Ghadar Centenary Project
The Asian Rationalist Society (Britain) is pleased to announce a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards its Ghadar Centenary project celebrating the heritage and history of the Hindustan Ghadar Party (HGP) and the impact of its legacy in the West Midlands.
The HGP was the first modern political, social and cultural organisation set up by Indian migrants abroad. Fired by a sense of injustice at the daily racial and political discrimination that they faced abroad and with the British government refusing to defend their rights, the migrants soon came to the conclusion that this was only so because they were people from a country that was enslaved by a small number of foreign colonists. Convinced that they would never have dignity and respect at home or abroad groups of Indian migrants in north America set up the HGP with the stated aim of not only the desire for an independent India but also one that would be a democratic, progressive, secular and modern state. . Aware of how the issues of caste and religion had been used to divide and polarise Indians, the HGP became the first organisation to put the case against discrimination on the basis of caste, argued that religious affiliation should be an individual’s personal matter and advocated equality of all.
With a particular emphasis on recording oral histories and reminiscences, and led largely by volunteers from the local community, including young school students, the project will use film, drama, music, poetry and history to celebrate and commemorate a progressive cross religious and pan national legacy that is more relevant in building bridges across various communities by highlighting a shared history of togetherness through the use of culture.