Kim, Hyung-Chan, Dictionary of
Asian American History, New York: Greenwood Press,1986
HINDU CONSPIRACY, 1914-1917 (also known as the Hindu-German
Conspiracy), a revolutionary plot hatched by a group of Indian revolutionaries
to overthrow British rule in India. The base for this movement was created on the
West Coast of the United
Indian students in the United States, Sikh peasants, and political
refugees from India formed an organization known as the Hindu Association of
the Pacific Coast, * which not only offered scholarships to Indian students to
come to the United States for their study, but also published a weekly paper
called the Ghadar, in order to propagandize the organization’s effort for
India’s independence. Soon the
association gave rise to the founding of the Ghadar Revolutionary Party, * and
the leadership of the party went to a twenty-eight-year-old Oxford-educated
Indian, Har Dayal, * who came to America in February 1911. His revolutionary activities in relation to
the Ghadar Party made him a persona non grata in the eyes of U.S.
immigration officials, who placed him under arrest in March 1914. Before government officials could deport him
to India where he could be
tried for his revolutionary activities, he fled to Switzerland. Another member of the Ghadar Party, Ram
Chandra, then assumed party leadership.
outbreak of World War I in 1914 had a positive effect on the revolutionary
activities of the association and the plot to overthrow British colonial rule
in India. After much hesitation, Har Dayal went to Berlin in January 1915 where he joined people working on
the Indian Independence Committee, which was founded under the direction of Alfred Zimmerman, who served as director of Foreign
Affairs for Germany. Zimmerman sought to gain control of all
groups working toward Indian Independence.
in California, Ram Chandra, now the leader of
the Ghadar Party, decided to take action independently
of Berlin. He smoothed over differences between Muslims
and Hindus, and recruited Jawala Singh to lead an
expedition to smuggle arms and revolutionaries into India. Under Signh’s
leadership, a group of sixty Indian left San Francisco
on the S.S. Korea, bound for Calcutta. The ship went first to Canton, China,
where it picked up more Indians, bringing the crew up to 150. Upon arrival in Calcutta, Singh and others were arrested, and
the expedition ended in failure.
Cerlin Sent another Indian, Heramba
Lal Gupta* to assume the leadership of the plot in
the United States, where he was
instructed to recruit Indians and obtain arms to ship to India. First, Gupta negotiated with representatives
from the National Chinese government for arms, but he did not succeed. Then, he went to Japan
to seek Japanese cooperation in obtaining arms for India,
tried to turn him in to the British government.
Gupta was then replaced by Chandra K. Chakravarty,
who organized the Pan Asiatic League as a means of recruiting Indians from Japan and the West Indies. Chakravarty’s
activities were closely monitored by William Wiseman, chief of British
intelligence in the Untied States, who informed the New York City Police of a
bomb plot. Chakravarty’s
office was raided by police, and he was arrested on March 6, 1917, for violation
neutrality laws. The plot, hatched with
so much hope for India’s
independence withered after his arrest.
Indian revolutionaries were put under arrest in many parts of the United States,
as government officials came to know the names provided by Chakravarty.