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A hundred years ago, a young man of 34 years age, Dr. Mathra Singh, was sentenced to death by the British at Lahore Central Jail for waging war against the colonizers, bringing to an end a short but brilliant war of independence that was violent in nature and ruthlessly suppressed by the British. Starting from San Francisco where the Ghadar Party was formed it spanned the globe in its reach, taking advantage of the First World War that had just begun, and having global alliances with ‘enemies of enemy’ at the time, Germany, Ireland, and Japan. Dr. Mathra Singh joined the Ghadar Party in San Francisco in 1914, was sent to Hongkong and Shanghai for spreading nationalism and quest for freedom and came back to India as a member of the core team of revolutionaries, being in-charge of bomb making.
Traitors and approvers ultimately resulted in failure of the rebellion, following which Dr. Mathra Singh successfully escaped to Afghanistan where he teamed up again with other Indian freedom fighters and continued the fight for independence. On such missions, he went to Russia for seeking help from Tsar Nicholas II with a letter written on gold plate. He also planned to go to Japan via China to continue the fight but was caught, brought back to India and tried under the famous Lahore Conspiracy Case. He was awarded the death penalty and achieved martyrdom on 27 March 1917 (April 2016 to March 2017 is the centenary year with some functions planned next year).Various political ideologies have been suppressed for over sixty years to highlight the role played by a select few towards India’s independence, especially those related to non-violence and the Indian National Congress. However, the Ghadar Revolution was the most serious threat to British rule in India (admitted by the British themselves) and it was planned and executed by simple Indian immigrants settled thousands of kilometers away in USA and Canada. They left everything behind when they came back to India for the revolution and ultimately sacrificed everything, including their lives, all for attaining independence for India. So one could say, that the purpose of this book is to really bring into sharp focus, the life and times of Dr. Mathra Singh and his stellar contribution to India’s fight for independence.
Martyr of Ghadar Party