. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Indians fought for Britain in the war and as many as 43,000 Indians perished on the battlefield. Thousands were lost for the British cause, and double that number returned to India wounded and handicapped from the war.
The Bagh was a trap for them.
There was death all over, and
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
By- Aadhar, Ayora, Husain, Kritika & Somya
<ul><li>The British empire found itself at a loss for manpower in the First World war. The native Indian leaders opted to help the British empire in lieu of a bloodless transfer of power to India . </li></ul><ul><li>However, Britain refused to honor its commitment to free India. Indians resented the fact that the British had exploited their goodness as well as their finances without any gratitude or help. </li></ul>On April 10, on O’Dwyer’s order, British officials in Amritsar arrested Dr. Saif-ud-Din Kitchlew , a Muslim lawyer, and Dr. Satyapal , a Hindu who had served as a medical officer in the British army. They were leaders of the Amritsar nationalist movement .
Background <ul><li>Despite the proclamations against meetings, thousands of Indians flocked to the Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919 most of them in support of the imprisoned Kitchlew and Satyapal. </li></ul><ul><li>Some arrived after the police had closed a nearby fair held in honour of the Sikh new year. By late afternoon a huge throng was present, a rather quiet crowd </li></ul><ul><li>and not an angry mob. </li></ul><ul><li>Estimates vary, but there certainly were more than 10,000 people . Enclosed by the walls of surrounding buildings, it had only a few narrow openings for entrance or exit , some of them locked . </li></ul>
The Incident <ul><li>Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer reached the spot with sixty-five Gurkha and twenty-five Baluchi soldiers with fifty rifles. </li></ul><ul><li>He also brought two armored vehicles fitted with machine guns. </li></ul><ul><li>The garden was an enclosed space with only one exit which was now blocked by the soldiers. </li></ul><ul><li>Dyer did not warn the crowd. Nor did he allow them to leave. Rather, he asked the men to fire at the crowd from a close range. </li></ul>
THE INCIDENT <ul><li>More than 1650 bullets were fired upon the bodies of the crowd of 15,000 to 20,000 from close range. </li></ul><ul><li>The firing stopped only when the ammunition was exhausted. </li></ul><ul><li>Close to 1000 were killed on the spot and more than 1500 were seriously injured. </li></ul><ul><li>There was such a stampede that hundreds of people fell into a well in the compound from which more than 120 dead-bodies were eventually pulled out. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Never had such a barbaric order been given in India by a British officer. Though the crowd was totally unarmed, General Dyer claimed that he was attacked by a revolutionary army. </li></ul><ul><li>He made it clear that he had gone to the place with the with a plan of opening fire upon this crowd. He even said that he would have used the machine-guns on this helpless crowd, but could not do so because he could not move them to position via the narrow passage that led to the place of gathering. </li></ul><ul><li>Historians consider the episode was a decisive step towards the end of British rule in India. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Though it became clear that he had trespassed all norms of humanity, and though he was asked to resign from his position in India, he became a celebrated hero when he reached Britain. </li></ul><ul><li>A very large sum of money and much honor was also given to him. This only made the Indians more committed to their cause to get freedom from the Britain. </li></ul><ul><li>A young Sikh teenager who was being raised at Khalsa Orphanage named Udham Singh (aka Mohammad Singh Azad) saw the happening with his own eyes. He vowed to avenge the Amritsar massacre. </li></ul>
<ul><li>On 13 March 1940 in the Caxton Hall, London, where a meeting of the East India Association was being held, Udham Singh fired five to six shots from his pistol at Sir Michael O'Dwyer, who was governor of the Punjab when the Amritsar Massacre had taken place, to avenge the massacre. </li></ul><ul><li>On the 31st July, 1940, Udham Singh was hanged at Pentonville jail, London </li></ul><ul><li>"He was the real culprit. He deserved it. He wanted to crush the spirit of my people, so I [had to] crush him." Udham Singh, telling the trial court why he killed Michael O'Dwyer </li></ul><ul><li>The Jallianwala Bagh massacre accentuated political awakening in India and brought Mahatma Gandhi to the forefront of Indian political life. </li></ul>
<ul><li>A trust was formed later 1920 to build a memorial at the site after a resolution passed by the Indian National Congress. In 1923, the trust purchased land for the project. A memorial, designed by American architect Benjamin Polk, was built on the site and inaugurated by the President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad on April 13, 1961, in the presence of Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders. A flame was later added to the site. It is presently one of the most visited places in Amritsar. </li></ul>