Jo Ogden: Oregon’s Ghadar Party History

Ghadar_Centennial-8844Back in October of this year, the city of Astoria celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the Ghadar Party’s origins in their town. The Ghadar Party included the initial revolutionaries involved in the Indian Independence movement. Meanwhile, most people have no idea that Oregon had a thriving community of Punjabi Sikh immigrants in the early 1900s, much less, the inspiration for party members to overthrow the British government!

This entire event was uncovered by Johanna Ogden, a local community historian and recipient of the Oregon Historical Society’s 2013 Joel Palmer Award. She was motivated to understand this history in light of the unfortunate events surrounding 9/11, specifically the roles of citizenship and belonging for ethnic communities. In her downloadable publication, Ghadar, Historical Silences, and Notions of Belonging: Early 1900s Punjabis of the Columbia River, she details the lives of early Punjabi Sikh immigrants and how their stories were eventually forgotten and lost from our history. Jo Ogden joined me at KBOO to share these stories on APA Compass.

Ghadar_Centennial-8523The Astoria Centennial celebration, which included mayoral remarks, gathering of Oregon Punjabis, panelists, films and of course, bhangra, was a great success! You can check out the photos here!

Air Date: 11/1/2013