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Letter from Bhagwan Singh Gyanee to Phyllis

Letter from Bhagwan Singh Gyanee to his student Phyllis dated July 8, 1961. In the letter, Gyanee describes the events of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919 and his participation, at that time, with the Gadar Party in San Francisco. Gyanee also mentions that his lecture series to government employees, commissioned by the Chief Minister of Punjab.

Date: July 8, 1961
Type: Correspondence
Language: English
Creator: Bhagwan Singh Gyanee
Location: Saproon, India

"Gyan Bhavan"- V & P O Saproon, Simla Hills,
Punjab, INDIA

July 8th, 1961

My Sweet Phyllis: Greetings from Gyan Bhavan:

Your lovely Easter card written March 20th reached Gyan Bhavan when I was out of station and was forwarded to Chandigarh, missed me there as I was in Amritsar the city of the “Golden Temple” of the Sikhs. On the 13th of April it was Inauguration of the Memorial Day of Jullianwala Bagh. The President of India, Dr. Ragendra Prasad, our Prime Minister, Mr. Nehru and many Chief Ministers from various States and high officials were all there. Our Chief Minister, had requested that I make it a point to be present. It was April 19th 1919, after the 1st World War was over that an English General, (Dyer) had brought machine guns and 100 Tommies and started firing without warning killing about 1300 unarmed civilians/, men, women and children who were holding a protest meeting (/and wounding hundreds more in fact several thousands) against the Rowlett Act. This Rowlett Act was passed by the British Parliament, Judge Rowlett was a Justice of the High Court of England, under whose chairmanship a Committee was sent to India to investigate the Revolutionary activities of the Gadar Party, Headquarter San Francisco, U S A... Yours truly was one of the Founders of that Revolutionary Movement and was President during that period for 6 yrs, as well as the Commander of the Revolutionary Army who came to India for liberation. It was owing to that Massacre at Jullianwala Bagh, that India woke to her helplessness and slavery. To control this mass awakening and approaching violent revolution, Mahatma Gandhi cmae into the field in order to channelize human energy into peaceful direction. This is a long story never told to my students while in America. Since my return to India it is becoming known... Even you, my darling, did not know, that your teacher was also a REBEL... So, it was about the 20th of April that I finally received your card and its contents for which accept please/ both my thanks and apology for the long span of time that has elapsed since. It is just like you to persevere in the search of sturdy lamps which I envision for Gyan Bhavan Library, Many thanks in advance, I know you will succeed in finding what you want.

Two days ago on the 6th we returned to Gyan Bhavan. I had been assigned by our Chief Minister and the Gov’t of Punjab to deliver twenty lectures in ten days to two batches of Gov’t Employees, 100 each from 8 AM to 10 and again 11AM to 1 Pm from June 26th to July 6th inclusive. The Chief Secretaries of various Depts. Superintendent of Police, Irrigation, CID, (FBI), etc. participated as well as under-secretaries, clerks and even Deputy Ministers. The experiment was a huge success. The Chief Minister & Gov’t of Punjab are now contemplating giving me the job of “humanizing Gov’t Officials” of the State of Punjab. The term of reference was “Secularism in Social Democracy and National Planning” and it is likely to be extended the Pattern of Conduct as well. The climate was unfavourable, humid and suffocating and it will take ten days of this exuberating climate to over the strain and other effects. My health is still a problem.

May be you would be interested to know what subjects were discussed: Here is the list:-1) Man’s Place in the Universe, 2)-Nationalism– 3)-Integration; Personal, Social and National, 4)-National Planning; 5)-Society, Civilization, Culture; 6)-Religion 7)-India’s Minority Problem: 8)-Democracy: How it Works; 9)-Social Credit in Social Order and 10)-Where are We Going? I understand that the Gov’t of Punjab are to print the Outlines of these lectures and I will certainly save a copy for you when they are available.

The monsoon has started a week ago and the surrounding hills are so soothingly velvetty green. It is too beautiful to describe. At present the sun has disappeared due to low hanging clouds that are engulfing us and in a little while we may hear the rumble of Indra’s wrath with lightning and showers. If there is a Paradise on Earth, this is it. Wish you were here to take picture while the hills are green and enjoy the heavenly surroundings, exhilarating atmosphere and peace and quiet of Gyan Bhavan. May be one day you will...

Kindly remember me to Mrs. Baker, Joe Hanabeck, Mrs Prime Mr Jackna and others when you meet them and accept for yourself my best wishes and love,

Affectionately yours,

Collection: Bhagwan Singh Gyanee Materials
Donor: S.P. Singh
Digitizer: Anne Vagts, Samip Mallick
Item History: 2012-08-06 (created); 2013-05-03 (modified)

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