Jallianwala Bagh Massacre occurred on 13th April 1919 at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, in the state of Punjab. It was a cold-blooded murder of Indians which was executed by an acting Brigadier General named Reginald Dyer.
Short and Long Essay on Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
Essay 1 (250 Words) - The Massacre: New Precedent of Barbarism
On 13th April 1919 thousands of innocent Indians lost their lives at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, Punjab. The dead included women and children who were on the way back to their homes after visiting the Golden Temple.
The Massacre – New Precedent of Barbarism
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre that occurred on 13th April 1919 was a new precedent on Barbarism, constituted by an oppressive ideology of the British Indian government.
I wake of some protests; the British government had imposed Martial Law in Amritsar, Punjab. The law prohibited public gatherings and movements from one place to another. However, the warning wasn’t conveyed to the masses on time, causing a large number of people gathering for the annual Baisakhi fair, on 13th April. But, the local administration cleared off the area, forcing the visitors to move away. Many of them went to the Golden Temple while others headed to Jallianwala Bagh as it was the only large ground available and the rest of the city was under martial law.
This irked a British Brigadier General named Reginald Dyer, ordered his troop to fire indiscriminately at the people gathered inside the Jallianwala Bagh. The only main exit which also worked as an exit was blocked by the Dyer. All the other exit gates were too narrow and were also closed. Poor people had nowhere to go and around 500 to 600 were shot dead and thousands were injured, many critically injured.
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre was the most barbaric and well thought out cold blood mass murder of innocent Indians on Indian soil. Nothing could have ever justified such atrocity on innocent and unarmed civilians and the day is the darkest day in India’s freedom struggle.
Essay 2 (400 Words) - Jallianwala Bagh Massacre: How this Fateful Incident Took Place
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre is the mass murder of innocent Indians that took place on 13 April 1919 at Jallianwala located in the center of Amritsar in Punjab. The massacre, which resulted in the loss of life of innocent citizens and injured thousands, was perpetrated by a British acting Brigadier General named Reginald Dyer.
The Brewing Unrest
The circumstances that led to the massacre had been brewing up in the last three to four years, particularly in the state of Punjab. It all started with the 1915 Defence of India Act and the 1919 Rowlett Act. Both acts were pressed in by the British government to curb the civil liberties of Indians. This was done fearing an 1857 mutiny like organized uprising once again by the Indian extremist groups and political parties.
After the Rowlett Act was passed, turn of events, resulted in the arrest of two freedom fighters from Punjab, namely, Satyapal and Saifuddin Kitchlew. On 10th April 1919, protesters demanding the release of Satyapal and Kitchlew, were fired at in Amritsar, resulting in several deaths. This incident was the trigger of large violent protests all throughout Punjab. In the wake of the violent uprising, the British government pressed Martial Law in the state of Punjab.
On 12th April, the eve of massacre, Hans Raj, an associate of Kitchlew, made the announcement of a public protest meeting at 06:30 PM the following day, on April 13th at Jallianwala Bagh. The meeting was to be peaceful in nature wherein the future strategy for the release of leaders would be discussed. Fatefully, April 13th was also the Vaisakhi day.
The Fateful Incident
A large fair on Baisakhi was held in Amritsar. Small merchants and crowds from nearby areas visit the fair for doing business and for entertainment. With the government pressing Martial Law, any kind of public gathering was prohibited and so the fair automatically became cancelled. This made the crowd consisting of small merchants, women, children, and families, turning up to Jallianwala Bagh before finally heading for home.
By the evening thousands have gathered in the Bag. In the meanwhile, General Dyer was informed about the gathering. At around 06:30 PM, he marched in the Bagh with his army contingent and opened fire at the unsuspecting and unarmed crowd. No attempt to disperse the crowd, whatsoever, was made neither by the General nor any other official. The firing continued for around fifteen minutes, resulting in over 500 deaths and thousands of injured.
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre was the worst and the most saddening incident ever in the history of India. It brings to fore the true face of imperialism and makes freedom all the more valuable.
Essay 3 (600 Words) - Reason behind Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre is the massacre of a crowd of Indians gathered at Jallianwala Bagh located in Amritsar in Punjab state. The incident took place on 13th April 1919 and was premeditated by an acting Brigadier General named Reginald Dyer or General Dyer.
In The Background
Before the Jallianwala Massacre, there were two acts implemented by the British government, leading to a high level of unrest among the Indian masses – these were the Defence of India Act 1915 and the Rowlatt Act 1919.
During World War I (1914-1918), Indian soldiers participated in large numbers for the British, in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Even Indian labours were sent in large numbers by the British government of India. The involvement of Indian soldiers and labours in World War I was opposed by certain political factions and also the general population of India.
India’s huge money and resources were wasted in fighting for the British in the world war. This gave rise to a mutiny of kind in West Bengal and Punjab, that near around made the local British administration defunct. Therefore, sensing a mass uprising the British government brought the Defence of India Act in 1915, to curtail the civil liberties of Indian citizens.
To make the situation worst Rowlett Act was passed on 10th March 1919 which was only an extension of the Defense of India Act and further curtailed civil liberties.
Unrest in Punjab
The Rowlett Act initiated huge political unrest in India. People came down to streets protesting against the Act. The situation was particularly worst in Punjab, where thousands of protesters gathered at the Amritsar’s Deputy Commissioner’s residence on 1st April 1919. They were demanding the release of two Indian leaders – Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew. Reportedly a military picket present at the location, shot at the protesters, killing several of them.
This instigated a series of violent protests all over Punjab. On the evening of 12th April, a day before the massacre; a peaceful meeting was organized by supporters of Kitchlew to plan for his release.
The Day of Massacre
Following the violent protests, the British administration was fearing an 1857 type uprising. Therefore the government pressed Martial Law on 13th April, prohibiting the gathering of people in one place. However, this message wasn’t clear and in time, conveyed to the masses. Incidentally, 13th April was a Baisakhi day and merchants from different parts of the state had come to Amritsar, for the fair.
But, in wake of the government prohibiting any fair, these people had nowhere to go, so they naturally turned to Jallianwala Bagh. There a small political; the meeting was being conducted; though, a maximum of visitors were merchants and commoners who came for the Baisakhi festival. By the mid-afternoon, thousands of Indians have gathered at the bagh.
General Reginald Dyer got the information of this huge public gathering and started charting out a plan to handle it. Sometime around the evening after 18:30 Hrs, general Dyer came to the Bagh with ninety soldiers and blocking the only main entrance, ordered the shooting.
The people shot at were unarmed men, women, and children, who had probably gathered to spend time as the curfew restricted Baisakhi celebrations. Shooting continued for 10-15 minutes, killing around 500 innocent Indians, including, men, women, and children, and wounding a thousand others. After the massacre, General Dyer marched back with his contingent, and no attempt was made by the British administration to rescue the victims.
The day of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre was the saddest day in the history of India. It shows the evilest face of British Rule in India which is also probably the cruelest.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Ans. Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place in Amritsar city of Punjab.
Ans. The festival of Baisakhi was being celebrated by the people on the day of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
Ans. The British General Dyer gave orders to fire on people in Jallianwala Bagh.
Ans. It is the name of a well in which many people jumped to save their lives during this incident.
Ans. The Rowlatt Act (passed in March 1919) was known as the Black Bill in India.
Ans. It was passed by the British government to curtail the civil liberty of the people.