British Intelligence On Dr. Bhagat Singh Thind
The Hindustan Gadar Party, founded in 1913 during the struggle for India’s independence from British rule, was originally located in San Francisco. The headquarters, otherwise known as “Yugantar Ashram”, was where the revolutionary group known as “The Freedom Fighters of the Hindustan Gadar Party” was formed and remained active from 1913 to 1917. “Yuganta Ashram” was also the place where the Freedom Fighters launched and published a weekly paper called “Gadar” to enhance the cause of Indian Independence from oppressive British Rule.
The Gadar movement later moved its headquarters to “5 Wood Street”. It was not long that the Gadar Party’s popularity grew and the movement was then called “Gadar Ashram”. Imbued with the spirit of revolution, the Gadar Hall of San Francisco created an atmosphere for citizens from India to organize a printing press that disseminated its messages around the world. The place also held private meetings though it is believed that the British Intelligence Agency knew of its existence.
In August 1914, the Gadar Movement called on Indians worldwide to return to India to fight the British and regain its country’s freedom. About 8,000 Indians in North America alone were said to have returned to India for this cause. However, the British captured most Indians upon their return and sent many of them to jail. Some Indians were even hanged.
Their courage sparked thousands worldwide to carry the mission. The Gadar Building in San Francisco now serves as a memorial and a symbol of the sacrifices of martyrs for the freedom of India.
Upon winning its freedom, the US Consulate handed over the “Gadar Ashram” to the government of India in an act of goodwill. At that time, the building was in need of repairs and upgrades. From 1952 on, the local Indian community and the Government of India, sanctioned $83,000 US dollars for restoration work, which completed in 1974 .
Sardar Swaran Singh performed a groundbreaking ceremony, the then Minister of External Affairs. Shri T.N.Kaul, at that time India’s Ambassador to US in March 1975, finally inaugurated the Gadar Memorial.