The outbreak of the first world war in 1914 give a new lease of life to the nationalist movement which had been dormant since the heavy days of the Swadeshi movement. Britain's difficulty was India's opportunity. The west coast of north America had since 1904,become home to a steadily increasing number of Punjabi immigrants. The discriminatory policy of the host countries soon resulted in a flurry of political activity among Indian nationalists.
As early as 1907 ,Ram nath Puri ,a political exile on the west coast issued a circular-e-azadi(circular of liberty) in which he also pressed support to the swadeshi movement ; Tarak Nath Das in Vancouver started the Free Hindustan and adopted a very militent nationalist tone; G.D.Kumar set up a Swadesh Sevak Home in Vancouver on the lines of the India house in London and also began to bring out a Gurumukhi paper called Swadesh Sewak which advocated social reform and also asked Indian troops to rise in revolt against the British.
In 1910, Tarak Nath Das and G.D. Kumar, by now forced out of Vancouver, set up the united India house in Seattle and U.S.A. The first fillip to the revolutionary movement was provided by the visit to Vancouver ,in early 1913, of Bhagwan Singh, a Sikh priest who had worked in Hong Kong and the Malay states. He openly preached the gospel of violent overthrow of the British rule and urged the people to adopt Vande Mataram as a revolutionary salute. Bhagwan singh was expelled from Canada after his stay of 3 months .
The centre of revolutionary activity soon shifted to the U.S. which provided a relatively free political atmosphere. The crucial role was now played by Lala Hardayal, a political exile from India. Hardayal arrived in California in April 1911, taught briefly at Stamford university and soon emerged himself in political activity. But the bomb attack on Lord Hardinge , the viceroy of India, in Delhi on 23 December ,1912, exited his imagination and roused the dormant Indian revolutionary in him. His faith in the possibility of a revolutionary overthrow of the British regime in India was renewed, and he issued a Yugantar circular praising the attack on the Viceroy.
Meanwhile , the Indians on the west coast of U.S. had been in search of a leader and had even thought of inviting Ajit Singh who had become famous in the education in Punjab in 1907. But Hardayal was already there , and , after December 1912, showed himself willing to play an active political role. Soon the Hindi association was set up in Portland in May 1913.
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