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A Great Revolutionary “SOHAN SINGH BHAKNA”, the forgotten man who alone created fear among Britishers

Sohan Singh Bhakna was an Indian revolutionary who founded the revolutionary Ghadar Party. He was one of the most feared and dangerous men in British India.

Sohan Singh was born in January 1870 at the village of Khutrai Khurd, north of Amritsar, Punjab. He spent his childhood at the village ‘Bhakhna’, where he received his childhood education in the village Gurudwara. There, he learned to read & write in the Punjabi language along with the basics of his faith in Sikhism. He was married to Bishsan Kaur at a very early age when he was ten years old. Bhakna completed his schooling at the age of 16 and became quite proficient in Urdu and Persian. 

In Feb 1909, he traveled to the United States where he started working in a mil. He was saddened by the condition of workers who would get very low wages. He soon realized that they were being humiliated because of the British rule in India. He then started forming his own organization for the independence of the country and became the famous leader of the Ghadar movement party. Lala Hardayal formed an organization called Pacific Coast Hindi Association in America, headed by Sohan Singh Bhakna. 

On 13 October 1914, he was arrested and was sent to Lahore jail for interrogation. where he was threatened, tortured and even lured to reveal details of the Gadar movement and its leaders. He, however, stood firmly silent. He was actually given the death sentence which was later commuted to life imprisonment in Cellular jail. He ended up serving sixteen years in jail before he was released in July 1930.

After his release, he continued his agitation for the rights of farmers and worked closely with the Communist Party of India and devoted his time to organize ‘Kisan Sabhas’. In addition, he also worked to get his fellow members in Ghadar mutiny released. He was detained a second time during World War II, he was put in jail and remained in jail for nearly three years.

Even after Independence, he was arrested twice in 1948 but finally, on Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s intervention, he was not arrested again. He died of pneumonia on Dec. 21, 1968 in Amritsar.

Written by Dharam Sikarwar

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