Today is an unforgettable day in Indian history, the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, one of the worst atrocities of British colonial rule for which London has yet to apologize.
Several leaders of India and Britain has paid tribute to those who lost their lives . The list includes Congress president Rahul Gandhi, British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu etc.
Mr. Dominic has called the Jallianwala Bagh massacre a “shameful act in British-Indian history”. “The events of Jallianwala Bagh 100 years ago today reflects a shameful act in British-Indian history. We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused. I am pleased today that the UK and India have and remain committed to developing further a thriving 21st century partnership,” Mr Asquith said.
Political leaders and hundreds of people are expected to visit the memorial in Amritsar today.
“Today, when we observe 100 years of the horrific Jallianwala Bagh massacre, India pays tributes to all those martyred on that fateful day. Their valour and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Their memory inspires us to work even harder to build an India they would be proud of,” PM Modi tweeted.
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, as it is known in India, saw British troops, under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer, fire on thousands of unarmed men, women and children holding a pro-Independence demonstation in Amritsar on Baisakhi in April 1919. It is one of the darkest chapters of India’s freedom struggle against the British occupation.
Colonial-era records show about 400 people died in the massacre, but Indian figures put the toll at closer to 1,000.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu will release a commemorative coin and a commemorative postage stamp at today’s homage ceremony.
Although former British prime minister David Cameron had described the episode as “deeply shameful” in a visit to Amritsar in 2013 but was reluctant to apologize.
Theresa May had on Wednesday described the Jallianwala Bagh massacre as a “shameful scar” on British Indian history, but stopped short of a formal apology. Britain’s ppposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded that those who lost their lives in the massacre deserve a “full, clear and unequivocal apology for what took place”.