Amritsar Massacre - Summary

Topics: Jallianwala Bagh massacre, British Empire, Amritsar Pages: 2 (704 words) Published: December 3, 2012
What do sources tell us about the Amritsar Massacre and how does this compare to how the film portrays it? Amritsar Massacre or “Jallianwala Bagh massacre’’, as it took place in on the 13th of April 1919 in Jallianwala Bagh garden in Amritsar, a city located in the north of India. General Reginald Edward Dyer had announced before 13 April that ‘’ any processions or gatherings of four men will be looked upon and treated as an unlawful assembly and dispersed by force of arms if necessary’’ (Cavendish, R., 2009). In the enclosed compound were about 5000 to 20 000 Indians according to different sources(Bose, P., & Lyons, L.,1999) They were in fact protesting peacefully against the “Rowlatt act” concerning the right of appeal for the people involved in seditious activities. Dyer placed the military vehicles in front of the only door of the garden and ordered the shooting of all the unarmed civilians. The shooting lasted until the British armed men ran out of ammunition. In fact, the military used approximately 1650 rounds of ammunition, killing 379 civilians and wounding 1136 others (Bose, P., & Lyons, L., 1999). The Amritsar Massacre is considered as a major turning point that led the British government to consider the possible independence of the Indian State as the massacre became source of controversies between the British officials and the Indian nationalists. All sources state clearly that the British government condemned the massacre and qualified it as ‘’unbritish’’. Churchill declared that the massacre was 'an extraordinary event, a monstrous event, an event which stands in singular and sinister isolation'. Dyer, standing before the commission charged of investigating the massacre, declared that he acted according to the rule of law, by engaging more precisely the ‘’minimum force’’ policy of public-order (Doyle, 2011). Subsequently, he also justified his action by the fact that the Indian nationals were defying the British authorities, and his action...
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