Saturday, April 1, 2000
M A I L  B O X

Notes of harmony

THIS refers to the article "Striking notes of harmony" by Mukesh Khosla (March 11). The proposed launching of the World Festival of Sacred Music is a welcome move. One looks forward to the grand finale of this festival on April 9 at Bangalore. It holds out a soothing promise of a rich experience as one is slated to hear the best music from all over the world in addition to sacred music from India. I express my gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for taking the initiative in bringing about this unique festival. It is a great idea which only a great intellectual and religious leader like the Dalai Lama could conceive.

The festival envisages bringing together the spiritually enriched music of people from different regional, cultural and religious backgrounds and exposing the common man, especially the youth, to such elevating music. I sincerely wish the festival a glorious success. The conduct of such festivals of music are the genuine indicators of what globalisation and universalisation at a spiritual and mental level is all about.

New Delhi


The Ghadr Party

Khushwant Singh in his write-up "Bringing pride to Punjab" (March 4), has mentioned that the Ghadr Party was the first non-communal organisation that attempted armed revolution in India. Ghadr Party was formed by intellectuals and politically conscious individuals of India living in North America and had its headquarters at San Fransisco. Lala Hardayal, Barkattulah, Kartar Singh Saraba were the chief architects of this organisation. The aim of the organisation initially was to arouse the masses against the British and their colonial policies.

Apart from being a secular organisation, the Ghadr Party was above regional loyalties as well. Despite the fact that most of its cadre belonged to Punjab, their aim was not to drive the Britishers only from Punjab, but from the whole of India.

By 1914, three major events, however, influenced the course of the movement — the arrest of Lala Hardayal and his escape to Switzerland, the Kamagatamaru incident and the outbreak of the World War I. While the first incident emboldened the Ghadarites, the second triggered off the simmering hostility against British rule. The third provided opportunity and occasion for the Ghadarites to organise an armed revolt.

But to their disappointment, the Ghadarites found very poor response in Punjab. The chief of the Khalsa Diwan Society remained loyal to the British. This led them to incite soldiers to mutiny. After the failure of first attempt to mutiny in November 1914, basically due to lack of leadership, they persuaded the Bengal revolutionary, Rash Behari Bose to lead the revolt. February 19, 1915, was fixed the date for the mutiny.

However, this also failed because the C.I.D. came to know about their plan and the government took pre-emptive measures and arrested most of its leaders. The Ghadar movement was crushed by the government. Though Ghadr movement failed as such but its contribution to the national movement was tremendous. It furthered nationalist feelings and held the Britishers responsible for the misery of Indians and India’s backwardness.


Reforming the middle class

Apropos of Khushwant Singh’s write-up "Reforming the middle class" (March 18), the craze for everything foreign is affecting the psyche of our middle class families and their children. This craze, has prompted some foreign investors and the MNCs to jockingly remark that the appetite of the 300 million strong Indian middle class for foreign consumer goods will not be satisfied for the next 50 years.