Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

So this is going to be a pretty serious article. So if you've been having a bad day DO NOT read this post.

Before I begin, I would like to make something very clear so that nobody gets offended. Because it is NOT my intention to do so. To all the amazing people who happen to be British, I love you people and don't by any means want to stereotype your people or insult your history. Just like all Germans aren't pro-Nazi, not everyone in the East India Company committed crimes against humanity. So, please don't take his post in a way it was not meant to be conveyed. And if I have hurt you, I apologize in advance.

To begin, the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. Anyone who has studied in an Indian curriculum,or studied Indian history basically would be familiar with this episode of Indian history. To those of you who don't, I'll try to explain it briefly:

During the Gandhi Era of the Indian freedom struggle, the scene in Amritsar became violent. General Dyer was sent to bring order to the city. Curfew, was implemented, disrupting the routine of hundreds of families.

In April 1919, two prominent leaders in the freedom struggle, Dr. Satayapal and Dr. Saifuddin Kichlew were arrested before a very prominent peaceful protest. The people of Amritsar were outraged. They decided to stage a non violent protest at the Jallianwala Bagh.

The Sunday of April 13 1919 was the day of Baisakhi, a important Sikh festival. Apparently, word  got around General Dyer about the peaceful protest earlier in the day. He proceed to ban all meetings on the said day and placed sources all around the city to sniff up even the slightest hint of rebellion.

But the details are not what the story is about. General Dyer found out about the open rebellion of his orders. His men surrounded the sole entrance cum exit of the public garden and open fire. The people who came to protest peacefully were trapped inside and being gunned down by the British soldiers.

The Martyrs Well at Jallianwala Bagh

They were in such a state of shock that couldn't react for the first few minutes. Then the whole crowd rose up and tried to flee. They were unarmed, they could not force their way past the entrance. So they all jumped into the well present in the middle of the garden. Thousands of men, women and children drowned themselves in that well to escape being shot by the seemingly endless fire of bullets.

Do you know when they stopped firing? When they ran out of cartridges. Thousands of lives were lost that day. People who had families, men who had wives to go back to, women who had children at home, youths who had their whole lives ahead of them. They had to give up their lives because of the lack of humanity in a sadistic General. Does that seem fair to you?

The General was brought back to England to face his trial. And there, he was hailed by some as a HERO. people refused to accept the fact that innocent, unarmed lives had been taken by that fiend. No,apparently innocent people were Barbarians if they did not accept foreign rule willingly.

Though there was one man who was not blinded by this. WINSTON CHURCHILL, the then Prime Minister of England declared the event as an outrage. He along with a majority of the British people did not agree to this injustice. Unfortunately, the man did not face much punishment and was let off almost scot-free.

But the lives of those people who died that day are still remembered. And they will continue to be remembered till the demise of India. These unsung lives will always remain as a harsh reminder of the sacrifices made to achieve a free nation.

May their souls find peace.

Zoe Summers

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