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Ghadr pamphlet, TNA, UK.

There are brilliant books out there on Ghadr, the Indian freedom movement in early twentieth century that originated in San Francisco, California and touched all nooks and crannies of British colonies where Indians served in several capacities, Shanghai too played a key role in the Ghadr development. It was a convenient port, a layover for Ghadris coming from USA/elsewhere to India who brought with them literature that was distributed in the local Sikh gurdwara. Sikhs formed a large proportion of the Ghadr movement.

Komagata Maru incident further cemented the nationalistic fervor and triggered the plotting and planning to throw off the British yoke of repression. It failed, the plot was unearthed with the help of spies and revolutionaries were sent to jail, hanged or shot.

Coming back to Shanghai and other British enclaves in China, Ghadr did not vanish after collapsing in its initial foray. The spirit of Ghadr was revived and sustained through publications and editorials.  The anti-British message and sentiment was crystal clear. But, yet again it was defeated with pro-British Sikh employees and agents.

Shanghai chapter  is mentioned several times as a part of the entire Ghadr enterprise but has not been studied in isolation.  Who was involved in Shanghai helping forge the movement, in its second wind again who were the key players. Who was printing the spirit rousing Ghadr message? Who were the agents intent on siding with the British?  These questions have been vaguely answered or kept aside to present the more prominent aspects.

In Shanghai Sikh history, Ghadr played a crucial role, it had its birth and renaissance but the key players and supporters have hardly found their place in the sun.

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