13 April 2019   Leave a comment

Today is the 100th anniversary of the massacre of perhaps as many as 1,000 Indians by British soldiers at Jallianwala Bagh park in Amritsar. The slaughter occurred as Indians gathered at the park to celebrate Baisakhi, the Sikh new year. The celebration was also affected by the expectation of many Indians that the British would ease their colonial rule to reward the participation of Indian soldiers in World War I. Instead, British troops, led by British General Reginald Dyer who had been called in to respond to outbreaks of violence in Amritsar. Dyer was ruthless in his rule as described by The Guardian:

“He also had Indians whipped for not saluting him. But his most novel punishment was reserved for the street where a female British missionary had been assaulted. Any Indian crossing the street between 6am and 8pm had, he said, to ‘go through on all fours’. The order, enforced by British solders, meant Indians could only proceed ‘lying flat on their bellies and crawling exactly like reptiles’”.

Dyer was held in high regard by many Britons, but he is regarded by Indians as the “butcher of Amritsar.” The massacre was a turning point in the history of British rule in India and Indian leaders observe the anniversary and pay tribute to the martyrs,

Posted April 13, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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