Britain must apologise for colonial-era massacre

Adjust Comment Print

The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust was founded in 1920 to build the memorial at the site.

Almost 100 years later, it remains a controversial subject as many British dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Phillip, and former prime minister David Cameron, have visited Jallianwala Bagh to pay their respects. "Our thoughts are with all those who died", he wrote.

This is not the first time a British politician has called on the government to apologise for the killing of hundreds when troops from the British Indian Army led by Brig Reginald Dyer opened fire on unarmed protesters on April 13, 1919. He described it as "an extraordinary event, a monstrous event, an event which stands in singular and sinister isolation" and which was "not the British way of doing business". The tragedy in 1919 on Baisakhi is one we must never forget. I have seen the wall where women and children fled and eventually died. The victims had no place to escape as the only narrow entrance was blocked by the troops. Colonial-era records put the death toll at around 400, while leaders of the country's freedom movement said over 1,000 were killed.

Former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron visited Amritsar at the end of a trade mission to India four years ago in a show of contrition over the massacre but stopped short of making a formal apology.

Over the years, several MPs and politicians of Indian and South Asian-origin have asked the United Kingdom government to offer an apology to the Indian people but members of the royal family and British premiers have never gone that far during their visits to India. He met with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, several other officials and prominent personalities.

Ladbrokes Coral in talks over takeover by GVC
The tie-up would put the newly formed group in a strong position in major markets such as the UK, Italy and Australia, it added. The news comes after the Financial Times newspaper in October reported that a merger deal between the two companies was close.

Khan, later December 6, visited the Golden Temple complex, where Harmandir Sahib, the holiest of Sikh shrines, is located and offered prayers.

Mr Khan was also presented with a Siropa (robe of honour) by the officials of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

Mr Khan also visited the Langar hall, the largest community kitchen in the world, of the shrine complex and partook langar while sitting on the floor.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, "The Jallianwala Bagh massacre is one of the most horrific events in Indian history".

Comments