A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR THE 104TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE JALLIANWALA BAGH MASSACRE
As we remember the Jallianwala Bagh massacre’s 104th anniversary, we pay respect to the victims and consider how this tragic incident affected India’s fight for independence.
The tragic Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which took place in Amritsar, Punjab, on April 13, 1919, continues to serve as a somber reminder of the atrocities committed against the Indian people while the British Empire was in power. The massacre turned the tide in India’s struggle for independence by escalating the country’s demand for independence and freedom from British rule.
The event’s context
The Rowlatt Act, a contentious piece of legislation passed by the British colonial government in 1919, served as a backdrop for the massacre. The Act gave the government the authority to detain and arrest Indian citizens without giving them a chance to defend themselves, which sparked widespread unrest across the country.
A gathering of the public was organized at Amritsar’s Jallianwala Bagh garden to protest the Act and show support for the leaders who had been detained as a result of its provisions during this time of unrest.
Thousands of Indians gathered at Jallianwala Bagh on the fateful day of April 13, 1919. It was surrounded by high walls on all sides and had only a narrow entrance. Men, women, and kids were present, many of whom had come to observe the Baisakhi festival, which occurs in the spring. It was an unarmed, peaceful gathering.
Brigadier General Reginald Dyer, the British officer in charge of the Amritsar region, decided to use force to disperse the crowd without informing the protesters. Dyer entered Jallianwala Bagh while the protesters were assembling, and without giving them any prior notice, he gave the order for the fifty armed soldiers to begin firing on the crowd.
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A total of 379 people are believed to have died and over a thousand were injured as a result of the soldiers’ ten-minute round after round of firing. Men, women, and children were all killed in the massacre, which was committed with no regard for who was being killed. Following the incident, General Dyer defended his actions by claiming that they were required to uphold order and avoid more chaos.
The response and Outcomes
World outrage was sparked by the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which shocked everyone and caused it to become a global news story. The horrific incident fueled India’s fight for independence, and many nationalists who had previously taken a more moderate stance on the issue of self-governance changed their minds.
Some people in Britain at first defended the massacre, even hailing General Dyer as the “Savior of Punjab.” However, as the full scope of the atrocity came to light, public sentiment shifted against Dyer, and he ultimately lost his position of command.
The event’s repercussions
An irreparable stain on the past of British colonial rule in India, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre still haunts us today. Today, the massacre site serves as a memorial, where thousands of people come each year to pay respects to the victims of the tragedy.
The occurrence is an upsetting example of the atrocities of colonization and the sacrifices that were made by innumerable Indians in their struggle for independence.
As we pay tributes to the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh massacre victims today, we are reminded of how crucial it is to stand up for liberty, justice, and human rights.