Cover of “India Against Britain” by Ram Chandra. Published in San Francisco by the Gadar Party . Excerpts from articles that refute allegations made by loyalists to the British Raj.
Ghadr Party Centenary
On April 21st 1913,exactly 100 years ago the Ghadr party was formed.Today we celebrate the centenary of the historic occassion. It was a day which will be remembered in the annals of revolutionary history forever which literally lit the flame in the struggle of the Indian masses against the British colonialists.The history of the Indian Independence struggle is distorted and the Indian National congess leaders are idolized. The bloody sacrifices of the Ghadr revolutionaries are an abject lesson for progessive sections today. The names of the members of the Ghadr party' should be written in red letters.Today there is a commemoration at the Martys memorial Hall in Jalandhar in Punjab.
Gadar – Overseas Indians Attempt to Free India from British Serfdom
By Inder Singh
Gadar Movement is the saga of courage, valor and determination of overseas Indians who had come to Canada and the United States either for higher education or for economic opportunities. They imbibed the fire and zeal of revolutionaries and became the trail blazers of freedom struggle for their motherland, India. They may have lived ordinary lives but they left an extra-ordinary legacy.
When Indian immigrants saw the doors closing on them in Canada, they started coming to the United States which needed more people to do hard labor work to build new communities. In the U.S, they faced many difficulties, suffered numerous hardships and encountered rampant discrimination. Initially, they could find only menial jobs, but over a period of time and with their hard work and determination, many of them became successful farmers with their own land.
Within a span of few years, number of immigrant workers had swelled, so they starting facing widespread hostility which led to racial riots, resulting in certain cases, a loss of life and property. Like Canada, the United States, which had initially welcomed the Asian labor to do menial jobs, enacted Asian exclusionary laws to bar Asians emigrating to the United States.
For discriminatory treatment and damages in race riots, the Japanese and Chinese governments sympathized with their overseas nationals and negotiated with the American government for compensation for life and property losses. But the British Indian Government would not make any representation to the U.S. Government for similar losses. Indians soon realized the difference between the citizens of a “slave” country and those ruled by their own people.
The United States had also welcomed qualified Indian students seeking admissions in the American universities. However, upon graduation, they were not able to get jobs commensurate with their qualifications. The discriminatory practices were against the very ideals of liberty and freedom they had seen in their University environment. The Indian students attributed the racial prejudice and discrimination to their being nationals of a subjugated country. They were motivated to get rid of the foreign rule in India and were determined to fight for freedom for their motherland. They also started fostering feelings of patriotism and nationalism among their fellow Indian Immigrants.
Many Indians and particularly Indian students in the USA, Canada, England, Germany, and France, started advocating freedom for their motherland, India from British serfdom. They formed organizations or groups for India’s freedom. Taraknath Das, a student, started publishing a magazine Free Hindustan in 1907 in Seattle, advocating armed rebellion against the British rule in India and also formed “East India Association” in 1911; G. D. Kumar started a Punjabi paper Swadesh Sewak in Vancouver while Shymji Krishna Varma founded Indian Home Rule Society in London.
In the United States, Har Dyal who had come from England after relinquishing his scholarship and studies at Oxford University was identified with nationalist activities. He inspired many students studying at the University of California at Berkeley. Two of his many student followers, Katar Singh Sarabha and Vishnu Govind Pingle later on played very prominent role in the Gadar movement. Dyal’s fervor for India’s freedom spread beyond the university campuses. A meeting of some patriotic and enlightened Indians was called on April 23, 1913, in Astoria, Oregon, where Har Dyal, Bhai Parmanand and others passionately spoke for throwing the British out of India. It was at this meeting that Hindustan Association of the Pacific Coast was formed with a major objective to liberate India with the force of arms from British colonialism, just as Americans had done more than a century ago, and help establish a free and independent India with equal rights for all. Sohan Singh Bhakna was elected President, Hardayal, General Secretary, and Pandit Kanshi Ram Mardauli, Treasurer. Lala Har Dayal who had been a faculty member at Stanford University for about two years, was the central figure and the force behind the newly formed organization.
The headquarters of Hindustan Association of the Pacific Coast was established in San Francisco, which served as a base for coordination of all the activities of the association. A building was purchased with funds raised from the community, primarily Punjabi farmers and farm and lumber mill workers and was named Yugantar Ashram. The association began publishing a magazine, Gadar, for free distribution to promote the aims, objectives and activities of the organization. Gadar, literally means revolt or mutiny, was published in Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, among other languages. “The first issue of the journal Gadar was in Urdu and was published on November 1, 1913. An edition of the journal was brought out next month in Gurmukhi and in May 1914 a Gujrati edition of the journal was also published.” Says Anil Ganguly in his book “Ghadar Revolution in America.”
The Gadar publication exposed the British imperialism and called upon the Indian people to unite and rise up against British rule and throw the British out of India. It carried articles on the conditions of the people of India under British Rule and also on problems of racial attacks and discrimination against Indians in the USA and Canada. The publication Gadar, over a period of time, became well known among Indians and the Hindustan Association of the Pacific Coast itself became known as the Gadar party. Besides Gadar, the group brought out various publications to raise the consciousness of the Indian people to revolt against the British. Special issues of Gadar were also printed in Nepali, Bengali, Pashto, Gujrati, as well as in many other languages.
Gadar literature was sent to Indian revolutionaries in India, Europe, Canada, Singapore, The Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Malysia, Singapore, Burma, Egypt, Turkey, and Afghanistan. In a short period of time, publications from the Yugantar Asram, particularly the Gadar magazine became very popular. The British government got alarmed and used every means to stop the circulation of Gadar and other such publications, particularly in India. The magazine, being the principal patriotic literature, reached many people; even if one copy reached India or to a fellow revolutionary elsewhere, multiple copies were made for circulation.
Hindustan Association was barely a few months old when under pressure from the British Indian Government, Har Dyal was arrested by the U.S. Government. He was released on bail on March 24, 1914 but soon left for Switzerland and then to Germany. The sudden departure of Har Dyal did create some vacuum in the organizational structure of the association but it did not cause the death of the organization. The seed of revolt that Har Dyal sowed, had developed into a formidable organization. Many committed and dynamic volunteers continued to work tirelessly and pursued the planned activities of the association.
In Germany, Har Dyal continued to promote his mission, independence for India. He knew that Germans had great sympathy with the Gadar movement because they and Gadarites had common enemy, the British. Har Dyal, along with Virendra Nath Chattopadhyay, younger brother of politician-poetess Sarojani Naidu, Barkatullah, Bhupendra Nath Datta, brother of Swami Vivekananda, Ajit Singh, Champak Raman Pillai, Tarak Nath Das, and Bhai Bhagwan Singh formed Berlin Indian Committee in September 1914, also known as the Indian Revolutionary Society. The objectives of the society were to arrange financial assistance from German Government for revolutionary activities and propaganda work in different countries of the world, plan training of volunteer force of Indian fighters and arrange transportation of arms and ammunitions to reach the Gadarites for a revolt against the British Government in India.
The war between Germany and England broke out in August, 1914 and created a golden opportunity for gadarites to expel the English from India while British troops would be busy fighting war at the front. The gadarites started forceful campaign to mobilize overseas Indians in Singapore, Burma, Egypt, Turkey and Afghanistan and particularly Punjabis in Canada and the USA to go to India and launch revolution. They drew plans to infiltrate the Indian army and excite the soldiers to fight not for but against the British Empire and free India from the shackles of British imperialism. The Indian Revolutionary Society in Berlin had arranged for substantial financial aid from Germany. The German Embassy in Washington had engaged a German National in the United States to liaison with the Gadar leadership in San Francisco . Several ships were commissioned or chartered to carry arms and ammunitions and batches of Indian revolutionaries, about 6000, to India.
Besides Germany, the gadarites also sought help from anti-British governments. In December 1915, they established a Free Hindustan government-in-exile in Kabul, Afghanistan, with Raja Mohinder Pratap as President, Maulavi Barkatullah as Prime Minister and Champakaran Pillai as Foreign Minister. The government-in-exile tried to establish diplomatic relationships with countries opposed to the British in World war l such as Turkey, Germany, Japan, etc. The gadarites also established contact with the Indian troops at Hong Kong, Singapore, and in some other countries and hoped for their participation in the uprising against the British.
The British Government tried to suppress the Gadar Movement and had hired agents to penetrate the Gadar party almost from the beginning. Har Dyal used the columns of Gadar to caution his compatriots against British spies. The traitors of the Gadar movement leaked out the secret plan to the British spies. As a result, the ships carrying arms and ammunitions never reached India. Germany was originally planning to send more ships carrying arms and ammunition to India, lost interest in the venture after seeing the fate of original vessels. Many gadarites and volunteer fighters were taken captives upon reaching India. Some of the active gadarites who escaped arrests, including Kartar Singh Sarabha and Vishnu Govind Pingle, made alliance with Ras Behari Bose and other known revolutionaries in India. They had come to India to overthrow the British rule and wanted to unite and work with all those forces that were working to liberate India. They tried hard to mobilize the people and infiltrate into various units of the armed forces. But the British spies out maneuvered them. They also could not get the support of Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders of India’s Freedom movement, who had already committed full co-operation with the British Indian Government.
Before leaving for India, the Gadarites were given the impression that India was ready for a revolution. So, when the World War l provided a golden opportunity for them to attain their goal, they hurried homeward for revolution. What an irony; while the gadarites had gone to India to fight willingly for the freedom of their motherland, the Indian leadership openly and willingly co-operated with the British prolonging India’s serfdom; while the overseas Indians prayed in Gurudwaras and temples for the success of Gadarites’ mission, the people in India flocked to Gurudwaras and temples to pray for the victory of the British.
The Gadarites had a flame of liberty lit in their hearts, and did not hesitate to make any sacrifice for the cause of freedom, dignity and prosperity of their motherland. They fought valiantly for their cause; several Gadarites in India were imprisoned, many for life, and some were hanged. In the United States too, many Gadarites and Germans who supported Gadar activities, were prosecuted and some were incarcerated for varying terms of imprisonment. Although the movement did not achieve its stated objective, but it awakened the sleeping India and left a major impact on India’s struggle for freedom. The heroism, courage and sacrifices of the Gadarites inspired many freedom fighters to continue their mission.
A prominent Indian writer, Khushwant Singh, wrote in Illustrated Weekly, on February 26, 1961, “In the early months of World war I, an ambitious attempt to free their country was made by Indians living overseas, particularly in the United States and Canada. Although the overwhelming majority of the Gadrites were Sikhs and the centers of revolutionary activity were the Sikh temples in Canada, the United States, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore, many of the leaders were of other parties and from different parts of India, Hardyal, Ras Bihari Bose, Barkutullah, Seth Husain Rahim, Tarak Nath Das and Vishnu Ganesh Pingley. …… The Gadar was the first organized violent bid for freedom after the rising of 1857. Many hundreds paid the price with their lives.”
Inder Singh is President of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin(GOPIO) and chairman of Indian American Heritage Foundation. He was NFIA president from 1988-92 and chairman from 1992-96. He was founding president of FIA, Southern California. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna(1870–1968)
was as Indian revolutionary, the founding president of the Ghadar Party, and a leading member of the party involved in the Ghadar Conspiracy of 1915. Tried at the Lahore Conspiracy trial, Sohan Singh served sixteen years of a life sentence for his part in the conspiracy before he was released in 1930. He later worked closely with the Indian labour movement, devoting considerable time to the Kisan Sabha and the Communist Party of India.
Sohan Singh was born in January 1870 at the village of Khutrai Khurd, north of Amritsar, which was the ancestral home of his mother Ram Kaur. His father was Bhai Karam Singh, who lived with his family in the village of Bhakna, 16 km southwest of Amritsar. Young Sohan Singh spent his childhood at Bhakhna, where he received his childhood education in the village Gurudwara. He learnt to read and write in the Punjabi language at an early age, and was also instructed on the rudiments of Sikh faith. Sohan Singh was married at the age of ten to Bishan Kaur, daughter of a landlord near Lahore by the name of Khushal Singh. Sohan Singh finished school at the age of sixteen, by which time he was also proficient in Urdu andPersian. His marriage to Bishan Kaur, however, remained childless.
Sohan Singh became involved in the nationalist movement and the agrarian unrest that emerged in Punjab in the 1900s. He participated in the protests against the anti-Colonization Bill in 1906-07. Two years later, in February 1909, he left home to sail for the United States. After a two month journey, Singh reached Seattle on 4 April 1909.
Sohan Singh soon found work as a labourer in a timber mill being constructed near the city. In this first decade of the 1900s, the Pacific coast of North America saw large scale Indian immigration. A large proportion of the immigrants were especially from Punjab British India which was facing an economic depression and agrarian unrest. The Canadian government met this influx with a series of legislations aimed at limiting the entry of South Asians into Canada, and restricting the political rights of those already in the country. The Punjabi community had hitherto been an important loyal force for the British Empire and the Commonwealth, and the community had expected, to honour its commitment, equal welcome and rights from the British and commonwealth governments as extended to British and white immigrants. These legislations fed growing discontent, protests and anti-colonial sentiments within the community. Faced with increasingly difficult situations, the community began organising itself into political groups. A large number of Punjabis also moved to the United States, but they encountered similar political and social problems. Early works among these groups date back to the time around 1908 when Indian students and Punjabi immigrants of the likes of P S Khankhoje, Pandit Kanshi Ram, Taraknath Das and Bhai Bhagwan Singh were working towards and for a political movement. Khankhoje himself founded the Indian Independence League in Portland, Oregon. Sohan Singh at this time came to be strongly associated with this political movement taking shape among Indian immigrants. His works also brought him close to other Indian nationalists in United States at the time.
Meanwhile, India House and nationalist activism of Indian students had begun declining in the East Coast towards 1910, but gradually shifted west toSan Francisco. The arrival at this time of Har Dayal from Europe bridged the gap between the intellectual agitators in New York and the predominantly Punjabi labour workers and migrants in the west coast, and laid the foundations of the Ghadar movement. In the summer of 1913, representatives of Indians living in Canada and the United States met at Stockton, where the decision was taken to establish an organization, Hindustani Workers of the Pacific Coast. The Pacific Coast Hindustan Association, was formed in 1913 in the United States under the leadership ofHar Dayal, P.S. Khankhoje and Sohan Singh Bhakna. Bhakna was its president. It drew members from Indian immigrants, largely from Punjab.Many of its members were also from the University of California at Berkeley including Dayal, Tarak Nath Das, Kartar Singh Sarabha and V.G. Pingle. The party quickly gained support from Indian expatriates, especially in the United States, Canada and Asia. Ghadar meetings were held in Los Angeles, Oxford, Vienna, Washington, D.C., and Shanghai.
Main article: Ghadar Conspiracy
The Ghadar Party evolved from the Pacific coast association. The Ghadar's ultimate goal was to overthrow British colonial authority in India by means of an armed revolution. It viewed the Congress-led mainstream movement for dominion status modest and the latter's constitutional methods as soft. Ghadar's foremost strategy was to entice Indian soldiers to revolt. To that end, in November 1913 Ghadar established theYugantar Ashram press in San Francisco. The press produced the Hindustan Ghadar newspaper and other nationalist literature. The Ghadar leadership,under Sohan Singh Bhakna, began at this time their first plans for mutiny. The inflammatory passions surrounding the Komagata Maruincident helped the Ghadarite cause, and Ghadar leaders including Sohan Singh, Barkatullah and Taraknath Das used it as a rallying point and successfully brought many disaffected Indians in North America into the party's fold. Sohan Singh himself had contacted the returning Komagata Maru at Yokohama and delivered to Baba Gurdit Singh a consignment of arms when he learnt of hostilities breaking out in July 1914. The war in Europe hastened Ghadar's plans. It was already in touch with Indian revolutionaries in Germany and with the German consulate in San Fracisco. Ghadar also had party members in South-East Asia and had made contact with the Indian revolutionary underground. Elaborate plans were made to ship funds and arms from the United States and from South-East Asia, to India in what came to be called the Hindu German Conspiracy. These were to be used for a planned mutiny in India sometime in late 1914 or early 1915. The plans for the latter came to be known as the Ghadar Conspiracy. Sohan Singh, as one of the top of the Ghadar leadership, sailed to India in the SS Namsang at the outbreak of the war, in the wake of the Komagata Maru incidence to organise and direct the rebellion from India. However, British intelligence was already picking up traces of the revolutionary conspiracy. Returning to India, Singh was arrested in Calcutta on 13 October 1914 and sent to Ludhiana for interrogation. He was subsequently sent to the Central Jail in Multan and later tried in the Lahore Conspiracy Case and sentenced to death, with forfeiture of property. The death sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment in the Andamans, where he reached on 10 December 1915 and where he undertook several hunger strikes successively to secure the detenues better treatment.
In 1921, Sohan Singh was transferred to Coimbatore jail and then to Yervada. Here however, Singh embarked on a hunger strike in protest against Sikh prisoners not being allowed to wear turbans and their Kacchera, amongst their religious obligations. In 1927, he was shifted to the Central Jail atLahore, where he again went on hunger strike in June 1928 to protest against the segregation of the so-called low-caste Mazhabi Sikhs from other 'high-caste' Sikhs during meals. In 1929, while still interned, he went on a hunger strike in support of Bhagat Singh. He ultimately served sixteen years before he was released early in July 1930.
After his release, he continued working in the nationalist movement and labour politics. His works were identified closely with the works of the Communist party of India, devoting most of his time to organizing the Kisan Sabhas. He also made the release of interned Ghadarites a key part of his political work.
He was interned a second time during World War II, when he was jailed at the Deoli Camp in what is today Rajasthan. He remained incarcerated for nearly three years. After Independence he veered decisively towards the Communist Party of India. He was arrested on 31 March 1948, but released on 8 May 1948. However, he was seized again, but jail-going ended for him finally at the intervention of Independent India's first Prime Minister,Jawaharlal Nehru. Bent with age and ravaged by pneumonia, Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna died, at Amritsar, on 21 December 1968.
Lala Har Dayal (October 13, 1884, Delhi, India - March 4, 1939, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was an Indian nationalist revolutionary who founded the Ghadar Party in America. He was a polymath who turned down a career in the Indian Civil Service. His simple living and intellectual acumen inspired many expatriate Indians living in Canada and the USA to fight against British Imperialism during the First World War.
Har Dayal was the sixth of seven children of Bholi Rani and Gauri Dayal Mathur. His father was a Reader in the District Court. Lala is not so much a surname as a sub-caste designation, within the Kayastha community, but it is generally termed as an honorific title for writers such as the wordPandit which is used for knowledgeable persons in other Hindu communities. At the age of 17 he was married to Sundar Rani, (in English a Gracious Queen) who was extremely pretty girl. Their son, born two years later, died in infancy, but their daughter, born in 1908, survived.
At an early age he was influenced by Arya Samaj. He was associated with Shyamji Krishna Verma, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Bhikaji Cama. He also drew inspiration from Giuseppe Mazzini, Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin. He was, according to Emily Brown as quoted by Juergensmeyer, "in sequence an atheist, a revolutionary, a Buddhist, and a pacifist".
He studied at the Cambridge Mission School and received his bachelor's degree in Sanskrit from St. Stephen's College, Delhi, India and his master's degree also in Sanskrit from Punjab University. In 1905, he received two scholarships of Oxford University for his higher studies in Sanskrit. In a letter to The Indian Sociologist, published in 1907, he started to explore anarchist ideas, arguing that "our object is not to reform government, but to reform it's [sic?] away, leaving, if necessary only nominal traces of it's [sic?] existence." The letter led to him being put under surveillance by the police. Later that year, saying "To Hell with the ICS", he gave up the prestigious Oxford scholarships and returned to India in 1908 to live a life of austerity. But in India too, he started writing harsh articles in the leading news papers, When the British Government decided to impose a ban upon his writing Lala Lajpat Rai advised him to leave and go abroad. It was during this period that he came into the friendship of the anarchist Guy Aldred, who was put on trial for printing The Indian Sociologist.
He moved to Paris in 1909 and became editor of the Vande Mataram. But he was not very happy in Paris, so he left the Paris and moved to Algeria. There too,he was unhappy and wondering whether to go- either to Cuba or Japan. After all he went to Martinique, where he started living a life of austerity. An Arya Samaj Missionary, Bhai Parmanand went there to look for him, and found him lonely and isolated. The two discussed founding a new religion modelled on Buddhism. Har Dayal was living an ascetic life eating only boiled grain and potatoes, sleeping on the floor and meditating in a secluded place. Guy Aldred later related that this religion's motto was to be Atheism, Cosmopolitanism and moral law. Emily Brown and Erik Erikson have described this as a crisis of "ego-identity" for him. Parmanand says that Har Dayal agreed to go to the United States to propagate the ancient culture of the Aryan Race.
Hardayal went straight from Boston to California, where he wrote an idyllic account of life in the United States. He then moved on to Honolulu inHawaii where he spent some time meditating on Waikiki Beach. During his stay he made friends with Japanese Buddhists. He also started studying the works of Karl Marx. Whilst here he wrote Some Phases of Contemporary Thought in India subsequently published in Modern Review. Parmanand persuaded him by letter to return to California.
Anarchist activism in America
He moved to the United States in 1911, where he became involved in industrial unionism. He had also served as secretary of the San Franciscobranch of the Industrial Workers of the World alongside Fritz Wolffheim, (later a National Bolshevik after he had left IWW and joined the Communist Workers Party of Germany). In a statement outlining the principles of the Fraternity of the Red Flag he said they proposed "the establishment of Communism, and the abolition of private property in land and capital through industrial organisation and the general strike, ultimate abolition of the coercive organisation of government". A little over a year later, this group was given 6 acres (24,000 m2) of land and a house in Oakland, where he founded the Bakunin Institute of California, which he described as "the first monastery of anarchism". The organisation aligned itself with theRegeneración movement founded by the exiled Mexicans Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magón. He had a designated post of a lecturer in Indian philosophy and Sanskrit at Leyland Stanford University. However, he was forced to resign because of embarrassment about his activities in theanarchist movement.
He had developed contacts with Indian American farmers in Stockton, California. Having developed an Indian Nationalist perspective, he encouraged young Indians to gain a scientific and sociological education. With the personal help of Teja Singh, Tarak Nath Das and Arthur Pope and funding from Jwala Singh, a rich farmer from Stockton, he set up Guru Govind Singh Sahib Educational Scholarship for Indian students. With Shyamji Krishna Verma's India House in London, he established his house as a home for these students. Amongst the six students who responded to the offer were Nand Singh Sehra, Darisi Chenchiah and Gobind Behari Lal, his wife's cousin. They lived together in a rented apartment close to the University of California, Berkeley.
The assassination attempt on Viceroy of India
At the time, he was still a vigorous anarchist propagandist and had very little to do with the nationalist Nalanda Club, composed of Indian students. However Basanta Kumar Biswas's attempt on the life of the Indian Viceroy, Lord Hardinge, on December 23, 1912 had a major impact upon him. He visited the Nalanda Club Hostel to tell them this news at dinner. He delivered a rousing lecture, which ended with the following couplet of the Urdu poet Mir Taqi 'Mir' of Delhi (India):
- "Pagari apani sambhaliyega 'Mir' !
- Aur basti nahin, ye Dilli hai !!"
The hostel then became a party with dancing and the singing of Vande Mataram. Hardayal excitedly told his anarchist friends of what one of his men had done in India.
He quickly brought out a pamphlet called the Yugantar Circular in which he eulogised about the bombing:
HAIL ! HAIL ! HAIL !
BOMB OF 23 DECEMBER 1912
HARBINGER OF HOPE AND COURAGE
DEAR REAWAKENER OF SLUMBERING SOULS
CONCENTRATED MORAL DYNAMITE
THE ESPERANTO OF REVOLUTION
“Who can describe the moral power of the bomb? It is concentrated moral dynamite. When the strong and cunning in the pride of their power parade their glory before their helpless victims, when the rich and naughty set themselves on a pedestal and ask their slaves to fall down before them and worship them, when the wicked ones on the Earth seem exalted to the sky and nothing appears to withstand their might, then in that dark hour, for the glory of humanity comes the bomb, which lays the tyrant in the dust. It tells all the cowering slaves that he who sits enthroned as God, is a mere man like them. Then, in that hour of shame, a bomb preaches the eternal truth of human equality and sends proud superiors and Viceroys from the palace and the howdah to the grave and the hospital. Then, in that tense moment, when human nature is ashamed of itself, the bomb declares the vanity of power and pomp and redeems us from our own baseness. HOW GREAT WE FEEL WHEN SOMEONE DOES THE HEROIC DEED? WE SHARE IN HIS MORAL POWER. WE REJOICE IN HIS ASSERTION OF HUMAN EQUALITY AND DIGNITY."—Lala Hardayal (Yugantar Circular:1913)
In April 1914, he was arrested by the United States government for spreading anarchist literature and fled to Berlin, Germany. He subsequently lived for a decade in Sweden. He received his Ph.D. degree in 1930 from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. In 1932, he got his book Hints For Self Culture published and embarked on a lecture circuit covering Europe, India, and the United States.
He died in Philadelphia on March 4, 1939. In the evening of his death he delivered a lecture as usual where he had said "I am in peace with all". But a very close friend of Lala Hardayal and the founder member of Bharat Mata Society (established in 1907), Lala Hanumant Sahai did not accept the death as natural, he suspected it as poisoning.
In 1987, the India Department of Posts issued a commemorative stamp in his honour, within the series of "India's Struggle for Freedom".