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Can you tell me what is the significance of Jallianwala Bagh and what
happened during the masscre. How important is this event?
Dr Punjab's Response:
In Amritsar, India, on April 13, 1919, British troops under the command of General Reginald Dyer fired on unarmed people in the thickly crowded plaza at Jallianwala Bagh, leaving (by some estimates) 379 dead and 1200 wounded. A peaceful crowd had assembled in the walled plaza to protest the enactment of the Rowlett Act, which the British administration had issued to secure "emergency" powers for itself. The site of the massacre is now a National Shrine. And its also important to note that April 13th is Vasaikhi day, one of most important holidays in Punjab, and arguably the most important for the Sikhs.
The massacre at Jallianwala Bagh, in essence, marks the beginning of the decline of British rule in Asia ("the end of the Raj," as Alfred Draper puts it). One of the more intriguing addendums to the Amritsar massacre is the story of Uddham Singh (aka Mohammad Singh Azad), a Sikh nationalist who in 1939 murdered the Punjab`s former Lieutenant-Governor, Colonel O`Dwyer, in retatliation for the massacre O`Dwyer sanctioned twenty years earlier.
"He was the real culprit. He deserved it. He wanted to crush the spirit of my people, so I [had to] crush him."
Mohammad Singh Azad, in the above quote, told the trial court why he killed former Punjab Lieutenant-Governor Michael O`Dwyer.
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