GS Paper 1:
Topics Covered: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
On April 13, 1919, British forces opened fire on unarmed Indians at Jallianwala Bagh killing hundreds of people.
- 13th April, 2022 marks the 103 years of the incident.
About the incident:
- It was Baisakhi that day, Local residents in Amritsar decided to hold a meeting that day to discuss and protest against the confinement of Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew, two leaders fighting for Independence, and implementation of the Rowlatt Act, which armed the British government with powers to detain any person without trial.
- The crowd had a mix of men, women and children. They all gathered in a park called the Jallianwala Bagh, walled on all sides but for a few small gates, against the orders of the British. While the meeting was on, Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, who had crept up to the scene wanting to teach the public assembled a lesson, ordered 90 soldiers he had brought with him to the venue to open fire on the crowd. Many tried in vain to scale the walls to escape. Many jumped into the well located inside the park.
- Considered ‘The Butcher of Amritsar’in the aftermath of the massacre, General Dyer was removed from command and exiled to Britain.
- Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi, as a sign of condemnation, renounced their British Knighthood and Kaiser-i-Hind medal respectively.
- In 1922, the infamous Rowlett Act was repealed by the British.
Did you know that the Gujarat government recently marked 100 years of the Pal-Dadhvav killings, calling it a massacre “bigger than the Jallianwala Bagh”? Reference: read this.
- Who was the Viceroy when this incident took place?
- Outcomes of the incident?
- What is Rowlatt Act?
The tragedy of Jallianwala Bagh is a shameful scar on British Indian history. Comment.
Sources: the Hindu.