How Reginald Dyer, the General who ordered Jallianwala Bagh massacre, was honoured by some Indians

“I fired and continued to fire until the crowd dispersed, and I consider this is the least amount of firing which would produce the necessary moral and widespread effect it was my duty to produce if I was to justify my action. If more troops had been at hand, the casualties would have been greater in proportion. It was no longer a question of merely dispersing the crowd, but one of producing a sufficient moral effect from a military point of view not only on those present but more especially throughout the Punjab. There could be no question of undue severity.”

General Dyer defending his actions on April 13, 1919, in Jallianwala Bagh

Jallianwala Bagh massacre by the British was one of the worst events in the history of India. As per British official records, 379 unarmed Indians were killed and 1100 were injured because of a British General’s merciless massacre in Amritsar’s Jallianwala Bagh. Other sources claim that the number of people killed was as high as 1000 and 1500 Indians had been injured in the massacre. Several accounts give different numbers. The General decided to fire upon the people gathered in the field because they had defied his orders not to step out.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

The reason for the gathering as per some accounts was to protest against the arrest and deportation of two leaders Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew. Other accounts suggest that many of those who were present were unaware of the martial law order which banned gatherings in Amritsar.

An account of the tragedy according to a book ‘The Jurisprudence of Emergency’ by Nasser Hussain [PDF] is reproduced below (emphasis added) :

In Amritsar, 13 April 1919 was a day marked by the heat and dust characteristic of the Punjab at that time of the year. General Dyer, who had been in the city since 11 April, spent the morning marching around the city, reading a proclamation forbidding the residents from leaving the city or gathering in processions or assemblies. By 1:00 P.M., however, finding the weather too hot, he returned to his headquarters. Soon after, he received reports that an alternative procession during the morning was announcing a gathering at Jallianwala Bagh at 4:30 P.M.

The city was observing the fourth consecutive day of Hartal or general strike, and there were funerals being held for people shot by the military on 10 April. Adding to this tension was the fact that many people had come into the city from out of town, as it was the day of the Baisakhi festival—the Hindu New Year. It is estimated that by the afternoon some twenty thousand people had assembled in the bagh, some in open defiance of General Dyer’s proclamation, but others merely in the spirit of the festival, as the bagh was adjacent to the holy Golden Temple. By 4:00 P.M. General Dyer received information that the meeting was being held and immediately set out with his troops and armoured vehicles

Jallianwala Bagh was actually not a park or garden at all, but an unused ground in the shape of an irregular rectangle about 250 yards long and 200 yards wide. Houses built with their back walls to the area had effectively enclosed it on three sides. The fourth side had a boundary wall of around 5 feet, with a few narrow lanes serving as exits. Unable to get his armoured cars through these lanes, General Dyer approached the ground on foot and stationed his troops, twenty-five on either side of him.

Then without any warning, he opened fire. In the panic that followed, some people lay on the ground to avoid the bullets but were trampled as others rushed toward the exits. As the crowd thickened around such points, General Dyer directed the fire at them. The firing lasted for ten to fifteen minutes, and a total of 1,650 rounds of ammunition were used. Only after nearly running out of ammunition did General Dyer cease firing and withdraw, without determining the casualties or providing for any medical assistance. The official estimate, later on, was that 379 people had been killed, with thousands more seriously injured.

What is more insensitive was that some British conservatives cheered him and worse still, some Indian elites collected money for General Dyer as he was forced to retire from service for his brutal act. The Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling called him ‘the man who saved India’ and initiated collections for his homecoming prize.

The Governor of Punjab Micheal O’Dwyer supported Dyer’s actions. O’Dwyer was dismissed for his actions in Punjab in the subsequent year. In spite of this, both O’Dwyer and General Dyer had Indian and English admirers. They collected money worth 26,000 euros and presented it to Dyer. General Dyer was made an honorary Sikh as per the book  ‘The Butcher of Amritsar: General Reginald Dyer’ by Nigel Collet.

An article in India Today claims that Governor O’Dwyer was also given a fund of rupees 1.75 lakh collected by Punjabi elite like Kunj Bihari Thapar, Umar Hayat Khan, Chaudhary Gajjan Singh and Rai Bahadur Lal Chand. It is indeed tragic to know that the British had such loyal support in India even after their brutal act in Jallianwala Bagh.


Share This Post and Support:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Most read articles recently

Pakistanis get scared about attack by India after seeing their own Air Force fighter jets flying over civilian areas

Several people posted on social media that India has dropped bombs over Sialkot in Pakistan
Locals even pelted stones at injured jawans

Pulwama attack: Women, children in Kashmir ferried expensive military grade RDX in small quantities for months

The trigger for the explosive was manufactured locally and that ammonium nitrate was used as an oxidizer in the RDX explosive. The military grade RDX was obtained from Pakistan and the device was assembled around 10 km from the blast site.
Image Source: Twitter

Fearing India’s retaliation, Pakistan cancels leaves of its troops, uses flares to light up night sky to see movement of Indian troops

Pakistani administration has asked people to stay in underground bunkers, which could protect them from shelling or any form of attacks which could come from the other side of the border.

Waters of 3 rivers flowing into Pakistan will be diverted to Yamuna as per Indus Water Treaty: Nitin Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari had said that dams and other developmental projects are being conceptualised on the 3 rivers will choke Pakistan’s water supply

Congress workers used to do booth capturing for me and my father when there was no EVM : Congress leader Kirti Azad

Kirti Azad was suspended from the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2015 after he accused senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley of Corruption.

After Ajaz Ashraf of Caravan reduced martyrs to their caste, he shouldn’t play victim when he is reduced to his religion

In his report, Ajaz Ashraf says quite clearly that he called the martyrs of the family to in their moment of unimaginable tragedy to inquire about their caste.
Image Source: The Week

Mandya: Actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj attends funeral of Pulwama martyr, villagers expose his hypocrisy towards Armed Forces

Prakash Raj, a left wing ideologue, who is often known for joining hands with the left-liberals to express their hate towards Hindus and the BJP, has plans to contest in the upcoming elections from Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha constituency.
After expressing excitement over Parliament attack, Rajdeep Sardesai says “World Cup without Pakistan in England is unthinkable" on the basis of 'one terror attack’

After expressing excitement over Parliament attack, Rajdeep Sardesai says ‘World Cup without Pakistan in England is unthinkable’ on the basis of ‘one terror attack’

Rajdeep Sardesai, who often fantasise Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has also expressed his disappointment over the removal of Imran Khan's portrait from the Cricket Club of India, Mumbai.
How Ravish Kumar and Vinod Dua misled people about ‘martyr status’ to CRPF jawans after Pulwama attack

How Ravish Kumar and Vinod Dua misled people about ‘martyr status’ to CRPF jawans

Ravish Kumar of NDTV is a man known for many lows. But this may well be his lowest point.

Gurmehar Kaur mouths off platitudes on Pulwama attack, says Incidents like this create political polarisation against minorities

Kaur, a self-proclaimed peace activist, speaking on the Pulwama terrorist attck express concerns over the political aftermath, not the religious hatred that was behind the attack.

Latest articles

Connect with us

138,383FansLike
111,316FollowersFollow
23,491SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these