Social Scientist. v 9, no. 98-99 (Sept-Oct 1980) p. 53.


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Revolutionary Organisation : A Study of the Ghadar Movement

ACTION directed towards a revolutionary change implies organized participation. Organization, for that purpose, is generally viewed as an instrument in the strategy and thus a matter of deliberate design. It implies a rational structuring of roles and authority, for such planned action is "both possible and essential" in the considered context of the objective and subjective factors. On the other hand, organization can be viewed in non-structural terms, as a body of people with a "collective spirit", bound by loyalty and commitment to shared goals and to the revolutionary group. What importance is attached to a rational organization as part of a strategy and what shape a revolutionary organization takes are related to the character of leadership and its strategic objectives on the one hand and the ideological ethos of the movement on the other. The organization of a revolutionary movement may, thus be studied from the perspectives of its leadership and its ideological character. An attempt is made in this paper to study the organization of the Ghadar movement from 1913 to 1918 along these lines.

This aspect of the Ghadar movement has, by and large, escaped the serious attention of scholars interested in this movement. Allusions have, nevertheless, been made to its rationally planned structural and functional arrangements. References are also made to the ^"democratic" organization of the "Ghadar Party", its inner and outer "circles" of authority, division of roles, procedure of recruitment, rules for maintaining secrecy of decisions and activities, establishment of branches functioning under the centralized direction and so on.1 It has also been contended that the "party" was organized on the principle of "democratic centralism",2 and that its working committee was akin to the "polit-buro" of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.8 These assessments were based either on the selective exhortations made



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