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Putting together one hundred years of resistance

chandigarh Updated: Jan 17, 2014 10:53 IST
Vishav Bharti

It is a season of the usual suspects and they are once again out with their dogmas, with their flawed sense of history they are trying to re-interpret the history of anti-British resistance movement through communal lens.

But here comes a befitting reply in the shape of the Ghadar Movement & India’s Anti Imperialist Struggle, a book that comprises 26 seminal essays.

The essays written by scholars, historians, journalists and activists etc from across the globe on theory and praxis of Ghadar movement hold testimony to its secular history.


These essays exploring various aspects of the movement—which recently celebrated its centenary-- hold mirror to fundamentalists and tells them that historiography is not a joke but a serious business. It demands hard work and scholarship. Perhaps that is why it is not easy to appropriate the movements and rebels.

“Everyday, we were finding out in the newspapers and getting reference of books that some pseudo historians were trying to give it a communal tinge. It became necessary to come out with true legacy of the Ghadar movement,” says Dr Prithvi Raj Kalia, a journalist based in Edmonton, Canada.

Page after page, the book once again establishes that Ghadar movement was never about religion nor it was about Sikhs or Hindus. It was about resistance. The resistance that transcended all barriers of religion, caste and creed. It even transcended seas and borders, it was a rebellion from outside meant for inside.

It tells that killing of innocents either by fundamentalists or by state can never be glorified as resistance or a reply to any resistance.

“The Ghadar movement, which played such a pioneering role in the freedom struggle of India, has not found its due place in the contemporary historiography,” says Kalia.

The book also comprises a list of Ghadarites who were hanged and imprisoned for life. Many of them remained lost in layers of history. Who will tell their tales? Who will tell that their stories were not just one hundred years of solitude but were also of resistance.