Pandurang Khankhoje


    In News

    • The statue of freedom fighter and agricultural scientist Pandurang Khankhoje will soon be unveiled in Mexico.

    More about Pandurang Khankhoje:

    • Birth:
      • He was born in 1884 at Wardha, Maharashtra.
    • Early years & inspiration:
      • He was at the time inspired by the nationalist work of Bal Gangadhar Tilak
      • He was an ardent admirer of the French Revolution and of the American War of Independence.
    • Visit to Japan & USA:
      • Revolutionary ideas:
        • In the late 19th century, Pandurang Khankhoje came in contact with other revolutionaries early on.
        • Khankhoje decided to go abroad for further training in revolutionary methods and militaristic strategy
        • At this time, the British government’s suspicions of him were also growing due to his anti-government activities
      • Anti-West Asian imperialistic ideas:
        • Before leaving, he visited Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who advised him to go to Japan, which was itself a strong, anti-West Asian imperialistic force then.
        • After spending time with nationalists from Japan and China, Khankhoje eventually moved to the US.
        • In USA he enrolled in college as a student of agriculture
    •  Association with the Indian independence movement:
      • Meeting Lala Har Dayal:
        • While in the US, Khankhoje met Lala Har Dayal, an Indian intellectual teaching at Stanford University. 
        • Har Dayal had begun a propaganda campaign, publishing a newspaper that featured patriotic songs and articles in the vernacular languages of India
        • This was the seed from which the Ghadar Party would emerge.
      • Ghadar Party:
        • Khankhoje was one of the founding members of the Ghadar Party
          • It was established by Indians living abroad in 1914, mostly belonging to Punjab. 
          • Its aim was to lead a revolutionary fight against the British in India.
    • Mexico and Agricultural research:
      • The Mexican Revolution of 1910 & inspiration for Indian independence:
        • The Mexican Revolution of 1910 had led to the overthrow of the dictatorial regime, and this inspired Khankhoje.
        • He also reached out to Indians working on farms in the US with the aim of discussing the idea of Indian independence with them. 
        • There, he met with Mexican workers as well.
      •  World War I:
        • Along with the Indian workers, militant action was planned by Khankhoje in India, but the outbreak of the First World War halted these plans. 
          • Through World War I, Khankhoje was intricately involved in the Hindu–German Conspiracy when he was involved in the plans for the mutiny. 
        • He then reached out to Bhikaji Cama in Paris, and met with Vladimir Lenin in Russia among other leaders, seeking support for the Indian cause. However, as he was facing possible deportation from Europe and could not go to India, he sought shelter in Mexico.
      • Turn towards agriculture:
        • Soon, in part due to his prior friendship with Mexican revolutionaries, he was appointed a professor at the National School of Agriculture in Chapingo, near Mexico City
        • He researched corn, wheat, pulses and rubber, developing frost and drought-resistant varieties.
        • It was part of efforts to bring in the Green Revolution in Mexico.
      • Mexican wheat variety in India:
        • Later on, the American agronomist Dr Norman Borlaug, called the Father of the Green Revolution in India, brought the Mexican wheat variety to Punjab.
      • Recognition:
        • Khankhoje was revered as an agricultural scientist in Mexico
    • Later years in India:
      • Khankhoje returned to India after 1947. 
      • He settled in Nagpur and subsequently embarked on a political career. 
    • Death:
      • Pandurang Khankhoje died on 22 January 1967.
    • Legacy:
      • The renowned Mexican artist Diego Rivera painted murals that featured Khankhoje, including one titled ‘Our Daily Bread’ that prominently depicted him breaking bread with people seated around a table.
      • Speaker of the Lok Sabha Om Birla recently unveiled Khankhoje’s statue during his visit to Mexico.

    Ghadar Movement

    • About:
      • The Ghadar Movement was an early 20th century, international political movement.
      • It was founded by expatriate Indians to overthrow British rule in India.
        • Lala Hardayal was one of its founding members.
    • Newspaper:
      • The party was built around the weekly paper The Ghadar.
    • Spread to India:
      • The movement later spread to India and Indian diasporic communities around the world.
      • Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, some Ghadar party members returned to Punjab to incite armed revolution for Indian Independence
        • Ghadarites smuggled arms into India and incited Indian troops to mutiny against the British.
    • Hindu–German Conspiracy:
      • From 1914 to 1917 Ghadarites continued underground anti-colonial actions with the support of Germany and Ottoman Turkey, known as the Hindu–German Conspiracy.

    Source: IE