Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the reconstructed Jallianwala Bagh memorial in Amritsar to the country on Saturday, with four museum galleries, a repaired well, and enhanced tourist amenities.
- “Shaheedi well” or martyrdom well has been repaired and reconstructed with a redefined super structure.
- A sound and light performance to be included in the memorial to commemorate the events of April 13, 1919, when British troops opened fire on a peaceful gathering at Jallianwala Bagh.
- The restorations included repairing the flame monument, rejuvenating a water body, and widening routes for easier travel.
- On April 9, two nationalist leaders, Saifuddin Kitchlew (Founder of Naujawan Bharat Sabha) and Dr Satyapal, were detained by British officials for no apparent reason other than that they had spoken at protest meetings. They were brought to an unknown location.
- This infuriated Indian protestors, who turned out in droves on April 10 to express their support for their leaders. The protests quickly became violent when the police resorted to firing, resulting in the deaths of several protestors.
- By that time, the city had returned to normalcy, and the protests had become peaceful. On April 13 (also Baisakhi), Dyer issued a proclamation prohibiting people from leaving the city without a pass, organising demonstrations or processions, or assembling in groups of more than three.
- On Baisakhi day, a big crowd of people, largely from nearby villages, congregated in the Jallianwala Bagh, a popular public space, unaware of the city’s prohibitory orders. The army surrounded the throng, barricaded the only exit, and opened fire on the defenceless populace under General Dyer’s instructions.
- 379 people were killed, and many more were injured.
- Gandhi renounced the title of Kaiser-i-Hind, which the British had bestowed on him for his service during the Boer War.
- On April 18, 1919, Gandhi was overcome by the environment of complete violence and withdrew the campaign.
- The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, according to historian A.P.J Taylor, was the “decisive moment when Indians were alienated from British rule.”
- In the Imperial Legislative Council, two bills were introduced. One was dropped, but the other—a Defense of India Regulations Act 1915 extension—was passed in March 1919.
- It was the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act, and it was more well known as the Rowlatt Act.
- It was based on the recommendations of the Rowlatt Commission, which was headed by British judge Sir Sidney Rowlatt and entrusted with investigating the Indian people’s “seditious conspiracies.”
- Political activists could be convicted without a jury or even imprisoned without a trial under the statute. It made it possible to detain Indians without a warrant if they were suspected of treason.
- The foundation of civic liberty, the law of habeas corpus, was sought to be suspended. The government’s goal was to create a permanent statute to replace the restrictive measures of the wartime Defence of India Act (1915).
The Inquiry commission
- The Government of India announced the formation of the Disorders Inquiry Committee on October 14, 1919, which came to be known as the Hunter Committee/Commission.
- “Examine recent disturbances in Bombay, Delhi, and Punjab, their causes, and the actions taken to quell them,” the commission’s mandate stated.
- Sir ChimanlalHarilal Setalvad, Pandit Jagat Narayan and Sardar Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Khan were the Indians among the members.
- On May 26, 1920, the commission submitted its report. It was determined that the gathering was not the result of an Indian scheme. Punjab’s declaration of martial law was legitimate. It also found that Dyer’s firing at the mob was justified, with the exception that he should have given a warning first and that the fire time should have been reduced.
- The Indian members of the commission gave the following report: It questioned the necessity of martial law at the time, as well as the severity of the unrest.
- The government at the time provided Rs. 15000 to the dependents of those murdered in the Bagh and Rs. 12000 to those who died in Punjab villages.
Response by Indian:
- The introduction of martial law in Punjab and the carnage at Jallianwalla Bagh revealed the foreign rule’s savage and uncivilized aspect.
- The Hunter Committee’s investigation of the atrocities in Punjab turned out to be a sham. In fact, the House of Lords (the British Parliament) backed General Dyer’s actions, and the British public showed support for him by donating 30,000 pounds to The Morning Post.
The Start of Non-Cooperation Movement
- The All-India Khilafat Committee has Gandhi as its President.
- Gandhi’s stance was hardened by the treaty with Turkey and the provisions of the Hunter Committee Report on the Punjab riots.
- On August 1, 1920, the non-cooperation movement began.