Sudha Bharadwaj is a true patriot and heir of the Ghadar movement

sudha kaur
Sudha Bhardwaj and Gulab Kaur (right)

Currently incarcerated under trumped up charges in the world’s so called largest democracy, Sudha Bharadwaj is one of the dozens of scholars and activists locked up in the Indian jails.

Bharadwaj, who turned 60 on November 1, is a lawyer who has been advocating for the rights of the poor and marginalized, especially Adivasis or the Indigenous peoples of India who are being evicted from their traditional mineral-rich lands by the extraction industry with the backing of the government.

Her only crime is daring to question the power and standing up against repression, inviting the wrath of the ruling right wing Hindu nationalist BJP that accuses her of being a member of the Maoist movement that is active in the tribal areas.

Born in Boston, she moved back to India with her parents at the age of 11, and renounced her US citizenship after turning 18. After pursuing her studies, she chose to become an activist and dedicated her life for the rights of women, minorities and the oppressed classes. In August 2018, she and several others were arrested and put behind bars on malicious charges.

Monday marked her fourth birthday in jail.

The date coincides with the foundation day of the Ghadar Party, a group of Indian revolutionaries that was formed in the US, during the British occupation of India. Hindi Pacific Association, as the group was actually called, came to be known as the Ghadar Party after the launching of Ghadar newsletter by its members on November 1, 1913. The party believed in an egalitarian society and resolved to drive out the British from India through an armed uprising. Gradually, the party spread its influence among Indian immigrants across the globe, encouraging many to return to their homeland to fight against the foreign occupation.

Among them was Gulab Kaur from Manila, who deserted her husband for the cause as the latter refused to participate in the struggle. Kaur remained active in the Ghadar movement in India, and risked her life helping her male comrades in many secret operations. More than a century later, Bharadwaj did the same by renouncing a comfortable life in the US, choosing to remain in India to serve the people.

It’s a shame that the founding fathers of the BJP, who either remained indifferent to the freedom movement or had cozy relations with the British, are treating people like Bharadwaj as “anti-nationals”. If anyone is a true patriot, it’s her and not those who are in power. In fact, the rulers in New Delhi who are bent upon dividing Indian society on the basis of religion, and by creating an exclusionist Hindu state, are the deceivers of Ghadar heroes, who had envisioned a secular republic. For us, Bharadwaj is the avatar of Gulab Kaur and must be given respect. She deserves to be out and not inside the prison. Until then we all need to raise our voices for her release.

Gurpreet Singh is a journalist from Canada

Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

Justice With A Human Face

When an old and  seriously ill Stan Swamy,one more accused in the infamous Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case, knew death  was near,he had pleaded that he be allowed to spend his…

Conspiracy! Whose Conspiracy?

Certain friends remind us it is the fifth anniversary of a dark moment in our recent history.About this time seven or eight years ago the govt agencies in charge of…

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News