Short essay on the Jallianwalabag Massacre


a. Jallianwalabag Incident :

In connection with the anti-Rowlatt agitation the British Police authorities in Punjab put under arrest two most popular Congressite leaders, namely, Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Kitchlew.

In protest against the arrest peaceful demonstrations were held all over the country, and obviously, the intensity of demonstration in Punjab was much higher than anywhere else.


On 13 April, 1919 about 10,000 peaceful crowds assembled at the Jallianwalabag (garden) in Amritsar to attend a protest-meeting defying the prohibitive order issued by Michael O’ Dwyer, the Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab.

Incidentaly, the Jallianwalabag was a disused garden with its three sides obstructed by massive buildings. Only on one side there was no building and four or five narrow lanes led into die Bagh.

However, when the assembled crowd was listening to the speeches Brigadier Dyer deployed troops and suddenly opened fire to the crowd without any previous warning.

According to various estimates about 1000 people were killed and a few hundreds injured. The incident is remembered as one of the shameful acts on the part of the British government in India.


b. Indian Reaction:

In the Jallianwalabag Massacre about 1000 people were killed and many times the number injured. But more important that the number of persons killed or injured was the barbarous attack on the people by the British forces that had no parallel in the annals of history. The Jallianwalabag incident far from lessening the antipathy of the Indians towards the British further increased it.

Thousands of hitherto uncommitted people were drawn into the freedom struggle. The blow was so stunning that Rabindranath Tagore renounced his Knighthood in protest against the incident calling it “a monstrous progeny of a monstrous war”.

Leaders like Malaviya and Motilal Nehru hastened to Amritsar where the Indian National Congress held its session with MotMal as the President. The Jallianwalabag Massacre left bitter memories and prepared the background for the Non Co-operation movement that Gandhiji started in 1920.

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