A native of Amritsar, Sohan Singh Bhakna went to the USA in 1909 to seek employment. In 1913, he founded the Hind Association (later renamed as the Hind Association of the Pacific Coast) with the help of Indians settled in the US and Canada. He became the Association’s first President and Lala Hardayal, its Secretary.
The Association published a journal, Ghadr, which demanded freedom for India. Later, a revolutionary organ of the Association emerged which came to be known as the Ghadr Party. Sohan Singh was one of the founders of this party and was associated with the Komagata Maru ship incident in 1914. He was also instrumental in the opening of branches of the Ghadr Party in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shangai, Manila etc., and in this way, played a major role in uniting Indians settled outside India for the common aim of achieving independence. He was arrested for his anti-British activities under the Lahore Conspiracy Case and sentenced to death. Later, his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. After his release in 1930, he devoted the rest of his life in organising kisan sabhas and other welfare programmes for peasants.