EDEN IAS

KOMAGATA MARU INCIDENT AND THE GHADR MOVEMENT| GS ARTICLES

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<p style=”text-align:justify”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:normal”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span lang=”EN-IN” style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>The importance of this event lies in the fact that it created an explosive situation in Punjab. <i>KomagataMaru </i>was the name of a ship that was carrying 370 passengers, mainly Sikh and Punjabi Muslim would-be immigrants, from Singapore to Vancouver. They were turned back by Canadian authorities after two months of privation and uncertainty. It was generally believed that the Canadian authorities were influenced by the British government. The ship finally anchored at Calcutta in September 1914. The inmates refused to board the Punjab-bound train. In the ensuing conflict with the police at Budge-Budge near Calcutta, 22 persons died.</span></span></span></span></span></p>

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<p style=”text-align:justify”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:normal”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span lang=”EN-IN” style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>Inflamed by this and with the outbreak of the FirstWorld War, the Ghadr leaders decided to launch a violent attack to oust British rule in India. They urged fighters to go to India. Kartar Singh Saraba and RaghubarDayal Guptaleft for India. Bengal revolutionaries were contacted; Rashbehari Bose and Sachin Sanyal were asked to lead the movement. Political dacoities were committed to raising funds. The Punjab political dacoities of January-February 1915 had a somewhat new social content. In at least 3 out of the 5main cases, the raiders targeted the moneylenders and the debt records before decamping with the cash. Thus, an explosive situation was created in Punjab.</span></span></span></span></span></p>

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<p style=”text-align:justify”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:normal”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span lang=”EN-IN” style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>The Gadites fixed February 21, 1915, as the date for an armed revolt in Ferozepur, Lahore, and Rawalpindi garrisons.The plan was foiled at the last moment due to treachery. Theauthorities took immediate action, aided by the Defence ofIndia Rules, 1915. Rebellious regiments were disbanded,leaders arrested and deported and 45 of them hanged.Rashbehari Bose fled to Japan (from where he and AbaniMukherji made many efforts to send arms) while SachinSanyal was transported for life.</span></span></span></span></span></p>

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<p style=”text-align:justify”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:normal”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span lang=”EN-IN” style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>The British met the wartime threat with a formidablebattery of repressive measures&mdash;the most intensive since1857&mdash;and above all by the Defence of India Act passed inMarch 1915 primarily to smash the Ghadr movement. Therewere large-scale detentions without trial, special courtsgiving extremely severe sentences, numerous court-martialsof armymen. Apart from the Bengal revolutionaries and thePunjab Ghadrites, radical pan-Islamists&mdash;Ali brothers, MaulanaAzad, Hasrat Mohani&mdash;were interned for years.</span></span></span></span></span></p>

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