The story went on to say The Hindustan Gadar Party was founded in 1913 by U.S.-based Indians to join in the struggle for India’s independence.
Ashfaque Swapan writing for India West went on to say till his death, he remained alert, informed and engaged in the issues of the day, people who had met him told India-West.
“Meeting Bhagat Singh Bilga at the age of 96 was like reliving the revolutionary history of the Gadar Movement,” poet, folklorist and Gadar scholar Ved Prakash Vatuk told India West.
The story went on to say the Gadar revolutionaries are celebrated for their battle for India’s freedom, but they also had a passionately held and deeply non-sectarian, egalitarian agenda.
Bilga remained committed to the broad goals of the left in terms of economic emancipation of the downtrodden, but he kept away from the divisive ideological squabbles.
During the Khalistan agitation, he was one of very few Sikh leaders who was openly and unreservedly against what he considered a sectarian movement.
Ashfaque Swapan, went on to say,Sukirat Anand, who edits Bilga’s favorite Punjabi daily newspaper, the Jalandhar-based “Nawa Zamana” (New Age), had met Bilga many times. He told India West: “The thing which struck me always about Bilga was … he always kept himself abreast of whatever was happening around him,” Anand recalled. “I think for the last 10 or even 15 years he knew about everything that was happening… he would be very coherent, he would never ramble.”
Ashfaque Swapan, went on to say, in addition to his role in the Gadar Party, Bilga’s lasting legacy is the Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall, the facility he built with public donations in Jalandhar.
Anand told India West Bilga was held in enormously high regard in Punjab across the political spectrum. Former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral called him “a legend.”
“Bilga was the oldest person left (from the Gadar Party), and he was also the president of the Desh Bhagat Yadgar Committee,” Anand told India West.