This year in 2019 we mark the 100th year of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, a tragedy which was the turning point in the freedom struggle and was a starting point to the end of British Rule in India.
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre also known as the Amritsar Massacre was a massacre which happened in the year 1919 in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar.
It was on April 13, 1919, on Baisakhi Day (Which is also Sikh new year) when over 5000 people have gathered in Jallianwala Bagh. When the military commander of Amritsar, O’ Dwyer heard that a meeting had assembled at Jallianwala Bagh, he believed that this was part of an attempt to rebel against the British and he went there with his troops and ordered them to shoot at the crowd without a warning.
Shooting continued for 10 minutes which resulted in more than 400 people dead, and thousands were injured. The Jallianwala Bagh was surrounded on all sides by houses and buildings and had few narrow entrances. When the shooting started people were unable to escape, they tried to climb the walls of the park, many jumped into a well inside the compound to escape bullets.
O’ Dwyer directed to aim and fire for maximum damage. Among who managed to escape was 21-year old Udham Singh Kamboj, who 21 years later avenged the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
Udham Singh Kamboj and his friends from the orphanage were at Jallianwala Bagh and they were given the duty to give water to the thirsty crowd when Dwyer arrived with his troops and opened fire on the crowd without warning.
On March 13, 1940, Udham Singh Kamboj sneaked into Caxton Hall, London where Michael O’ Dwyer was scheduled to speak at a meeting. He shot O’ Dwyer twice and didn’t try to flee or resist his arrest as he had fulfilled his vow he had taken on April 13, 1919, to avenge the Massacre.
Government of India has decided to mark the remembrance of 100 years of the historical Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. The Government is planning to renovate the historical site and beautify it by creating suitable infrastructure and providing basic amenities for the tourists. Along with it a special coin and postage stamps will be released on April 13, 2019.