Kartar Dhillon, Californian Punjabi Writer/Activist, Passes On at 93

The following message just arrived at Uddari from Vancouver Author Sadhu Binning, telling us about a life well-spent.
“Kartar Dhillon, writer and political activist, died at age 93 of natural causes on June 15, 2008. Kar, as she was known to her family and friends, was born on April 30, 1915 in California’s Simi Valley. Her father Bakhshish Singh immigrated to the US in 1897. Her mother Rattan Kaur came in 1910.

“Kar’s parents were among the founding members of the Gadar Party. Kar became active in India’s struggle for independence from the British at a very early age, and remained an activist for human rights and social change all her life. She supported organizations like Black Panthers and participated in organizing farm workers.

“She will be remembered by readers for her story “Parrot’s Beak” that she wrote in 1989.

“Kar lived with her daughter Dr. Ayesha Gill in Berkeley California.”

A memorial celebration of her life will be held on
Saturday, July 12 at 10AM
Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley
1 Lawson Road Kensington, CA 94707

The Cover of Kartar Dhillon\'s book
View more photos at Uddari Photo Album page


A few years back Sadhu Binning translated and published a book by Kartar Dhillon in Punjabi.
Here is the cover page of Dhillon’s book.


View the PDF version of the introduction by Sadhu Binning in Punjabi (Gurmukhi)

Author Amarjit Chandan adds this note and the photo image:

Kartar Kaur Dhillon with brother Bud Dhillon
“Kartar Kaur introducing her older brother Budh Singh at Ghadr Party Yuganatar Ashram, San Francisco in 1998.

“Budh went to Moscow in 1922 at the young age to get revolutionary training. He went there again after seven years. The first batch of Punjabis in Moscow included Dada Amir Haidar. Sergeant Budh fought in the World War 2 in France as well.

“Hari, the youngest brother of Kartar, was also in the US army and laid down his life in Okinawa fighting against fascism.”
Amarjit Chandan
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2 comments on “Kartar Dhillon, Californian Punjabi Writer/Activist, Passes On at 93

  1. Manpreet Kaur says:

    Kartar Kaur Dhillon has made the Sikh community proud. May Waheguru rest her soul in peace.


  2. Harish Puri says:

    Kartar would be remembered with love and deep respect by her friends for her Ghadar connection and her active participation in a variety of social and political campaigns. One of these was named the Asian Women United of california. “Making Waves”, the anthology edited by that association, published by Beacon Press, Boston (1989) in which Kartar’s article ” The parrot’s Beak” first appeared,remains one of the most valuable collection of the Asian Women’s real life experiences and their profiles in courage. A signed copy of the book presented to me by Kartar and her daughter Ayesha Gill on the eve of celebration of Karatar Singh Sarabha’s birth centenary at San Francisco 1996 is both a reminder of our bond and an inavaluable source book on the earliest group of Asian women writers in USA .


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