New plaque on Ghadar Party move­ment un­veiled in Ore­gon

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - PUNJAB - Press Trust of In­dia

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.

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