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“Thousands died for the freedom of billions.” 100 years passed, still the city hurts with the memories of blood stains and screams of innocent souls. Thousands of people were injured, hundreds of deaths from innocent children to respected elderly citizens. April 13, 1919 a day when hundreds sacrificed their lives without knowing why. A massacre for which we still did not get answer to. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the day of end of humanity, the day that can never be forgotten in the history of India. On the thirteenth of the month of April let us spend a minute remembering the innocent souls who were perished by the cruelty of mankind. In this article let us check the cause and impact of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
In this article we will give the reader a glimpse on series of events related to this massacre. The discussion topics are mentioned below
- What led to the drastic massacre?
- Rowlatt Act
- Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, April 13, 1919
- Hunter commission
- Response by nationalists
- Jallianwala Bagh Centenary Commemoration Committee (JBCCC)
- General Knowledge questions with answers on Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
What Led to the Drastic Massacre?
During the World War 1 (1914-1918) British India contributed to the British war effortlessly by providing resources and men. Millions of Indian Soldiers served in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. By this India expected in return to receive more political autonomy and ease. As many Indians had fought with the British during the First World War they expected much greater expectations after the war. The Montagu-Chelmsford Report presented to the British parliament in 1918 recommended only limited local self-government. Following this the Rowlatt act was passed in 1919 which extended the repressive wartime measures.
This act was responded by anger and discontent by the Indians. A One day general strike also was called in the month of April by Gandhi in response to this act. Many prominent leaders were arrested as a part of the rules set in the Rowlatt act. This angered the people in Amritsar which lead to violent protests on April 10, 1919.
Few rules and regulations set by Rowlatt Act and its significance are given below.
- The Rowlatt act was officially known as the Anarchial and Revolutionary Crimes Act, 1919.
- It was passed in March 1919 by the Imperial Legislative council
- This act was passed as per the recommendations of the Rowlatt committee which was chaired by Judge, Sir Sidney Rowlatt.
- This act authorised the British government to arrest anyone who was suspected of terrorist activities
- The British was also authorised to detain the arrested people up to 2 years without trial.
- It placed severe restrictions on the freedom of press
- It also empowered the police to search for a place without a warrant.
- This act was condemned by the Indian leaders and public
- The bills was known as Black Bills
- The British governments primary intention was to repress the growing nationalist movement in the country
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
- The protests continued to grow by the Indian leaders and public in response to the Rowlatt act passed
- On April 9, 1919 two nationalist leaders Saifuddin Kitchlew and Dr. Satyapal was arrested by the British officials because they had addressed the protests meetings.
- This led to the calling of a strike on April 10, 1919 by Gandhi to show their solidarity with the leaders who were arrested
- Soon protests in Punjab started turning violent. Brigadier- General Dyer was given handed over the responsibility to curb the protests and to enforce the law and order at Amritsar, Punjab.
- On April 13, 1919 the day of festival of Baisakhi in Jallianwala Bagh, A group of people had gathered. The crowd had nonviolent protestors and few of them were pilgrims who had come to celebrate the festival.
- Earlier on April 13 General Dyer had asked to ban all meetings but the notice was not widely disseminated. Unaware of this the villagers had gathered to celebrate the festival at the garden.
- General Dyer and troops entered the garden by blocking the main entrance and with no warning he and his team opened fire on the crowd for about ten minutes.
- Bullets were targeted towards the few gates that were open killing the unarmed people who were trying to flee.
- The firing killed 400 people including men, women and children. Over thousands were injured in this brutal incident.
- Jallianwala Bagh massacre is also known as Amritsar Massacre
- Hunters commission is a committee formed by the government on India on October 14, 1919 to inquire the events at Punjab
- It was named after the chairman William, Lord Hunter
- The purpose of the commission was to investigate the disturbances in Punjab, find the cause and bring measures to cope with the effects
- According to the report submitted by the commission the action of General dyer was strongly condemned
- No disciplinary action was taken against Dyer’s act
- However he was finally found guilty and relieved of his command on March 23.
- He was removed from his appointment and was prohibited from further employment in India
Response by Indian nationalists
- Rabindranath Tagore renounced his knighthood in protest.
- Mahatma Gandhi gave up the title of Kaiser-i-Hind, bestowed by the British for his work during the Boer War.
Jallianwala Bagh Centenary Commemoration Committee (JBCCC)
The JBCCC was set up to commemorate the 100th anniversary, hold a debate, and host an event at the House of Lords and to organize exhibitions in London, Birmingham and Manchester. The goal is to raise awareness of this unfortunate event and to request an apology from the British government.
Last year 2019, marked the 100th year of the brutal incident. JBCCC organized many exhibitions even at Amritsar to pay tribute and hour to the thousands of innocent people who lost their lives.
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Quiz – General Knowledge Questions with Answers
Please find the below GK questions that you need to prepare with for the Static GK sector of any competitive examination. The answers are highlighted.
1. Who among the following resigned from the membership of the Viceroy’s Executive Council as a protest against Jallianwala Bagh Massacre?
- P. Ramaswami Iyer
- Muhammad Ali Jinnah
- N. Sarma
- Shankaran Nair
2. Which among the following events took place immediately before the massacre at Jallianwala Bagh?
- Partition of Bengal
- Rowlatt Act
- Minto-Morley Reforms
- llbert Bill
3. Who was the Viceroy of India at the time of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre?
- Lord Curzon
- Lord Hardinge
- Lord Chelmsford
- Lord Irwin
4. Who among the following renounced their medal/membership in protest against Jallianwala Bagh Massacre?
- Shankaran Nair
- Rabindranath Tagore
- Mahatma Gandhi
5. Which one of the following commissions/committees was appointed by the British Government to investigate into the massacre in Jallianwala Bagh?
- Hunter Committee
- Welby Commission
- Simon Commission
- Butler Committee
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