often in conflict with one another in Europe. The old settlers of Anglo-Saxon race in America did not like the new settlers coming from eastern and south-eastern Europe. New settlers from Canada were coming continuously in huge numbers every year and their greatest concern had always been to gain firm footing in new country. Therefore it took a long time for crystallization of racial discrimination against Asians in America. But in Canada there was a majority to become more evident only two nations, the English and the French and during 1900 to 1914 both had a front against Germany. There was discrimination between English and French in Canada but it was not an obstruction in the way of a joint front against Asians. England and France were colonial powers who had their colonies in Asia. As such, the English and French settled in Canada, considered Asians and particularly Indian slaves as worthless. The large number of Indians who had gone to Canada had become land and shop owners after economic growth and had started business and contractorships. Therefore Canadians, especially those who had served in India at the same time, were not able to tolerate the equality of Indian slaves in the economic field. Nor were there any strong traditions of freedom, equality and unity in Canada like in America which could tickle the conscience of Canadians at times or would have motivated them to adopt other indirect measures. Due to these reasons the fanaticism of racial hatred against Indians in Canada surfaced comparatively very early and openly.

The major evident difference between both these countries was that in Canada political reasons were dominated more than the racial or economic reasons. In America, at the core of hatred and discrimination against Indians, racial reasons were more active, but India was not under America. Therefore with the emergence of political awakening in Indians, it did not directly affect the American interests, to make American government take special measures against them. But Canada was a dominion of the British Empire, and though India was not directly in its possession, its interests were linked to British imperialism. The spread of ideas of freedom by the Indians after taking them from the free countries to propagate them in India were not commensurate with the interests of British imperialism. General Swem had admitted in the newspaper interview that, "Among those things, which make the stay of the Indians here or in any other colony of the whites inappropriate from the political view point, one is that they become well informed about the whites… These people go back to India and propagate the ideas of freeing themselves from the bondages," Therefore, keeping the British imperialist interests in view the Canadian government and its machinery adopting the policy of expulsion of Indians from Canada and prohibiting their entry initiated the precipitation of political struggle of Indians in American continent and the open racial fanaticism of the Canadian public sharpened this struggle all the more.

Till the Indians kept coming to Canada in odd numbers the Canadians did not mind. But when the Indians started puring in groups of twenties or more, the slogan of Hindu danger started to be raised. Some farming Canadians were afraid these Indians may dominate that British Colombia. Provocative writers, lecturers and leaders of the labour unions jointly started a Jehad against Indians. To defame Indians all types of falacies were mooted and crooked measures were adopted. Small matters were exaggerated and the crowds provoked to drive out Indians out of Canada.1 The Canadian parliament member Mr. H.H Stevens took major part in delivering lectures to different organisations. They even reached in Philadelphia in America to propagate against Indians and their culture. A Professor of the Toronto University, who had lived in India, wrote to the newspapers that the Indians should be driven back to their country.  A press correspondant of British Colombia wrote to Montreal Star, "It does not matter to us, these people (Indians) are the subjects of British Empire or they have fought wars for the Empire and have achieved medals in these wars. The residents of British Colombia want to retain it as a settlement of whites. We don't like these people nor we wish to keep them here, though British government and King George themselves may desire it." It is reported that a famous labour leader Mr. James Simpson had said that, if the religious preachers of Toronto sided with the Sikhs who wanted to bring their families here, then the organized workers would stand against the institutions of the Churches too.2

All this shows that how heated was the agitation against the Indians. Indians could not be ridiculed about their slavery here like in America because it was against the interests of the Imperialism. Nor the objection of the competition with Canadian workers could have held weight because 1907 was the first year only (the year when Canadian Government took a step to prohibit the entry of Indians in Canada) when the number of Indians in Canada was one thousand. Economically Indians had progressed so much in Canada that they had two large companies, lands, mines, and were dealing in properties and other trades.  There were fifty to twenty officers of Indians who were dealing in the properties, and their success can be judged from the fact that just one among them had a turn over of around three lakhs.3 This economic progress of Indians created jealousy in Canadians which was also one of the reason of their hatred against them. But the major reason was the racial fanaticism which was openly being abetted by the British Imperialistic interests. Worker organizations made it very difficult for Indians to find work. The fire of racial hatred against Indians flared up so strongly that semi-government agencies also started participating in it openly.  The Municipal Committee of Victoria decided that Indians should not be given employment.5 In 1906 (when the number of Indians coming to the Canada was just 387) a group of Indian passengers reached Vancouver on a ship, most whom were declared eligible to land in Canada. But the Mayor of Vancouver, in order to please the anti-Indian elements, ordered the police not to let them unboard the ship. For three four days police continued to guard them to prevent Indian passengers from unboarding. But as this step was illegal, the officers felt afraid. After third or fourth day police silently withdrew the guard on duty and Indians were allowed to enter the city.6 C.F. Andrews has written that Indians were tortured also.7

Towards the end of 1907 riots broke out against the Asians in Vancouver. The crowd in retaliation destroyed maximum of the property of Japanese, but luckily Indians were not touched. When the agitation against Asians was very strong, finding an opportunity, Canadian Government sent a minister to Japan to reach at an agreement with the Japanese government to stop sending Japneese citizens to Canada or to curtail their number. The junior minister of labour department Mr. W. L. Machangee King was sent to Britain to talk about the curtailment of Indians entry into Canada. Mr. King neither came to India nor talked to Indians. The result of Mr. King's report was that on 9th may, 1907 council passed the following order no. 920:-

"From today's date and afterwards only those should be allowed to unboard in Canada (others are restrained to alight here), who reach Canada on a continuous journey from their country in 1911, and only on those tickets which may be bought as tickets for Canada directly."

Ships were not going to Canada from India directly, therefore as a result of this order the entry of Indians into Canada was totally banned. 11932 Chinese and 2986 Japanese entered into Canada in 1911, and during this period only one Indian was allowed to enter in Canada.8 A Canadian newspaper 'Montreal Witness' wrote that America has gained an unparalleled notorious reputation about the racial and colour fanaticism, but we are more strict and prohibitive than our southern neighbours. Many Indians study in the American Universities but they cannot come to ours…… It is very strange that among all the Asians only the co-citizen Indians of our Empire have been made the targets of this insult. Thousands of Chinese are entering the country after paying a per-member tax. Under several rules their families can also come. Japanese can come here without paying a per-member tax provided everyone is having fifty dollars with him. Their families can also come. It is worth noting that a few months ago sixteen Japanese women reached Vancouver on the same ship on which six Indian women also came. Nobody felt unhappy on the arrival of the Japanese; but because Indian women (who being from Aryan race  and in the capacity of being British subjects were doubly our sisters) wanted to go to their husbands, some of our people firmly believed that Canada shall be retained strictly as a country of whites only. The central government of Canada allowed Indian women to unboard from the ship only on compassionate grounds.9

But the Canadian rules and regulations were not applied to all. The Indians who were ready to spend a large amount money in filing a case in the court to fight for bringing their family to amount of Canada and would have succeeded in bringing their family to Canada.

Sh. Balwant Singh made a statement (page 232) in the conspiracy case that how he wasted two months in Calcutta to buy a ticket for a ship to Canada for his family. He met Police Commissioner Calcutta and wrote to secretary Govt. of India also, but nothing could materialize. Finally in July 1911 he went to Hong Kong along with his family, but even there he could not get ticket for his family. In August he went to San Francisco, so that he could enter Canada through America. At San Francisco he was kept us in keratin and was not to allowed to unboard. The reason explained was that earlier he is living in Canada and has land there. Helplessly he returned to Hong Kong. Sh. Bhag Singh and Sh. Hakam Singh and their families were also with Sh. Balwant Singh. During those days the Indians of Ottawa had sent a deputation to the government that Indians should be allowed to come to Canada with their families. On 25th December the manager of Canadian pacific railway told Sh. Balwant Singh that he has been instructed that ticket for Vancouver should be issued to Sh. Balwant Singh and Sh. Bhag Singh and their families. These gentlemen reached Vancouver on 21 January 1912. Men were allowed to unboard the ship, but the wives of these very men were ordered to be expelled from Canada. An appeal was made to Home Minister and the ladies and children were allowed to be with their husbands and fathers against heavy sureties and were told that they should present themselves on 6th February 1912. If till then no decision was taken in their favour they would be sent back from Canada. On 30th April an order was issued that these ladies and children should be expelled from Canada, and after separating them from their husbands and fathers they were kept in custody. But a Habeas Corpus was filed the ladies and children were released at midnight at 12 O'clock. The order of release was obtained with a great difficulty, because the order of expulsion from Canada was delivered after four in the evening, when it is time for all offices to close. Taking special initiative the lawyer of Indians met the judge at night to obtain the postponement of order to expel them from Canada. The proceeding started on 10th May but was postponed. The lawyer of Indians Mr. A.M. Harper claimed that the custody of Indian ladies and children were against law. After delaying it for a long time government officials withdrew the case, and Indian ladies and children were allowed to remain in Canada on compassionate grounds.10 

The effect of such discriminating orders on the Canadian Indians can be well judged, especially when the families of Chinese and Japanese were allowed to enter on easy terms. In comparison to Chinese and Japanese such a behavior with Indians meant only that it was directly against the interests of the British Imperialism if the Indians are awakened by the atmosphere of the free country.  General Swam had admitted this fact in clear words. It also finds validity from this thing also that Indians were restrained from going to America after crossing the borders of Canada.11 If the Canadian officials had intention only to turn out Indians from Canada then it would not have been done like this. In his newspaper interview of 14 December General Swam had admitted that the policy of restraining the entry of Indians and their families into Canada meant that this matter shall be resolved itself within a few years. None of the Indians had come there to settle permanently. They would go back after they had paid mortgage of their land. Because the doors were now closed to new entrents, and as such the matter would settle down itself without any further trouble.

But it seems that Canadians and the government officials of Canada were not ready to wait even for a few year, and they took hasty steps to expel the Indians who had already come to Canada. From the above newspaper interview of General Swam it becomes clear that the Indians were to be expelled from Canada even by using the force. General Swam was of the opinion that no Ghadr would take place in India, though he admitted that the conditions were very vulnerable. He was confident that more than fifty thousand strong Sikh army, were still loyal. But he condemned that action of the American Government in arresting the Indians who had denied to get registered. He was sure that it would affect badly In India.

"He told that the shrewd agitators of India used cartoons expressing hostility against Hindu- Sikh and present them in such a way that these may affect them most adversely. He was of the view that the Sikhs changed their loyalty at least one lakh white soliders would be needed to contain the situation. Because most of the Artillery is in whites control, the natives may never be in a dominating position, but no doubt, there was every possibility of the massacre of some officers here and there, their wives and families."

Summing up in few words General Swam said, "I am completely against the forcible expulsion of Indians, whether they are poor or not because it would badly affect  Indian conditions." And "because it is a bad policy to expel Indians forcibly, the British Honduras scheme is such as may be acceptable to Hindus and Sikhs and this would also be satisfactory for the British, Canadian and British Honduras governments also."12

It was just an excuse to take away unemployed and poor Indians, because General Swan himself admitted in the newspaper interview that ," the number of unemployed was very small and of the poor was even less then that," Honduras scheme was mooted in 1908. It is not known who mooted this. But its purpose was that the snake be killed and the stick may also be saved. That the Indians be expelled from Canada and its blame may not fall upon the Canadian government. An officer of the Ottawa government Mr. Harkin (or Hopkins) came to Vancouver and he offered Indians that they should go to British Honduras instead of Canada. He showed many attractions of Honduras to Indians.13 A meeting of the Indians was convened, in which Ottawa Commissioner was also present. The commissioner said that government intends to send those Indians to Honduras who are not getting work in Canada. Indians were not feeling that they had any shortage of work, but they replied that they would be able to decide finally after visiting Honduras. Therefore inspector Hopkins, commissioner and representatives of Indians Sh. Sham Singh and Sh. Nagar Singh went to Honduras on 15 October, 1908.14

In Honduras colony of central America the representatives of Indians saw the plight thirty Indians, who had survived from a group of Indian workers who had come there twenty year ago under an agreement to work there. These workers observed the conditions of Honduras were entirely different from what they had been told and everybody among them was eager to return to India. The Indians going to Honduras were offered eight dollars per month, and two seers of flour, 2 seers of rice, and half seer of sugar, one seer of split grain, half chhatank of salt and two and a half chhatank of masala per week.16 In Canada Indians were earning forty to sixty dollars per month. The purpose of this scheme was to bring down the free Indians of Canada to the level of the workers working under the dentured agreement.17

The Indian representatives could immediately judge the conditions of Honduras instantly and the Canadian officers who went with them also understood it. After the return of the Indian representatives meeting was convened, in which around 1500 Indians, Mr. Hopkins, Commissioner of Ottawa, Port Health Officer Dr. Munro, a missionary, a pleader and a newspaper representative were present. Deciding the condition of Honduras the Indian representatives told that Malaria and yellow fever are commonly prevalent there and in the absence of any rains water has to be bought against money. The wage in Honduras was between eight to twelve dollars.18 During conversation Indian representatives disclosed that they were offered a very heavy bribe that they should report in favour of Honduras, but they turned down the malicious offer.19 Listening to the report of Indian representatives the Indians unanimously rejected the Honduras scheme, because they were able to earn forty dollars in Canada and they could get about 160 acres of land free of cost from Canadian Government for agriculture.20

The agreement had already been printed to take Indians to Honduras and other preparation were also complete.21 Many of Indians living in Canada at that time have stated that after the scheme of Honduras was turned down, the government officers of Canada put pressure so as to send back the Indians forcibly. Indians were ordered to reach at the dock on a fixed date. But instead of going to the dock Indians bought arms and prepared to kill or be killed, came and assembled at the Gurdwara. Observing the firm determination of the Indians, officers relented as all this was illegal. One does not find the mentain of all thin in any written document, but no doubt the officials of Canada were bent upon sending the last Indian out of Canada.23 We know, how the Mayor of Vancouver had issued illegal order to restrain the Indians from unboarding the ship for three or four days. There is no doubt that Canadians were very unhappy on Honduras scheme having been turned down by Indians. Professor Teja Singh opposed this scheme vehemently, for which he was dubbed as a conspirator by the Canadian newspapers.24

The activities of the Canadian Government to restrain the entry of Indians into Canada, and the design and pressures of the Canadian officers and officials to drive them away from Canada forced the Indians to become organized. The Vancouver Gurudwara became the center of the resistance movement of Indians. Sh Bhag Singh the President of the Gurdwara and Sh Balwant Singh was the granthi. To keep this resistance movement non-communal and to run it, a United Indian league was constituted, in which all Indians participated without any consideration of any religion. But its centre was the Vancouver Gurudwara.25 Mr Rahim, who was the editor of newspaper of this league named 'Hindustani' took major part in propagating the objects of this society. In June 1913, another newspaper entitled 'Sansar' was started whose editor was Dr. Sunder Singh. The work in the Sansar newspaper was rendered by a group of selfless workers, like Sh. Battan Singh (Kahri, Hoshiarpur), Sh. Dalip Singh (Bahuwal, Hoahiarpur), Sh. Bishn Singh (Marhana, Amritsar) Sh. Dayal Singh (Malluwal, Amritsar), Sh. Kartar Singh (Chandanke, Ferozpur) and Sh. Jit Singh (Bahuwal, Hoshiarpur), Sh. Piara Singh (Langeri, Hoshiarpur),27 who did the duty with the same spirt as was done by those participating in the Ghadr newspaper started later in America.

The free atmosphere in the country had created political awareness among the Indian workers of Canada, and the arousing of sentiments in them against their own slavery and against the British was just natural. The evil design and pressures of the Canadian government and its officials to expel Indians from Canada sharpened their anti-English sentiment all the more. The movement of Indians in Canada was legal and as per rules. The reason for this was partly because the political awaking being very fresh they still could not understand the real character of the Indian kingdom and they were yet unable to look deeply into the  claims of the English justice. The situational helplessness was also one of the reasons. Indians were very small in numbers and they found it difficult to fight against the power of the Canadian government and the Canadian public openly. So they selected the path of sending deputation to Canada, Britain and Indian governments to sort out their problems. The question of the Indian settlers in Canada was discussed in 1921 in the imperial conference held in London. Around this very time, the Indians appealed to the Governor General of Canada to allow their families to enter Canada. After losing all hope from that side, Indians sent a request to the officers of British Columbia, but they do refused to do anything saying the matter was in the preview of the central government of Canada. Then Indians requested the Canadian Parliament, but seeing no hope there, they sent a deputation of Professor Teja Singh, M. A. (Harvard) M.A., L.L.B, Reverand, L.W. Hall, priest, Dr. Sunder Singh  M.D and Sh. Raja Singh to Ottawa government. The deputation read a memorandum before the Minister of Home Department of Ottawa government Mr. Roggers on 29 November 1911 on behalf of the United India League and Khalsa Diwan Society, Vancouver. The main points were:
      
There are more then ninety percent Sikh Indians in Canada who have served the British Empire very well.

       The most pinching regulatory binding, which should be withdrawn immediately, is that under which the wives and children of Indians residing in Canada are not allowed to enter Canada.

       The second regulation, which need to be changed or withdrawn, is regarding reaching Canada through a continuous journey.

       The Indians living in Canada have proved to be good citizens and hard workers. Since they have come to settle here, keeping this thing in view they should be compared to the settlers of other nations in Canada, they have more lands, houses, company stocks, and cash in the banks in the major centers of Colombia, there has never been any doubt about their being law abiding citizens.

       We are ready to fully cooperate with the government as to how should the bad elements be dealt with and we are also ready to furnish surety that no Indian would seek any assistance from the public funds.

       We also demand that the requirement of showing two hundred dollars per member from Indians, should be changed to make it equal to the other nationalities.

       We also request that after lifting restrictions from the students, traders and visitors coming to Canada same treatment should be shown towards them as is done with the same categories of people of other nations.

The deputation met the senior minister of Canada also. After many meetings the minister of Home Department assured that their request for accepting them as the citizens of the British Empire shall be considered sympathetically. Honorable Minister Roggers admitted that the request regarding the families should be accepted very soon. For considering the matters of Indians' entry into Canada he sent Mr. Blair as a special officer, but it proved to be a sour experience for Indians. The report of Mr. Blair complicated the matter even more.28

When even after more than a year of the deputation having gone to Ottawa, and despite the repeated reminders Canada government reached at no conclusive decision,29 the meeting of the Canadian Indians held in the Dominion Hall of Vancouver decided that a deputation should be sent to the British and Indian governments. The members of this deputation were Sh. Balwant Singh 'Granthi' Sh. Narain Singh and Sh. Nand Singh 'Sehra. The deputation departed for England via Montreal and Saint Joan on 14 March 1913. Just after reaching England the deputation requested for a meeting with a minister of new-settlements. Mr. Lewis Hartcourt. But he declined to meet the deputation.32 In England the deputation met Sir Willian Waderbern, Sir Henry Cotton, Sir Manchhar ji Bhavnagri, Sir K.G. Gupta, the junior minister of new-settlements and many members of parliament.33 A meeting each in Cambridge and in Coxon Hall London was held. The Chairman was sir Manchhar ji Bhavnagri. The resolutions passed in the meeting were sent to newspapers. After meeting with Mr. Gokhale the deputation departed to India.

The deputation met Mr. Netson in Madras and with Sir. Feroz Shah Mehta and Mr. Washa in Bombay, who advised them to go to Punjab to make an effort. A meeting was held in Bharat Building at Lahore. A Committee of Sh. Meher Singh Chawla, Mian Jalaldin and Choudhary Ram Bhaj Datt was constituted to take matter in hand. Under the Chairmanship of Sh. Baghel Singh 'Kula' a meeting was held in Bradlaugh hall and meetings were held at one or two other places. Then the deputation met Lieutenant Governor Punjab, Sir Michael O' Dwyer. After that deputation met Sir Kanwar Harnam Singh, Hon'ble Kanwar Daljit Singh, Sardar Jaginder Singh, Pandit Malviya, Bannerjee and other members of the council of the Viceroy.34 The deputation met the viceroy also and remained present at the Karachi Session of Congress also, where a resolution was passed in favour of the Canadian Indians and sent to the Viceroy. Muslim League also passed such a resolution. The deputation related the woes of the Canadian Indians to the Indian public through newspapers, magazines and meetings. But all this intense activity had no effect on the British Empire and losing all hope, the deputation came back to Hong Kong on April 1914.

It had been the policy of the British Empire to provide small time benefits to the public, so that the situation does not reach a point, where there was resk to the empire. But in Canada, the policy was totally opposite. Either it was in the basic interest of the British Empire not to let Indians remain in Canada or it considered that whatever treatment may be met out with these handful of Canadian Indians they were not in a position to harm it in anyway. Or the government officials of Canada and its public, blind racial fanaticism ignored the major advantages of the British Empire and had become indifferent. From the interview of general Swam (which has been mentioned earlier) it seems that the British Empire was eager that the Indians should go away from Canada very soon, but being afraid of the revolt of the Sikh troops in India it was not in favour of expelling the Indian from Canada forcibly. The reason may be any, this fact cannot be denied that instead of listing the objections of Indian in Canada, England, and India, the Indians were being pressurized to go to other countries after leaving Canada under indirect semi-government and community pressures put on them. Only one evidence to enough. In 1919 the number of Indians in Canada decreased to one fourth i.e., was only to 1200.35 How much hard the semi-government and community pressure had been, can be judged from the fact that it could not be a matter of a joy and willingness for the Canadian Indians to leave the properties worth thousands and the opportunities to earn handsomely.

In the use of the semi-Government pressures Mr. Hopkins (or Hopkinson) a government officer of the immigration department was a main stooge, it is not known when and how this man reached in Canada. The Canadian Indians doubted that Mr. Hopkins had been sent there by the Indian or British Government, because he was adept in speaking Indian languages and was taking keen interest in splitting the Canadian Indians and spying on them. In the third conspiracy case Bela Singh prosecution witness had himself admitted that he had been providing secret report to the immigration department since 1908, and he (Bela Singh) had been informing Mr. Hopkins that Indians had doubt about him in this regard.36 In the same case another prosecution witness Mangal Singh also admitted that he had been working as informer to Mr. Hopkins; he was sent back to the country by the officers of the immigration department; and Mr. Hopkins directed him (Mangal Singh) that if he (Mangal Singh) happened to meet Sh. Bhagwan Singh in Japan then he (Mr. Hopkins) should be informed as to what Sh. Bhagwan Singh is doing there.37 It is apparent from it that the interests of Mr. Hopkins and the forces at his back were not limited to Canada only.

Thus, Canadian Indians in a way were forced to abandon the legal path of the struggle, because after sending deputation to Canada, England and India, and spending thousands of dollars on fighting the case to bring the families of Indians in Canada, they had realized that the legal fight did not affect the govt many way. The intention of British Empire and its claims of justice had been threadbare before them. The Canadian Indians were in such a mental condition that when Sh. Bhagwan Singh came to Canada towards the end of 1912 or the beginning of 1913, Sh. Bhagwan Singh had been a granthi at Penang and Hong Kong and was the master orator. After his arrival weekly meetings were held in the Vancouver Gurudwara in which Indians were told that while meeting one another they should say Bande Matram; and that the time of request for demands was past and the time to hold sword to snatch the right has come.38 As reported in the  first conspiracy case. "A famous rebel Bhagwan Singh came in the end of 1912 or the beginning of 1913 and started a series of speeches against British Government of India. He remained there for three months and he filled his audiences with revolutionary thoughts. Ultimately Bhagwan Singh was exiled, but before that the seeds of trouble had already been sown among the Indians of Vancouver."39 Some estimate about the enthusiasm of that time in the Canadian Indians can be seen from the fact that when they came to know that police had arrested Sh. Bhagwan Singh to transport him, they planned to seek forcible release of Sh. Bhagwan Singh from the police, which could not materialize because they could not know as to where Sh. Bhagwan Singh had been kept.40

This enthusiasm was not momentary, rather it was deep rooted because the struggle of the Canadian Indians was hotting up with each passing day. This fact is revealed from the incidents which happened at the time of the arrival of Kama Gata Maru at Vancouver,41 and later from the martyrdom of Sh. Bhag Singh and Sh. Mawa Singh and the murder of Mr Hopkins;42 and from the enthusiastic participation of Canadians Indian in the Ghadr Party movement after the start of the First World War.43 From the time of the Canada visit of Sh. Bhagwan Singh, the struggle of the Canadian Indians had taken up a crucial turn. They had not adopted this violent struggle rather it was imposed on them. It was almost the considered policy of the Canadian officials because after every violent incident they could find an opportunity to strike directly against the Indians. Perhaps the Canadian Indians also may have been aware of this policy of the government officials, but they were helpless; may be due to their Punjabi nature; and may be due to this reason that apart from leaving Canada by themselves they had no other legal way. And without a strong struggle they were not ready to leave Canada because their national pride and personal economic benefits both called for it.

To understand the establishment of Ghadr party and the stage wise development of the Ghadr Party Movement it requires to draw attention to incidents especially that Sh. Bhagwan Singh came to Vancouver (Canada) in the end of 1912 or the beginning of 1913 prior to the establishment of the Ghadr party. He gave the same type of revolutionary slogan to the Indians which was later given by Lala Hardyal to American Indians. The main secret of attracting the Indians of Canada by Sh. Bhagwant Singh and of America by Lal Hardyal so soon was due to the conditions of those places where anti-British feelings had already aroused in the Indians, and the revolutionary slogan that was entirely favorable to the nature and inclinations of the Punjabi peasants. It has been stated stepwise in the judgment of the third conspiracy case that how since 1908 the anti-British movment rose in Canada.44 In the year 1911 itself Sh. Bhag Singh, Sh. Sohan Lal 'Pathak', Sh. Kartar Singh 'Chanke' and others delivered speeches that if their families were not allowed to unboard at Canada, they would go to India to expel the English from there.45 Rather even earlier to this in 1908 at the time of Honduras scheme the discussion on forcible expulsion of the English from India had already been started.46 That is the revolutionary reactions of the Indians against the conditions of Canada was a natural reaction of the Punjabi peasantry, not that is was due to the passion aroused by Sh. Bhagwan Singh. But some times incidents or persons become the cause and symbol of the rise of the movement. The three months visit of Sh. Bhagwan Singh in Canada became the same cause and symbol of giving instant and solid revolutionary shape to the struggle of Indians in Canada.

~~~

References

  1.   Modern Review, March, 1908, p. 206.
2. Indians Abroad, p. 657.
  3.   Modern Review, August, 1913, pp. 140-149.
   4   Modern Review, August, 1909, p. 104.
   5   Indians Abroad, p. 661.
   6   Modern Review, March, 1908. p. 207.
   7   Indians Abroad, p. 528.
   8   Indians Abroad, p. 659.
   9   Indians Abroad, p. 660.
10   Indians Abroad, pp. 657-658, Third Case, Judgement, p. 31.
11   Indians Abroad, p. 650.
12   Third Case, Judgement, p. 31.
13   Indians Abroad, p. 650.
14   Third Case, Evidence p. 231.
15   Modern Review, August, 1909. p. 103.
16   Modern Review, August, 1913. p142.
17   Third Case, Judgement, p. 31.
18   Third Case, Evidence, p. 231.
19   Modern Review, August, 1909. p. 103.
20   Third Case, Evidence, p. 231.
21   Indians Abroad, p. 650.
22   Third Case, Judgement, p. 31.
23   Indians Abroad, p. 662.
24   Modern Review, August, 1909, p. 106.
25   Third Case, Evidence, p. 21.
26   Third Case, Judgement, p. 32.
27   Ibid, p. 31.
28   Indians Abroad, pp. 653-656.
29   Modern Review, August-1913, p. 147.
30   Third Case, Judgement, p. 33.
31   Third Case, Evidence, p. 232.
32   Indians Abroad, p. 662.
33   Third Case, Evidence, p. 232.
34   Third Case, Judgement, p. 33.
35   Indians Abroad, p. 673.
36   Third Case, Evidence, PP. 24& 25, Third Case, Judgement, pp. 31 & 39.
37   Third Case, Evidence, p. 27.
38   Third Case, Evidence, P. 24.
39   First Case, The Beginning of the Conspirecy & War. P. 1.
40   Third Case, Judgement, p. 33
41   The episode of title 'Kama Gata Maru'
42   e?B/vk d/ fjzdhnK dh id'ifjd d/ fJj pV/ jzrkwh tkfenks jB go feT[Afe fJj rdo gkoNh pDB s'A fgS'A j'J/ fJ; tk;s/ fJBQK dk f÷eo :kot/A eKv ftu ehsk ikt/rk .
43   Third Case, Judgement, p. 38
44   Third Case, Judgement, pp. 31-40.
45   Third Case, Evidence, p. 24, III Case, Judgement, PP. 31-32.
46   Third Case, Judgement, P. 31.

 

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