Tag Archives: Jallianwala Bagh

APRIL 13 – Atmanirikshan Divas

APRIL 13 – Atmanirikshan Divas

Exactly 100years back on this very day more than 1000 innocent, unarmed men, women and children were brutally massacred.

1650 rounds were fired at them but many died in miserable pain just lying on the ground as their families were not given permission to pick up their bodies and the Government hospital run by Lt Colonel Smith turned the injured away calling them “rabid dogs.”

April 13, 1919 is a day no Bharatiya should forget. This was the day when the “Butcher of Amritsar” Brigadier General Reginald Dyer unleashed his barbarism on us Bharatiya.

Let us all pay homage to those martyrs.

Let us also ask how did a handful of people from far off lands and a little history (relative to Bharat’s over 8000years old) bleed us for almost 1000years?

How did the Hindu civilisation – which was born on the banks of Sindhu and Saraswati rivers (Indus valley, Pakistan), spread right from Gandhar (Kandahar, Afghanistan) to Kamboj (Cambodia), including Singapore,
Indonesia, Brunei and culturally dominating China and Japan (through Buddhism) – shrink so rapidly?

World’s oldest universities which attracted students from across the world, just like today’s American universities do, were from Bharat – Takshashila (today Pakistan) and Nalanda (Bihar). These two universities imparted education for free including stay and food. How did we lose this pioneering status in the field of education?

How did Alexander, Ghouris, Ghaznis, Khiljis, Tughlaqs, Mughals, Dutch, Portuguese, British and their ‘agents’ manage to unleash their brutality on us repeatedly?

Does the challenge lie within us Bharatiya? Does this call for introspection?

Should we observe April 13
as “Atmanirikshan Divas” or Introspection Day?

Leave you to decide.

Uttishtha Bharat🙏🏻🇮🇳

Some facts on Jalianwala Baug massacre

Date – April 13, 1919*

Day – Festival of Baisakhi

Rounds fired – 1650

Innocent, unarmed dead – more than 1000 (Source: renowned educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya who was Congress Party President for 4 terms)

Age of youngest shot dead: Seven-month baby

Age of oldest shot dead: 80years old

Brigadier General Reginald Dyer’s reaction after all the ammunition (1650 rounds) was over – “Good shooting. We have done a jolly good thing.” (Source: Midnight’s Children a novel by Salman Rushdie page 36)

The reaction of Lt Colonel Smith, Government Doctor – turned away the injured from the government hospital and called them “rabid dogs”

The reaction of Rudyard Kipling (Jungle Book fame) – Gen Dyer was “the man who saved India”

Reaction to a massacre in Britain – “Thanks to the munificence of Morning Post newspaper, a conservative pro-Imperialistic newspaper, which later merged with the Daily Telegraph. To raise funds for the hero of Jallianwalla Bagh, the celebrated newspaper made an appeal for a generous donation from the public, eventually, they received enough funds. Gen. Dyer was given warm reception on his return to England, where he was received like a victorious war hero and awarded a purse of £26,000.00 (approximately £1,000,000 in terms of 2013 PPP) for his patriotic service to the nation” (Source: The Butcher of Amritsar, General Reginald Dyer by Nigel Collett)

August 15, 1947 – “When the British hastily retreated in 1947, their rapacious administrators were replaced by a class of Indians derisively described as Macaulayites – Indians only in name but who were otherwise disconnected from Indian culture and thought. These Indians had inherited all the biases that the British rulers harboured towards Indians. They were the product of Thomas Macaulay’s English Education Act of 1835 whose sole purpose was to create a class of people who would assist the British in administering India.” (Source: Rakesh Krishnan Simha, Demography – Persecution and Proselytisation)

Udham Singh – A Lion With Perseverance

Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre : On Baiskahi day in 1919, Michael O Dwyer who was the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab approved General Reginald Dyer massacre of the peaceful gathering. In a telegram sent to Dyer, British Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, Sir Michael O’Dwyer wrote: “Your action is correct. Lieutenant Governor approves.”
( Disorder Inquiry Committee Report, Vol II, p 197).

Udham Singh was 20 years at that point of time and he resolved that he would avenge the massacre . He primarily held Lt.Governor Michael O Dwyer to be responsible for the massacre of Jallianwala Bagh.

The Lion moves around the world : Udham moved around the world including US and Italy and also worked closely with the legendary Sohan Singh Bhakna, the founder of the Gadar Party in the US. India’s freedom movement abroad, viz building a voice around the world was primarily the handiwork of people like Udham Singh.

He was finally able to reach London in 1934 via Italy, France, Switzerland and Austria.

The Lion Strikes : Despite numerous opportunities to strike, Singh awaited a right time when he could make more impact with the killing and internationalize the event. A joint meeting of the East India Association and the Royal Central Asian Society was scheduled at Caxton Hall and among the speakers was Michael O’Dwyer. Singh concealed his revolver in a book specially cut for the purpose and managed to enter Caxton Hall. He took up his position against the wall. At the end of the meeting, the gathering stood up, and O’Dwyer moved towards the platform to talk to Lord Zetland. Singh pulled his revolver and fired. O’Dwyer was hit twice and died immediately. This was on 13th March 1940, 21 years after the massacre.

Living Upto A Pledge : He lived up to his pledge made 21 years back. Many of us take pledges during times of distress but then lack the patience to see it fulfil through our toil and sweat. Udham Singh lived upto the tradition of the Sri Rama who took a pledge at the age of 13 to free the earth of Rakshasas and lived upto it.

His last words were equally inspirational as was his commitment to a pledge.
” ‘I don’t care, I don’t mind dying. What Is the use of waiting till you get old? This Is no good. You want to die when you are young. That is good, that Is what I am doing’.

After a pause he added:

‘I am dying for my country’.

In a statement given on March 13th, 1940 be said:

‘I just shot to make protest. I have seen people starving In India under British Imperialism. I done it, the pistol went off three or four times. I am not sorry for protesting. It was my duty to do so. Put some more. Just for the sake of my country to protest. I do not mind my sentence. Ten, twenty, or fifty years or to be hanged. I done my duty.’

In a letter from Brixton Prison of 30th March, 1940, Udham Singh refers to Bhagat Singh in the following terms:

‘I never afraid of dying so soon I will be getting married with execution. I am not sorry as I am a soldier of my country it is since 10 years when my friend has left me behind and I am sure after my death I will see him as he is waiting for me it was 23rd and I hope they will hang me on the same date as he was.’

On 31 July 1940, Udham Singh was hanged at Pentonville Prison and his body buried in the prison grounds inspite of his request that his ashes be sent to Bharat. It was only in July 1974 that Udham Singh’s remains were exhumed and repatriated to Bharat at the persistent request of S. Sadhu Singh Thind, an MLA. His ashes received a tumultous welcome.

31st July is Udham Singh’s Balidaan Divas.