New plaque on Ghadar Party movement unveiled in Oregon
THE ORIGINAL PLAQUE INSTALLED AT A PARK IN ASTORIA WAS STOLEN BY MISCREANTS LAST YEAR IN OCTOBER
WASHINGTON:A new plaque commemorating the Ghadar movement has been unveiled in the northwestern American city of Astoria, rekindling the contribution of the members of the Ghadar Party in India’s freedom movement. The original plaque, installed at a park in Astoria five years ago commemorating the 100 years of foundation of the Ghadar Party in this small coastal city, was stolen by miscreants last October.
Thereafter, the small local Indian American community worked with the city to put a new plaque. The rededication ceremony was held on April 6 in the presence of the city mayor, local officials and members of the Indian American community.
“The sign - the one that was stolen in October and, now, its replacement - memorialised a history that had been long forgotten in Astoria and beyond,” the local Daily Astoria said in its report of the event. “This is an important part of our freedom struggle, which many do not know about,” Bahadur Singh, head of the newly-founded Ghadar Memorial Foundation of Astoria told PTI from Oregon. A prominent community leader and businessman, Singh is president of the Sikh Gurudwara in Salem, the largest in Oregon.
It all started five years ago when a local historian Johanna Ogden wrote about the meetings of the Ghadar members - mostly Sikh workers who came from India -- at the city’s Finnish Socialist Hall in 1913 in Astoria. “This led to the installation of the first bronze sign. Located at the Maritime Memorial Park under the Astoria Bridge, it proved to be an important site for tourists from India and Indian communities across the United States,” the Daily Astoria said. The original sign was stolen last October. “This was heartbreaking for us,” Singh said. “Immediately we approached the city for an investigation and started the campaign to have a new sign,” he added.