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Jallianwala Bagh Massacre: The Fall of Humanity
13 April 1919, Amritsar
Large numbers of men, women and children killed in Amritsar as a result of the gruesome massacre in Jallianwala Bagh, which is completely enclosed by walls and has only one exit.
Many had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh on the afternoon of 13th April, yesterday, in celebration of the festival Baisakhi, as well as to protest the implementation of the Rowlatt Act and other discriminatory laws imposed by the colonial government. The
Rowlatt Act, February 1919, is a legislation passed by the Imperial Legislative Council and allowed certain political cases to be tried without juries and permitted internment of suspects without trial.
Last week, the colonial government imposed a ban on public gatherings in order to curb the rising nationalism among Indians. General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer was assigned to ensure the implementation of these rules. The Jallianwala Bagh gathering, therefore, was a direct defiance to this ban.
General Dyer and his soldiers sealed the single exit of Jallianwala Bagh and fired bullets at the unarmed citizens, young and old alike. Many were gravely injured and many others were shot to death. Those who attempted to escape by climbing the walls were physically restrained and killed by General Dyer’s soldiers.
Many citizens jumped inside the well in the garden, falling to their death, in order to escape the gunfire. Eyewitnesses claim that those who jumped in the well did so as they wished to die a martyr, as opposed to a shameful death at the hands of the British soldiers.
As of now, the Seva Samiti has identified 379 dead, comprising 337 men, 41 boys and a six-week-old baby, with approximately 1,100 wounded, of which 192 were seriously injured. However other estimates, from government civil servants in the city (commissioned by the Punjab Sub-committee of Indian National Congress), as well as counts from the Home Political, cite numbers of well over a thousand dead.
According to a Home Political Deposit report, the number was more than 1,000, with over 1,200 wounded. Dr. Smith, a British civil surgeon at Amritsar, estimated that there were over 1,800 casualties.
Many Indians are hesitant to defy the British government, but this gruesome massacre is evidence of their ruthlessness. Amicable compliance was the main reason for the establishment of the colonial rule. Citizens fear for their lives against the massive power of British officials, but must we really ignore the murder of our own people?
Revolution is chaotic, but it is every Indian citizen’s duty to stand with those who fight against tyranny. Let us defend our land.
© 2020 Medini Rajan