April 13, 2020 would mark the 101st anniversary of the dreadful Jallianwala Bagh massacre and on this day we pay our respects to those who were martyred in the freedom struggle and also realise how significant and valuable is the liberty that we enjoy today.
April 13, 1919, a dark day in the Indian history, a day showcasing the atrocities of the British Empire and a day that makes us value our hard earned freedom.
India’s path to freedom was not easy and the lives laid by freedom fighters are remembered with moist eyes and the Jallianwala Bagh incident is one of the biggest examples of the price that India had to pay for attaining liberty.
The British East India Company had issued a notice banning all meetings and associations but this notice was not widely recieved and unaware villagers were still in the public space.
A joyous day as it was, the day of Baisakhi, people in Amritsar, Punjab had gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh to celebrate the ripening of their crops and enjoy the fair held there. The British forces were given the news that some freedom fighters were holding a meeting in the place, a meeting in protest of the arrest and deportation of two national leaders, Satyapal and Saifuddin Kitchlew.
In lieu of this, Acting Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordered his troops to open fire at the crowd of unarmed Indian civilians.
No warnings were given and absolutely no efforts were made to civilly separate the meeting and vacate the place; the only action taken was relentless and barbaric massacre of a peacefully gathered crowd.
The troops fired mercilessly for around 10 minutes until their weapons were exhausted and 379 were identified dead,and approximately 11,000 wounded, of which 192 were seriously injured.
The numbers of Indian National Congress were even more severe reporting the number of casualities to be 1,000.
General Dyer was hailed a hero in England’s House of Lords and even after facing scorn by the common people, was unrepentant throughout his life.
There are long-standing demands in India that Britain should apologize for the massacre. Despite the comments made throughout history, it is shocking how the word ‘sorry’ has never been mentioned by the British government and they haven’t formally apologized to India.
The monument of Jallianwala Bagh will now remained closed till June 15 as the renovations were delayed due to the coronavirus.
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