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103 YEARS OF JALLIANWALA BAGH MASSACRE

Context

The horrible Jallianwala Bagh Massacre occurred 103 years ago, on April 13, 1919. It is still considered one of the country's darkest days in history. On this day, British Empire General Reginald Dyer ordered his men to open fire on the peaceful protesters at Jallianwala Bagh. The forces' firing killed around 379 people, and the entire nation was stunned as a result of this atrocity.

Key Points

  • Thousands of people came at Jallianwala Bagh to celebrate Baisakhi and peacefully protest the arrests of two leaders, Saifuddin Kitchlew and Satyapal. 
  • However, processions and public meetings were illegal in India at the time, and the peasants were ignorant of this.

Background

  • Dyer and his forces stormed the place, blocking the only access. 
  • Then he gave the order to shoot at defenceless civilians. 
  • Dyer later maintained that his behaviour was not intended to disperse the group but rather to punish the Indians who were present for disobedience. 
  • According to official British government numbers, 379 people were murdered and hundreds more severely injured. 
  • However, according to Congress, over 1,000 Indians were killed that day.

The incident's aftermath

  • Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore both criticised the unfair onslaught on peaceful protestors and resigned their Kaiser-i-Hind medals and British knighthoods in response. 
  • Protests were held across the country in response to the occurrence. 
  • Many people, including former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, condemned Dyer's actions. 
  • Following this occurrence, the Hunter commission was formed to investigate the incident, and Dyer was relieved of position once the commission's report was submitted. 
  • Dyer died on July 23, 1927, from a brain haemorrhage. 
  • Some historians consider this occurrence to be the beginning of the end of British control in India. 
  • Britain has never publicly apologised for the massacre, but it did express "deep remorse" in 2019.

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