The Komagata Maru incident is about a Japanese steamship called ‘Komagata Maru’ that voyaged from Hong Kong (part of British Empire) to Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada passing through Shanghai, China to Yokohama (Japan) in the year 1914, carrying 376 passengers from Punjab, part of British India.
Out of all the passengers 24 were admitted to Canada, but the other 352 passengers were not allowed inside Canada, and the ship was forcefully returned to India.
The ‘Komagata Maru’ incident was quoted largely at that time by various Indian groups to underscore inconsistencies in Canadian immigration laws.
The emotions ignited after this incident were taken advantage of by the Indian revolutionaries, particularly, the Ghadar Party members to gather support from the people for their cause.
Many meetings were held in California in 1914 by Ghadarites to the Indian community there where the Ghadar leaders used this incident to appeal to the community for their engagement with their cause. People were also recruited to the movement in the wake of this unfortunate incident. Prominent Ghadar leaders included Tarak Nath Das, Barkatullah and Sohan Singh.