India, Britain mark colonial massacre centenary

16 April, 2019, 14:31 | Author: Myra Gill
  • 7 2019 an Indian girl looks at a painting of those killed ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar

India is remembering martyrs today (Saturday) on the 100th anniversary of Jallianwala Bagh.

A museum in the United Kingdom has launched an exhibition on Jallianwala Bagh in collaboration with the Partition Museum in Amritsar to mark the centenary of the British colonial era massacre.

The UK has made no official apology and Dominic Asquith, the high commissioner to India, on Saturday followed suit as he laid a wreath at the massacre site on Saturday.

Mr Rahul Gandhi, the head of the Indian National Congress opposition party, and Punjab Chief Minister Amrinder Singh were among the stream of visitors to the memorial yesterday.

Revisiting the event, its causes and aftermath, the nuanced exhibition explores what we remember, how we remember it, and what we have forgotten, in India and the UK, Manchester Museum said in a statement.

Within hours of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's absence at the main function to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by British forces, the Chief Minister on Sunday hit back. In the year 1919, thousands of people were killed in this massacre in Amritsar, but only 379 murders were reported in the figures of the British Government.

"The tragedy of Jallianwala Bagh of 1919 is a shameful scar on British Indian history".


Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "We pay homage to the martyrs of the horrific massacre of Jallianwala Bagh". Naidu also released a coin and a postal stamp to commemorate the event.

Demands by several past Indian leaders and politicians for Britain to apologize for the massacre have fallen on deaf ears.

The wounds of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre still haunt millions and should be laid to rest at this the centenary of the horrendous act, Veteran Indian-origin Labour MP Virendra Sharma, Chair of the Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group, said in the Commons. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahma Mohindra brought this proposal which was a voice note under the leadership of Amarinder Singh.

He spoke at a memorial marking the centenary of the attack at Jallianwala Bagh by British colonial troops against unarmed Indians attending a peaceful rally calling for independence. "We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused", Asquith wrote in the visitors' book at the memorial.

This was stated by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in his address to mark 100 years of the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy at a function organised by The Tribune at Bhargava auditorium here today.

"My own great grandfather, who was the prime minister for nearly a decade, had referred to this as one of the worst outrages in our whole history", he said.

May, however, stopped short of offering a formal apology.

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