- Har Dayal
Lala Har Dayal (
October 4, 1884, Delhi, India- March 4, 1939, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was an Indian revolutionary and founder of the Ghadar Party.
He was the sixth of seven children of Bhoti and Gauri Dayal Mathur, Reader of the District Court. "Dayal" is not so much a surname as a sub-
castedesignation, within the Kayasthacaste of writers. At the age of 17 he married Sundra. 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 associated with Shyamji Krishnavarma, Vinayak Damodar Savarkarand Bhikaiji Cama. He also drew inspiration from Giuseppe Mazzini, Karl Marxand 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 degreein Sanskritfrom St. Stephen's College, Delhi, Indiaand his master's degreealso in Sanskritfrom Punjab University. In 1905, he received scholarships to Oxford Universitystudying 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 away, leaving, if necessary only nominal traces of its existence." The letter led to him being put under surveillance by the police. Later that year, saying "To Hell with the ICS", he resigned his Oxford scholarships and returned to India to live a life of austerity. It was during this period that he became friends with the anarchist Guy Aldred, who was put on trial for printing "The Indian Sociologist".
He moved to
Parisin 1909 and became editor of the " Vande Mataram". Unhappy in Paris, he visited Algeriawhere he wondered whether to go to Cubaor Japan. He then went to Martiniquewhere he was visited by the Arya Samaj missionary, Bhai Parmanandwith whom he discussed founding a new religion modelled on Buddha. He was living an asceticlife eating only boiled grain, sleeping on the floor and meditating in a secluded place. Guy Aldred later related that this religion's motto was to be Atheism, Cosmopolitanismand moral law. Emily Brown and Erik Erikson have described this as a crisis of "ego-identity" for him. Parmanand says he agreed to go to the United Statesto propagate the ancient culture of the Aryan Race.
Hardayal went straight from
Bostonto California, where he wrote an idyllic account of life in the United States. He then moved on to Honoluluin Hawaiiwhere he spent some time meditating on Waikiki Beach. During his stay he made friends with Japanese Buddhists and 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 Statesin 1911, where he became involved in industrial unionism. He had served as secretary of the San Franciscobranch of the Industrial Workers of the Worldalongside the National Bolshevik, Fritz Wolffheim. 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 had been given six acres of land and a house in Oakland, where he founded the " BakuninInstitute of California" which he described as "the first monasteryof anarchism". The organisation aligned itself with the "Regeneracion" movement founded by the exiled Mexicans Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magon. He had a post as a lecturer in philosophyat Stanford University. However, he was forced to resign because of embarrassment about his activities in the anarchistmovement.
He had developed contacts with
Indian Americanfarmers in Stockton. Having adopted an Indian Nationalist perspective, he wanted to encourage young Indian men to gain a scientific and sociologicaleducation. With Teja Singh, Taraknath Dasand Arthur Popeand funding from Jwala Singh, a rich farmer from Stockton, he set up Guru Gobind Singhscholarships for Indian students. As with Shyamji Krishnavarma'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 Sihra, Darisi Chenchiahand 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 1912had a major impact upon him. He visited the Nalanda Club hostel to tell them news at dinner time finishing his talk with a couplet from the Urdu poet Mir Taqi Mir:
::"Pagri apni Sambaliyega Mir"::"Aur basti nahin, yeh Dilli hai"
:::Take Care of your
TurbanMir:::This is not just any town, this is Delhi
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 "
JugantarCircular" 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."'
He established the
Gadar Partyin the U.S. and published a journal "Ghadar" in 6 languages from USA. Millions of copies of the journal were distributed in India and to Indians around the world. Copies of the journal were concealed in parcels of foreign cloth sent to Delhi.
In April 1914, he was arrested by the United States government for spreading
anarchistliterature and fled to Berlin, Germany. He subsequently lived for a decade in Sweden. He received his PhDin 1930 from the University of London. In 1932, he published " Hints of Self Culture" and embarked on a lecture circuit covering Europe, India, and the United States.
He died in Philadelphia in 1939. On the evening of his death he had given a lecture where he had said "I am Peace with all".
In 1987, the India Department of Posts issued a commemorative stamp in his honor, within the series "India's Struggle for Freedom".
*"Ghadar Movement: Ideology, Organisation and Strategy" by Karish K. Puri, Guru Nanak Dev University Press, 1983
*"Har Dayal: Hindu Revolutionary and Rationalist" by Emily C. Brown, The University of Arizona Press, 1975
*"Har Dayal: Hindu Revolutionary and Rationalist", review by
Mark Juergensmeyer. "The Journal of Asian Studies", 1976
One more book was written by Lala Hardayal. It was "Glimpses of world religions". It is about a sketch of various various religious conceptions as they appear from history. Their philosophy and ethics and their individuality.
* [http://www.indianpost.com/viewstamp.php/Serial%20Number/1231/LALA%20HARDAYAL Biography from the Indian Department of Posts on the event of the issuance of a commemorative stamp.]
* [http://www.dayafterindia.com/oct104/good_morning.html "Understanding revolutionary idol Lala Hardayal" by Yogendra Bali]
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