Saturday, May 31, 2008
I had no idea that San Francisco was the center of a freedom movement for Indian Independence starting before the non-violent movement of Gandhi was popularized. There is a very innocuous building at 5 Wood Street in San Francisco simply bearing the name "Gadar Memorial" and written in Hindi as well. In the early 1900's a group of Indian expatriates inspired by freedom and democracy banded together in San Francisco plan to overthrow British rule in India, and thus have true democratic freedom.
I learned of this opportunity because Dr. Arya Bhardwaj's great uncle, Jagat Ram, was one of the founding members of the Gadar Party, and was imprisoned for his activities. Many of the original writings and a library are inside this memorial, which can only be visited with special arrangements with the Consulate of India.
The flag of the movement was prominently displayed inside.
And there was a color portrait of Jagat Ram in the main hall as well.
And here is the memorial plaque. This location was the main office of the party worldwide and so has significant importance in the modern history of India. I counted myself lucky to be able to visit and hear the history of such brave men.