Jallianwala Bagh Massacre: Where Questions Remained Unanswered?

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Last Updated on 12 April 2024 IST: The Jallianwala Bagh Hatyakand (Jallianwala Bagh Massacre) took place on April 13, 1919 when British Indian Army troops, under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer, fired indiscriminately at unarmed protesters and pilgrims gathered at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar Punjab on the occasion of Festival of Baisakhi. The British army blocked all the exits and began firing on them. Brigadier General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, usually called as General Dyer had instructed the soldiers not to stop firing until all their bullets were gone. Hundreds of Indians were killed. The genocide became a milestone in India’s liberation struggle.  

The Jallianwala Bagh Hatyakand (Massacre): Highlights

  • The massacre took place on April 13, 1919 at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, Punjab
  • The peaceful protest was against the Rowlatt Acts which allowed imprisonment without trial and judicial review. 
  • General Dyer (on the orders of Michael O’Dwyer) took over the charge to maintain law and order.
  • British troops under Brigadier General Dyer fired indiscriminately at unarmed protesters.
  • The incident of Jallianwala Bagh ignited the initial spark of independence amongst indians.
  • The BJP-led central government took over the renovation of the Jallianwala Bagh. 
  • Udham Singh killed Michael O’Dwyer (the one who ordered General Dyer to shoot) at Caxton Hall in London on March 13 1940.
  • Udham Singh was found guilty of murdering and hanged in July 1940. 
  • The real purpose of their human life still remained unsatisfied.

The Jallianwala Bagh Hatyakand (Massacre) Background

During World War I (1914-18) the British Indian government set up a series of repressive measures aimed at overthrowing any rebellion from Indian Freedom Fighters. Indians expected political independence after the war and hoped that restrictions imposed would be eased out but nothing happened that way. 

The Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms became the basis of new acts known as the Rowlatt Acts, approved by the British government in early 1919. The implementation of this act ensures that anyone can be imprisoned without trial and judicial review. Upon examining this, a sense of dissatisfaction and anger emerged among the Indians.

■ Read in Hindi: Jallianwala Bagh Massacre: सत्ता की भूख के कारण होती है “जलियांवाला बाग हत्याकांड” जैसी अमानवीय घटना

The news of the prominent Indian leaders’ arrest in Amritsar sparked violent protests on April 10 in which soldiers shot civilians, buildings looted and burned, and angry mobs killed scores of foreigners and severely beat a Christian missionary. Brigadier General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer banned public gatherings as a measure of terminating this protest.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre April 13, 1919: Sequence of Events

  • The British Government set out to suppress all opposition to the Rowlatt Acts.
  • For the celebrations of Baisakhi, the pilgrims had gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919.
  • To mark the unlawful arrest of two national leaders – Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew, some people were also doing peaceful protest at the location.
  • General Dyer’s orders prohibited assembly, and assumed that it was a political gathering at Jallianwala Bagh.
  • Brigadier-General Dyer entered the Bagh with his troops, ordered the closing of one and only exit point and ordered them to open fire without giving any warning.
  • 1650 rounds were fired till the ammunition had run out. 
  • 379 people died as per the figure given by General Dyer and Mr Irving. 
  • Whereas the figure was over 500 as per the reports of a Committee headed by Madan Mohan Malviya.
  • General Dyer received orders from Sir Michael O’ Dwyer, Lieutenant- Governor for the act and was approved by him. 
  • Newspaper media wrote against this act and both of them (Dyer and Dwyer) were criticized. 
  • A Hunter Commission was formed on October 14, 1919 to enquire about the incident.
  • Evidence was given by General Dyer before the commission of the act performed by him.
  • The Commission pointed out the massacre as one of the darkest episodes of the British Administration.
  • General Dyer was removed from service in 1920 on the recommendation of the Hunter Commission.
  • Udham Singh, an Indian freedom fighter, went to London and believed that Michael O’Dwyer was the main planner and had approved Dyer’s action. 
  • On March 13 1940, at Caxton Hall in London, Udham SIngh assassinated Michael O’Dwyer.
  • Sardar Udham Singh was subsequently tried and found guilty of murdering and hanged in July 1940.

The Massacre Sparked that Led to Indian Independence

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre incident shocked the entire nation. There was a huge protest by the Indians as they came on to the streets. Violent protests, strikes, police clashes along with destruction of government property was seen on the streets of the northern cities. The government responded with brutal pressure, seeking to humiliate and intimidate the people. As a result of the massacre, Nobel laureate and Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, who had been knighted by the British in 1915, renounced his knighthood. 

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Know about its History and After Effects

Indians who were initially favoring Britishers, started to act against them as they have lost faith in them after the incident. They were initially hesitant to act, but after the incident they started nonviolent protest (satyagraha) and the noncooperation movement (1920–22). Jallianwala Bagh was the first spark that led to Indian Independence Movement. This incident proved to be a nightmare for the Britishers as it united the entire nation and eventually forced them to leave the country in 1947. 

The Jallianwala Bagh Hatyakand (Massacre): Quotes

  • “1650 shots fired. Nation wounded forever.”
  • “A hundred years of the bloody Baisakhi.”
  • “Thousands died for the freedom of others. Salute to the Martyrs.”
  • “Their bloodstains still scream, their helplessness still haunts, their sacrifice still honored. Salute to the martyrs.”
  • “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • “People can be cruel, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it home, wrap yourself up in it and wear it.” – Darlene Cates
  • “It is hard to look the other way when a dictator is being so cruel and violent with his own people.” – Tammy Baldwin
  • “No people in the history of the world have ever been so misunderstood, so misjudged, and so cruelly maligned.” – John Brown Gordon

A New look to Jallianwala Bagh by the BJP Government 

Renovations are being done by the BJP led Central Government at Jallianwala Bagh in the year 2019. The intention was to preserve and restore this historic site. The beautiful entrance, light shows and galleries are all being renovated.

  • The heart of Bagh, the flame monument, the Shaheedi fountain have been repaired and restored, and four museums are created.
  • The body of water is renewed like a lily pond, and the lines have been widened for better navigation.
  • The gallery displays a historical number of events unfolding in Punjab at the time, with a combination of audio and visual technologies, including map recording and 3D representation, as well as art and photographic inclusions. 
  • A ‘Sound and Light’ exhibition has been set up to show the events who the martyrs were and how they were killed by the English that took place on April 13, 1919. 

Brig. Gen. Reginald Edward Harry Dyer Death Reason

It has been said that after this heinous crime General Dayer didn’t sleep peacefully for a second. Later he was paralysed. His health deteriorated day by day. On 23 July he died in Bristol.

The Real Purpose of Life till Remains Unsatisfied

The British government and its functionaries were engaged in maximization of wealth by hook or by crook. The Indian society was preparing to fight the foreign power to attain independence. Independence was their prime goal but in that process their human life was being wasted by Satan(Kaal Brahm) as they remained untouched with the path of Salvation. 

Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj says that just like the constant churning of the Persian wheel, ignorant souls seeking material success are constantly going up and down from heavens to the gallows, according to their karmic accounts. These karmic accounts cannot be canceled without taking refuge of a True Tatvdarshi Sant. A Tatvdarshi Sant or a Satguru graces humans with rare spiritual knowledge. Only He can differentiate this world as an abode of sorrows with another world where there is no misery. That place is the Eternal Supreme Abode the capital of Immortal Supreme God Kabir confers the ocean of happiness. Learn true Eternal Knowledge by downloading Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj App.

Interesting FAQs About Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

How many died at Jallianwala Bagh?

According to General Dyer and Mr Irving the figure was 379 people while according to a Committee headed by Madan Mohan Malviya the figure was above 500.

What happened in Jallianwala Bagh?

General Dyer from the British Government opened fire on innocent Indians celebrating Baisakhi and protesting peacefully for the unlawful arrest of their leaders and killed hundreds of people at Jallianwala Bagh. 

Who is the killer of Jallianwala Bagh?

General Dyer was the one who opened fire at innocent people at Jallianwala Bagh.

Was General Dyer punished?

He was removed from his services in the year 1920 on the orders of the Hunter Commission.

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