Last surviving member of Ghadar Party dies in Britain

May 23rd, 2009 - 1:00 am ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, May 22 (IANS) Bhagat Singh Bilga, the last surviving member of the pre-independence Ghadar (revolution) Party and a well-known freedom fighter, has passed away in Birmingham, according to information reaching the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Memorial Committee at Jalandhar in Punjab. He was 102 years old.
Popularly known as ‘Baba Bilga’ and sharing his first name with legendary revolutionary Bhagat Singh, the freedom fighter passed away in a private hospital Thursday after battling prostate cancer.

His family members were with him when he breathed his last. He had gone to Britain some time back. He is survived by two sons, society members said.

Members of the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Committee at Jalandhar city, 150 km from here, mourned the passing away of the Ghadar Party leader and lauded his efforts in India’s freedom struggle and social service.

Born in 1907, the same year when Bhagat Singh was born, Bilga was contemporary of freedom fighters and Ghadar Party members Kartar Singh Sarabha and Mohan Singh Bakhna.

The Ghadar Party was founded in the United States and Canada by Indians in 1913 to help from there the freedom movement in India. It was founded by freedom fighter Lala Hardayal.

Bilga was only one year old when his father passed away. He was brought up by his maternal uncle and grandmother.

He traveled from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to Rangoon (now Yangon), Singapore, Hong Kong and Argentina in search of jobs. He met Bhagat Singh’s uncle Ajit Singh in Argentina and became inclined towards the freedom movement.

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