Jallianwala Bagh Massacre- History
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place on 13 April 1919 (on Baisakhi) in Jallianwala Bagh near the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, India. A meeting was being held to oppose the Rowlatt Act, in which an English officer named General Dyer unceremoniously opened fire on the crowd present in the meeting in which more than 400 people died and more than 2000 were injured.
The Deputy Commissioner Office of Amritsar lists 484 martyrs, while Jallianwala Bagh lists a total of 388 martyrs. The records of the British Raj admit 200 people were injured and 379 were martyred in this incident, of which 337 were men, 41 minor boys, and one 6-week-old baby. According to unofficial statistics, more than 1000 people were killed and more than 2000 were injured.
If anyone event had the greatest impact on the Indian freedom struggle, then it was a heinous massacre. It is believed that this incident marked the beginning of the end of British rule in India.
In 1949, Queen Elizabeth paid tribute to the dead at this memorial. In 2013, British Prime Minister David Cameron also visited this memorial. In the visitors’ book, he wrote that “this was a shameful incident in British history.”
April 13 is celebrated as the holy day of Baisakhi all over the world. But it is unfortunate that this day is also related to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Today, that infamous massacre has completed 101 years. This phenomenon exists like a black spot in the history of independent India.
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Facts
In this article, I will tell you about 10 such facts that every Indian must know.
- In the year 1919, the British Government passed the ‘Rowlatt’ Act. This act was brought to control the activities of Indian revolutionaries. In this act, the government used to get the right to arrest people on the basis of suspicion without conducting any trial. The seeds were sown at the core of this massacre by the Rowlatt Act.
- On April 10, 1919, two popular leaders Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Kichlu were arrested under this act. This arrest sparked anger across Punjab. People became so angry that there was a danger of provoking violent activity all over Punjab. On this, General Dyer issued an order on behalf of the government and banned the public meeting or gathering of the crowd in Amritsar.
- A public meeting was held on 13 April at Jallianwala Bagh. Due to Baisakhi on this day, a large number of devotees had gathered in the Golden Temple of the world. Around 6 to 10 thousand devotees returning from there started to gather at Jallianwala Bagh. Women and children were also among these devotees.
- Jallianwala Bagh was completely surrounded by houses. Whereas it had only two narrow lanes for the exit. General Dyer decided to take advantage of this opportunity.
- Dyer enters the ground with 90 soldiers after closing the main gate. All soldiers had loaded rifles in their hands. Dyer ordered the soldiers to shoot without waiting.
- The soldiers stopped firing only after firing about 1650 rounds and ending the bullets. The most colorful festival in Punjab was now bathed in blood. According to Amritsar civil surgeon Dr. Smith, the number of martyrs was more than 1800.
- There was a fast response to this massacre all over India. This incident is considered to be responsible for many events in India’s freedom struggle. Ravindra Nath Tagore returned his title of Knighthood after this scandal. Whereas Gandhiji had returned the title of Kaiser-i-Hind.
- The Hunter Commission was formed under the leadership of Lord Hunter to investigate this massacre. However, no one in India trusted this investigation. That is why the Congress gave the task of investigating the incident to Madan Mohan Malaviya, Motilal Nehru and Chittaranjan Das.
- However, the British government suspended Dyer due to the angry anger against General Dyer across India. He was later quietly summoned to Britain. However, later in London itself, Sardar Udham Singh killed General Michael O Dyer on 30 March 1940. This is considered revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on behalf of India. Michael O Dyer was the man who was considered a supporter and protector of Dyer.
- The Indian National Congress had built a memorial in memory of the innocent martyrs killed in this scandal. The memorial was inaugurated by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the country in the year 1961.
However, the incident that took place in that period cannot be changed in any way. But it is important that the incident burns in our hearts like a lamp. So, let us never forget those people who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
Jallianwala Bagh Memorial
After the passing of a resolution by the Indian National Congress in 1020, a trust was established to erect a memorial on the site. In 1923, the trust purchased land for the memorial project. A memorial, designed by the American architect Benjamin Polk, was built on the site and inaugurated on 13 April 1971 by the then President of India Rajendra Prasad in the presence of Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders.
Bullet bullets also appear on walls and surrounding buildings at this time. The well into which many people jumped and were trying to protect themselves from bullets is inside the park as a protected monument.
Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019
- The bill was passed by Parliament after it was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 19 November 2019, before it was passed in the Lok Sabha on 02 August 2019.
- Presenting the bill, Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said that Jallianwala Bagh is a national monument and in the year 2019, on the occasion of 100 years of the event, we want to free this monument from politics.
Major Provisions in the Bill
- The Jalianwala Bagh National Monument Act 1951 was amended by this bill.
- This amendment bill provides for the removal of the President of Congress as a permanent member of the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act.
- The Bill makes it clear that when there is no Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, only the leader of the largest opposition party will be made a Trustee.
- This bill has given the central government the right to remove a member of the trust before its term is completed.
- After this amendment, the President of the Indian National Congress shall cease to be an ex-officio member of the Trust. The leader of the opposition or the leader of the largest party in the Lok Sabha will be made a member instead.
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