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Book Review : Separatist Movements in India by Brig Asif Haroon Raja

Book Review

Separatist Movements in India

Brig Asif Haroon Raja

I was invited by Muslim Institute Islamabad as one of the speakers to attend book launching ceremony of a book titled “Separatist Movements in India” (in Urdu) authored by eminent Tariq Ismail Sagar.

Let me at the outset compliment Mr Sagar for his commendable effort in writing this well-researched book “Separatist Movements in India”.  What is heartening to note is the choice of the subject chosen by him! It’s an undeniable fact that the trend of reading is on the decline. Likewise, the trend of writing books on India to expose the true face of Hindu mentality is also on the decline. The first generation and their predecessors that had lived with the Hindus for centuries in united India have passed away and the current generation is unaware of the intolerant and unforgiving psyche of Hindus, particularly the Brahmans, who have all along regarded outsiders as polluted and themselves as pure.

We must not lose sight of the fact that India is the archrival of Pakistan which never wanted its creation, and has not reconciled to its existence. Even after bisecting it into two in 1971, it is again conspiring to further fragment Pakistan and fulfil its mythical dream of Maha Bharat or Akhand Bharat.

Soon after the 1971 debacle, India writers published over 250 books on the 1971 Indo-Pak war to demonize Pak Army and West Pakistan and to hide India’s evil doings by way of subverting the minds of Bengalis and then aiding Mukti Bahini insurgency and finally delivering the military instrument to sever Pakistan’s eastern limb.

The trend of bad mouthing Pakistan, its premier institutions and the people accelerated after 9/11 as a result of banding together of Indo-US-Afghanistan-Israel-West nexus poised against Pakistan. Since 2004, Pakistan is faced with covert war, drone war and 5th generation war.

Indian exterior manoeuvre has succeeded in building a narrative to convince the world that India is the victim of terrorism and Pakistan abettor of terrorism. Indian propaganda war has helped in portraying India as “India Shining” where everything glitters, and Pakistan as the most dangerous country and villain of peace.

Our policymakers have no plans how to beat back the harmful effects of hybrid war. All our efforts are focused on fighting terrorism, which was fomented by our so-called allies, who continue pressing Pakistan to do more against the terrorists whom they feed.

While Pakistan is being demonized and isolated under a calculated plan, India is being glorified and all its sins hushed up. Unfortunately, our media, the so-called intellectuals, educationists, journalists and writers are not playing their due role to beat back the deadly effects of subversion and onslaught of cultural invasion unleashed by adversaries of Pakistan to rob the youth of its warrior spirit, patriotism and nationalism.

India is the originator of terrorism in South Asia and has issues with all its neighbours. It is an expansionist state which after mutilating original Pakistan, gobbled up all the 565 princely states including those wanting to join Pakistan. After Partition, Indian forces forcibly occupied Junagadh, Hyderabad, Goa, Damam, Diu and Sikkim (1975). Siachin was annexed in April 1984. Pakistan has failed to expose the ugly face of India mired in hundreds of social and moral vices.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is in this backdrop that I find the book of Mr Sagar as a welcome addition which will help in giving a glimpse of what all is happening in shining India. The 492-page book has 54 chapters and dwells at length about the ongoing insurgencies and separatist movements in India.

We in Pakistan are worried about the foreign-sponsored insurgencies in FATA and Baluchistan that have been to a large extent subdued; but there are 37 full-blown insurgencies, out of which 19 are separatist movements in India. The seven sisters states in northeastern India are embroiled in separatist movements.

Former PM Manmohan Singh had declared Naxalites movement, which originated in 1969 at Naxalbari (West Bengal) as most dangerous. Naxalites (Maoists) that are now linked with Nepalese Maoists, control 220 districts of the total 608 districts of India (13 out of 28 States of India). The Red Corridor in which 80% of the Indian nuclear missile and nuclear sites are located is under the influence of the Naxalites, where Indian security forces have little control. While Nagaland insurgency originated in 1947, most others triggered after 1971 and none have so far been controlled.  

We talk of growing terrorism in Pakistan where all proscribed outfits have been banned and dismantled, in India, there are well over 100 notorious terrorist groups but none has been blacklisted by the Indian government, UN and US. BJP, a political face of infamous RSS is a terrorist organization and its top leader Narendra Modi and chief minister of Maharashtra are confirmed, terrorists. From 2002 till election and appointment of Modi as PM in June 2014, he was barred from visiting USA or UK.

We express our concern over the deployment of 200,000 security forces in northwestern Pakistan engaged in fighting foreign aided terrorism, but hardly mention that 7,50,000 Indian security forces are deployed in narrow Valley of Kashmir since 1990, and over 800,000 security forces in other parts of India in a counter-insurgency role. While our forces fight the insurgents with one hand and leg tied, Indian forces have been given license to kill, rape and plunder without any fear of accountability.

We talk of exploitation of resources of Baluchistan but have no idea that Operation ‘Green Hunt’ launched by Indian forces in the north and northeast India is primarily aimed at capturing plum lands, forests and plentiful mineral resources. Orissa alone has $ 4 trillion worth Aluminum Bauxite which is three times more than the total GDP of India. All tribal states in northern India are full of mineral resources.

Pak Army is not robbing the resources of FATA and Baluchistan, or dishonouring their women, but are busy settling the displaced persons and developing the regions and mainstreaming them and have achieved laudable results. On the contrary, Indian forces are carrying out ethnic cleansing, raping the women and plundering the resources of tribespeople and Kashmiris to enrich the elites and foreign investors.

India social system based on accursed four-fold caste system is founded on inequality, intolerance and religious extremism. 2.8 Brahmans maintain an iron grip over the rest. Muslims, Sikhs, Dalits and Christians are the worst affected minorities in India. The rise of Hindutva under BJP has threatened the very existence of Indian minorities. It is owing to extreme injustice and cruelties of the elites that there are so many insurgencies in all parts of India. 180,000 Indian farmers committed suicide since they couldn’t repay debt.    

Mr Sagar has mentioned about India’s bad habit of blaming Pakistan for all its ailments. It blames ISI for abetting the northeastern insurgencies. This might have been possible before Hasina Wajid came to power in 2010. She is a puppet in the hands of India and has strained relations with Pakistan.

Mr Sagar also threw light on the Sikhs, how they were led up the garden by Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi in 1947 and used them to massacre migrating Muslims of East Punjab and Delhi in collusion with the RSS; how they were betrayed and then massacred in June 1984 in Operation Blue Star, which led to Khalistan movement.

India is an ethnic museum, and its union is artificial, kept together by brute force. Although India claims that Naxalites are most dangerous to its integrity, it is more worried about Kashmir. This can be discerned by the numbers of troops deployed in occupied Kashmir. Indian leaders know that loss of Kashmir will set in a chain reaction and energize all other movements to break apart India.

The writer is defence analyst, columnist, author of five books.

 asifharoonraja@gmail@gmail.com  

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The Terror Attacks Trump Won’t Talk About by MARK FOLLMAN in Mother Jones

 
 

Right-wing extremists who carried out a deadly gun rampage in June 2014.

On Monday, in a case little noticed by the national media, a man went on trial in federal court for plotting a potentially horrific terrorist attack in upstate New York. In 2015, this man allegedly planned to enlist accomplices to help him bomb a house of worship and open fire with assault rifles on any bystanders. “High casualty rates” was the goal. “If it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds,” he allegedly said, according to prosecutors.

Also on Monday, the Trump White House released a list of 78 attacks carried out in the US and abroad by “radical Islamic terrorists” since 2014, which it said were mostly “underreported,” following the president’s own claim earlier in the day that the media conspired to ignore such attacks. But had the upstate New York plotter succeeded, he would not have made the White House list. The individual charged with masterminding that plan was Robert Doggart, a 65-year-old white man from Tennessee who allegedly conspired to form a militia and attack a Muslim community in Islamberg, NY, on “behalf of American patriotism.”

As the media picks apart the White House’s absurd suggestion that attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Orlando, and elsewhere were somehow ignored, the bigger story may be this: Trump has been almost entirely silent about terror plotted and carried out by white supremacists and other far-right extremists.

After six people were killed and many others were injured while praying at a mosque in Quebec City on January 29, the White House and Fox News quickly ran with false claims that the suspected attacker was Moroccan. (That man was in fact interviewed as a witness.) Trump has not tweeted nor made any public remarks about the white nationalist (and Trump fan) who has been charged in the case.

After avowed white supremacistDylann Roof killed nine people at a historic black church in Charleston in June 2015, Trump tweeted that the attack was “incomprehensible” and expressed his “deepest condolences to all.” But despite frequently warning about the dangers of violent extremism, Trump has said nothing publicly about the case at any point since Roof went on trial in December.

After a white man went on a deadly rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado in November 2015—apparently motivated by an infamous video sting that falsely claimed Planned Parenthood was trafficking in “baby parts”—Trump described the perpetrator as a “maniac.” But after that, he went on at much greater length about Planned Parenthood’s alleged misdeeds.

And why has Trump mentioned nothing about a deadly shooting spree in 2014 by a longtime neo-Nazi at a Jewish community center and retirement home in Kansas? Or about the slaying of police officers in Las Vegas that year by right-wing extremists who left a swastika and a “Don’t tread on me” flag on the officers’ bodies? Or about the “sovereign citizen” charged in the shooting of five Black Lives Matter protesters last November?

It’s hard to say. But there seems little reason to expect a list of attacks on Muslims, Jews, African Americans and others from the president anytime soon.

Reference: Courtesy Mother Jones

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India’s Unrealistic Counterinsurgency Strategy By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan - The Machinery Of War by Skulz Fontaine

 

 

 

 

India’s Unrealistic Counterinsurgency Strategy

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

India’s Unrealistic Counterinsurgency Strategy By Sajjad Shaukat Learning no lesson from the past, and depending upon state terrorism, Indian Central Government has finalized the raising of Indian Reserve Police Battalions (IRBPs) in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and Naxal/Maoist hit states or Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Out of the total 25 IRBPs proposed, five will be for IOK and 12 for LWE affected states whereas rest of 8, IRBPs for other states. These battalions will be raised by recruiting local youths. In case of Naxal hit states, 75 per cent vacancies will be filled up by youths from the 27 worst-affected districts. In IOK, the recruitment process will concentrate on insurgency prone areas. At present, there are 144 IRPBs in various states. In addition, Central Government has recently approved raising of eight additional IRBPs, four each of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The cost of raising each of the battalion will be around Indian Rupee, 61 crore and 75 per cent of it will be provided by the Central Government. This cost is much lower than raising of a paramilitary battalion which costs around Rs. 160 crore. Personnel of IRBPs are normally deployed in their respective states, but they can be deployed in other states too, if there is a requirement. The current raising is outcome of demand by respective states government in wake of the ever growing/persistence insurgency and freedom struggle. Within a span of approximately six months, Central Government of India has approved the demand which reflects the surge of militants/insurgent activities in the LWE hit states/ IOK. It also highlights the manifestation of focus to curb militancy and raise the force level to meet the challenges, which have been repeatedly expressed by Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh has also repeatedly highlighted his focus to build the capacity of security forces engaged in fighting insurgency. The mentioned increase is a part of overall drive against Naxal/Maoist hit states and IOK. Off late the insurgent/militant activities in LWE and IOK regions have seen a significant surge whereby Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have suffered causalities. Therefore, immediate attention has been paid towards the new strategy. While, despite concerted efforts—capacity, capability, weapons, equipments and training, the Indian security forces could not effectively counter/reduce the insurgent activities in these states. The recent surge of insurgents/militant activities in the Nexal affected states of India has compelled the Central Government to enhance counter insurgency efforts in other parts as well. Therefore, the Home Ministry has given a go ahead for not only raising the additional battalions, but also pursuing the support of helicopters/UAVs to cover/ assist the security forces engaged in anti-Naxal/Maoist activities in the affected states. It is mentionable that under the mask of democracy and secularism, Indian subsequent regimes dominated by politicians from the Hindi heartland—Hindutva (Hindu nationalism), used brutal force ruthlessly against any move to free Assam, Kashmir, Khalistan, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu and Tripura where wars of liberation continue in one or the other form. In the recent years, Maoist intensified their struggle, attacking official installments. In this context, Indian media admitted that Maoists have entered the cities, expanding their activities against the Indian union. While, even under the rule of Congress which claims to be secular party, Indian extremist parties like BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sina and Bajrang Dal have missed no opportunity to communalize national politics of India. They also intensified anti-Christian and anti-Muslim bloodshed. After serving the BJP for 30 years, Jaswant Singh was expelled from the party for praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah and echoing the pain of the Indian Muslims in his book, “Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence.” While pointing out the BJP’s attitude towards the minorities, Singh wrote: “Every Muslim that lives in India is a loyal Indian…look into the eyes of Indian Muslims and see the pain.” He warned in his book, if such a policy continued, “India could have third partition.” Past and present history of Balkan gives ample evidence that insurgency and movement of separatism in one country have drastic impact on other neighbouring states. Similarly, civil war and unrest either in Somalia or Sudan have affected all the states of Darfur region, while violent uprising in Egypt, Syria etc. has radicalized a number of the Middle East countries. Indian state terrorism in the Indian-held Kashmir will further radicalize India, giving a impetus to separatist movements in other regions of India. It is noteworthy that currently, more than half of India’s budget is allocated for armed forces, and defence purchases, leaving even less to lift millions of its citizens from abject poverty. Hence, various injustices have further accelerated regional and ethnic disparities in India, particularly, under the Modi government. It is worth-mentioning that the one of the important causes of the disintegration of the former Soviet Union was that its greater defence expenditure exceeded to the maximum, resulting into economic crises inside the country. In this regard, about a prolonged war in Afghanistan, the former President Gorbachev had declared it as the “bleeding wound.” However, militarization of the Soviet Union failed in controlling the movements of liberation, launched by various ethnic nationalities. On the other hand, while learning no lesson from India’s previous close friend, Indian fundamentalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the BJP extremist party is acting upon the similar policies. At present, undoubtedly, India is witnessing increased incidents of violence and killings related to communal violence and insurgencies. Nevertheless, such incidents project security weaknesses and failures of the Indian government in curbing insurgent tendencies and problems of the public. While, Indian government is raising Reserve Police Battalions to continue state terrorism, and on the parallel axes, announcement of rehabilitation schemes, development projects and incentives for surrender have been implemented to cope with the insurgency and uprising. It shows contradictory policy of New Delhi. Instead of redressing the grievances of the Maoists by eliminating injustices against them and the Kashmiris by granting them their legitimate right of liberation, Indian government is again acting upon brutal force to suppress these movements through force. Therefore, India’s unrealistic counterinsurgency Strategy will badly fail, culminating into political suicide of the India union.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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Persecution of Minorities in India By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

 

 

Editor’s Note: India’s Hindus and Narendra Modi will pay a heavy price for massacre of innocent,unarmed,minorities. Pakistani people may forgive but do not forget.  During next war we will avenge every Indian Muslim’s death. Ghauri & Shaheen will even the score.

 

Persecution of Minorities in India 

By

Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for Muslim Massacre Gujarat India

                                                             

 

Image result for Muslim Massacre Gujarat India

 

India has broken all the records of violence, genocide and massacre perpetrated on various ethnic and religious groups entailing the community of its own lower castes. As part of persecution of minorities, these atrocities and injustices still continue in one way or the other.

 

Although apparently, India claims to be the largest democracy, acting upon the principles of liberalism and secularism, yet in practice, all political, economic and social fields of the country are divided on the caste lines.

 

 

Image result for Muslim Massacre Gujarat India

 

 

 

 

Image result for Muslim Massacre Gujarat India

 

 

In this regard, Tim Sullivan of the Associated Press wrote, “There’s a lot of lip service to saying ‘I’m an Indian first, and ‘I’ do not believe in caste,” said D’Souza, a prominent campaigner for Dalits, as India’s “untouchables” at the very bottom of the caste system are now known.” Sullivan elaborated, “When it comes to sharing power, to interaction and to sharing social status, low-caste Indians are very much marginalized.”

 

It is notable that historical background and religious beliefs which have formed the habits and national character of Hindus are quite different from the other ethnic and religious communities. Indians still have a strong belief in the superiority of their race. Indian Hindus are followers of Chanakya (Say some thing else and do some thing else). These facts have been verified by the misdeeds of Hindu fundamentalist parties like the BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sina and Bajrang Dal which have missed no opportunity to communalize national politics of India.

 

 

 

Image result for Muslim Massacre Gujarat India

 

Image result for Muslim Massacre Gujarat India

 

 

Image result for Muslim Massacre Gujarat India

 

 

In fact, India is a vocal advocate of secularism but nowhere else in the world secularism was so blatantly betrayed. In this context, Moulana Azad had said, “I firmly hold that communal frenzy will disappear when India assumes the responsibility of her own destiny.” Quite contrarily, in so-called secular India, Azad’s hope was completely belied, as Hindu fanaticism is continuously gaining momentum and strength.

 

It is surprising that theoretically, Indian Constitution safeguards the rights of minorities, but in practice, ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) prevails. Hindu majority led by the BJP has shown complete disregard to it, and commit excesses and cruelties against Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Dalits with impunity.

 

 

 

 

 

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Image result for Muslim Massacre Gujarat India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hindu politics and culture, dominated by the fundamentalist parties such as BJP, VHP, Shiv Sena and RSS including other extremist outfits have been propagating Hindutva. Provocative utterances of their extremist leaders have resulted into unending violence especially against the Muslims and Christians.

 

It is mentionable that Hinduvta agenda enabled BJP hardliner, Narendra Modi to get a land sliding triumph in the Indian elections 2014, who has become the prime minister. In this respect, RSS driven anti-Muslim move of the BJP including other Hindu fanatic parties could be judged from various recent developments. On May 28, 2014, Rashtriya Hindu Andolan, a Mangalore-based Hindutva outfit and activists from various right wing groups organized a protest in Mangalore in front of the office of Deputy Commissioner by demanding the authorities to ban the morning Muslim call to prayer (Azan) across the country. Besides forcing the Muslim employee in a Parliament Canteen by BJP leader to break his fast by stuffing piece of bread in his mouth, statement of Deputy Chief of Goa, declaring India as a Hindu state might be cited as example.

 

It is noteworthy that in 1992, a large crowd of Hindu Karsevaks (volunteers) in accordance with a preplanned scheme of the Indian high officials entirely demolished the 16th-century Babri Masjid (mosque) to reclaim the land known as RAM Janmabhoomi–birthplace of the god. The destruction of the Babri Masjid sparked Muslim outrage around the country, provoking several months of inter-communal rioting between Hindu and Muslim communities, causing the death of at least 2,000 people, majority of whom were Muslims.

 

On September 13, 2008, the communal riots in Uttar Pradesh killed more than 200 Muslims. In one of the most tragic incidents in Assam, Hindu extremists burnt alive six members of a Muslim family.

 

Similarly, in the recent years, assaults on Christians, their churches and property have been executed by the Hindu mobs in various cities of India. In this connection, at least 100 Christians have been assassinated by Hindu extremists, mostly in the state of Orissa.

 

It is of particular attention that on November 7, 2011, leader of the VHP, Pravin Togadia, in his furious speech questioned the past of Muslims and Christians, and further gave a call to Hindus to capture the Islamic holy places in Arab and Vatican of Europe.

 

It is worth-mentioning that forced conversions of other religious minorities into Hindus also continue. In this regard, Bajrang Dal, an offshoot of the RSS, converted at least 57 Muslim families (200 people) into Hindus at a ‘Purkhon Ki Ghar Vapsi’ (Coming home of the ancestors) ceremony in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

 

Previously, in early September 2014, Christians were also forcefully converted to Hindus which created unrest among Christian clergy. Four months ago, a similar event in Aligarh saw Christian families converting to Hinduism. BJP is trying to portray the event as wishful conversions; however, since installment of BJP government in the center, RSS and its offshoots have accelerated their efforts for minorities’ conversion into Hindus.

 

As regards persecution of minorities in India, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Testimony by Human Rights Watch presented before US Senate Committee on atrocious attitude of Hindu majority has highlighted the plight of minorities in India. The report was presented before Indian general elections 2014.

 

But, it is strange that US government denied visa to Modi on the basis of his involvement in Gujrat pogrom, however, after his election as Indian prime minister, the stance of American government changed to his favour. And, more than 2500 Muslims were massacred in 2002 in the BJP-ruled Indian state of Gujarat. Regarding that massive genocide, both Human Rights Watch in 2002 and Amnesty International in 2003 charged the “Gujarat state administration” for involvement in “a massive cover-up of the state’s role in that massacre” and pointed out numerous police officials—specifically ministers, high officials and leaders of the VHP, BJP and Bajrang Dal as participants.”

 

Nevertheless, some of the fanatic Hindu groups are not in favour of a separate and distinct culture for minorities. A Hindu fundamentalist namely Prof Balraj Madhok had suggested that the minorities must adopt Indian (Hindu) names.

 

Now, schools and other educational institutions are being systematically Hinduized. References to Hindu gods and goddesses abound in the text books. Books, prescribed by the Education Boards contain lessons giving false stories of Muslim atrocities on Hindu women, kidnapping, forced conversion etc.

 

Nonetheless, despite eye witness testimony, implicating the highest elected political officials, justice continues to evade the victims.  In a recent development, 70 accused persons of Gujrat pogrom were set free by the court.

 

While, Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujrat and mastermind of the Muslim massacre, has reportedly, destroyed all the documents related to the 2002 genocide of the Muslims. Keeping his past record, it can be forecasted easily that minorities in India will face further persecution and barbarity at the hands of Hindu extremists as Modi is in power saddles.

 

Undoubtedly, Hindu fundamentalism is increasingly widening its influence everywhere and has already established for itself a firm base in every sector of the Indian society including bureaucracy, media, educational institutions, and the like. The hate campaign unleashed by the fundamentalist forces is keeping the minority wholly preoccupied with defending their basic human rights and cultural identity.

 

It is the right hour that the West and particular the US must abandon its double standard by taking appropriate steps against persecution of minorities in India. Otherwise, Hindu extremists may cause World War 111 or clash of civilizations in wake of global war against terrorism.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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FREEDOMS HEROES : In Loving Memory of Udham Singh & Shaheeds of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

 

 

Demonstration at Gujranwala

Two days later, on 15 April, demonstrations occurred in Gujranwala

 

 protesting the killings at Amritsar. Police and aircraft were used against the demonstrators, resulting in 12 deaths and 27 injuries. The Officer Commanding the Royal Air Force

 

 in India, Brigadier General N D K MacEwen

 

 stated later that:

 

I think we can fairly claim to have been of great use in the late riots, particularly at Gujranwala, where the crowd when looking at its nastiest was absolutely dispersed by a machine using bombs and Lewis guns.

 

 

Assassination of Michael O’Dwyer

See also: Udham Singh

 

 

 

 

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On 13 March 1940, at Caxton Hall in London, Udham Singh

 

an Indian independence activist from Sunam who had witnessed the events in Amritsar and was himself wounded, shot and killed Michael O’Dwyer, the British Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab at the time of the massacre, who had approved Dyer’s action and was believed to be the main planner. Dyer himself had died in 1927.

 

 

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/7e/Sir-Michael-ODwyer.jpg/220px-Sir-Michael-ODwyer.jpg

 Michael O’Dwyer

Will the historians of the future have to record that it was not the Nazis

 

 but the British ruling class which destroyed the British Empire?” Singh had told the court at his trial:

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cc/Massacre_memorial_in_Amritsar.jpg/180px-Massacre_memorial_in_Amritsar.jpg

 

 

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Wide view of Jallianwala Bagh

 

Memorial

 

I did it because I had a grudge against him. He deserved it. He was the real culprit. He wanted to crush the spirit of my people, so I have crushed him. For full 21 years, I have been trying to wreak vengeance. I am happy that I have done the job. I am not scared of death. I am dying for my country. I have seen my people starving in India under the British rule. I have protested against this, it was my duty. What a greater honour could be bestowed on me than death for the sake of my motherland?

[52]

 

 

Regret

Although Queen Elizabeth II

 

 had not made any comments on the incident during her state visits in 1961 and 1983, she spoke about the events at a state banquet in India

 

 on 13 October 1997:

 

It is no secret that there have been some difficult episodes in our past – Jallianwala Bagh, which I shall visit tomorrow, is a distressing example. But history cannot be rewritten, however much we might sometimes wish otherwise. It has its moments of sadness, as well as gladness. We must learn from the sadness and build on the gladness.

On 14 October 1997 Queen Elizabeth II visited Jallianwala Bagh and paid her respects with a 30‑second moment of silence

 
 

. She removed her shoes while visiting the monument and laid a wreath at the monument.

 

While some Indians welcomed the expression of regret and sadness in the Queen’s statement, others criticised it for being less than an apology.

Prime Minister of India Inder Kumar Gujral defended the Queen, saying that the Queen herself had not even been born at the time of the events and should not be required to apologies .

 

Winston Churchill, on the 8th July 1920, urged the House of Commons to punish General Dyer.Churchill succeeded in persuading the House to forcibly retire General Dyer, but Churchill would have preferred to see the general disciplined.

In February 2013 David Cameron became the first serving British Prime Minister to visit the site, laid a wreath at the memorial, and described the Amritsar massacre as “a deeply shameful event in British history, one that Winston Churchill rightly described at that time as monstrous. We must never forget what happened here and we must ensure that the UK stands up for the right of peaceful protests”. Cameron did not deliver an official apology.

 

 

Amritsar Massacre

Jallian Wala Bagh

“The impossible men of India shall rise and liberate their Motherland”

Mahatma Gandhi, after the Amritsar Massacre.

Jallian Wala Bagh Memorial

 

 

“The incident in Jallian Wala Bagh was ‘an extraordinary event, a monstrous event, an event which stands in singular and sinister isolation”…Winston Churchill

It started a few months after the end of the first world war when an Englishwoman, a missionary, reported that she had been molested on a street in the Punjab city of Amritsar. The Raj’s local commander, Brigadier General Reginald Dyer, issued an order requiring all Indians using that street to crawl its length on their hands and knees. He also authorized the indiscriminate, public whipping of natives who came within lathi length of British policemen.

On April 13, 1919, a multitude of Punjabis  gathered in Amritsar’s Jallian wala Bagh as part of the Sikh Festival “Baisakhi fair” and to protest at these extraordinary measures. The throng, penned in a narrow space smaller than Trafalgar Square, had been peacefully listening to the testimony of victims when Dyer appeared at the head of a contingent of British troops. Giving no word of warning, he ordered 50 soldiers to fire into the gathering, and for 10 to 15 minutes 1,650 rounds of ammunition were unloaded into the screaming, terrified crowd, some of whom were trampled by those desperately trying to escape.

Amritsar Massacre

 

 

“The Indians were ‘packed together so that one bullet would drive through three or four bodies’; the people ‘ran madly this way and the other. When fire was directed upon the centre, they ran to the sides. The fire was then directed to the sides. Many threw themselves down on the ground, and the fire was then directed on the ground. This was continued for eight or ten minutes, and it stopped only when the ammunition had reached the point of exhaustion”…..Winston Churchill

Dyer then marched away, leaving 379 dead and over 1,500 wounded.

Back in his headquarters, he reported to his superiors that he had been ‘confronted by a revolutionary army,’ and had been obliged ‘to teach a moral lesson to the Punjab.’ In the storm of outrage which followed, the brigadier was promoted to major general, retired, and placed on the inactive list.

”I think it quite possible that I could have dispersed the crowd without firing but they would have come back again and laughed, and I would have made, what I consider, a fool of myself.” ……Dyer’s response to the Hunter Commission Enquiry

General Dyer said he would have used his machine guns if he could have got them into the enclosure, but these were mounted on armoured cars. He said he did not stop firing when the crowd began to disperse because he thought it was his duty to keep firing until the crowd dispersed, and that a little firing would do no good.

He confessed he did not take any steps to attend to the wounded after the firing. ”Certainly not. It was not my job. Hospitals were open and they could have gone there,” came his pathetic response.

However, the misery suffered by the people was reflected in Rattan Devi’s account. She was forced to keep a nightlong vigil, armed with a bamboo stick to protect her husband’s body from jackals and vultures. Curfew with shoot-at-sight orders had been imposed from 2000 hours that night.

Rattan Devi stated, ”I saw three men writhing in great pain and a boy of about 12. I could not leave the place. The boy asked me for water but there was no water in that place. At 2 am, a Jat who was lying entangled on the wall asked me to raise his leg. I went up to him and took hold of his clothes drenched in blood and raised him up. Heaps of bodies lay there, a number of them innocent children. I shall never forget the sight. I spent the night crying and watching…”

General Dyer admitted before the commission that he came to know about the meeting at Jallianwala Bagh at 1240 hours that day, but took no steps to prevent it. He also admitted in his deposition that the gathering at the Bagh was not a concentration only of rebels, but people who had covered long distances to participate in the Baisakhi fair.

This incredibly, made him a martyr to millions of Englishmen. Senior British officers applauded his suppression of ‘another Indian Mutiny.’ The Guardians of the Golden Temple enrolled him in the Brotherhood of Sikhs. The House of Lords passed a measure commending him. The Conservatives presented him with a jewelled sword inscribed “Saviour of the Punjab.”

http://www.amritsar.com/images/udham.jpgA 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.

 

 On 13 March 1940 at 4.30 p.m. in the Caxton Hall, London, where a meeting of the East India Association was being held in conjunction with the Royal Central Asian Society, 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.

On the 31st July, 1940, Udham Singh was hanged at Pentonville jail, London

“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.

Listen to the shaheed song – “Jallian Wala Bagh” in honour of the sacrifices made by Amritsar to set India free. Click on play on the media player below.

 

There was an uneasy calm in the city on 11 April. In the evening that day, Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer (b. 1864, ironically at Murree in the Punjab), commander 45th Infantry Brigade at Jalandhar, arrived in Amritsar. He immediately established file facto army rule, though the official proclamation to this effect was not made until 15 April. The troops at his disposal included 475 British and 710 Indian soldiers.

Local leaders called upon the people to assemble for a meeting in the Jallianwala Bagh at 4.30 in the evening. Brigadier-General Dyer set out for the venue of the meeting at 4.30 with 50 riflemen and two armored cars with machine guns mounted on them. Meanwhile, the meeting had gone on peacefully, and two resolutions, one calling for the repeal of the Rowlett Act and the other condemning the firing on 10 April, had been passed. A third resolution protesting against the general repressive policy of the government was being proposed when Dyer arrived at about 5.15 p.m. He deployed his riflemen on an elevation near the entrance and without warning or ordering the crowd to disperse, opened fire. The firing continued for about 20 minutes where after Dyer and his men marched back the way they had come. 1650 rounds of .303-inch ammunition had been fired. Dyer’s own estimate of the killed based on his rough calculations of one dead per six bullets fired was between 200 and 300. The official figures were 379 killed and 1200 wounded.

According to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, who personally collected information with a view to raising the issue in the Central Legislative Council, over 1,000 were killed. The total crowd was estimated at between 15,000 and 20,000, Sikhs comprising a large proportion of them.

 

History

 

The 1919 Amritsar massacre, known alternatively as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre after the Jallianwala Bagh (Garden) in the northern Indian city of Amritsar, was ordered by General R.E.H. Dyer. On Sunday April 13, 1919, which happened to be ‘Baisakhi’, one of Punjab’s largest religious festivals, fifty British Indian Army soldiers, commanded by Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, began shooting at an unarmed gathering of men, women, and children without warning. Dyer marched his fifty riflemen to a raised bank and ordered them to kneel and fire. Dyer ordered soldiers to reload their rifles several times and they were ordered to shoot to kill. Official British Raj sources estimated the fatalities at 379, and with 1,100 wounded. Civil Surgeon Dr Williams DeeMeddy indicated that there were 1,526 casualties. However, the casualty number quoted by the Indian National Congress was more than 1,500, with roughly 1,000 killed.
On April 13, the holiday of Baisakhi, thousands of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh (garden) near the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. Baisakhi is a Sikh festival, commemorating the day that Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa Panth in 1699, and also known as the ‘Birth of Khalsa.’ During this time people celebrate by congregating in religious and community fairs, and there may have been a large number who were unaware of the political meeting.
The Jallianwalla Bagh during 1919, months after the massacre. 
“The Martyrs’ Well” at Jallianwala Bagh. 
Cartoon in Punch 14 July 1920, on the occasion of Montagu labelling as “frightful” General Dyer for his role in the Amritsar massacreAn hour after the meeting began as scheduled at 4:30 pm, Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer marched a group of sixty-five Gurkha and twenty-five Baluchi soldiers into the Bagh, fifty of whom were armed with rifles. Dyer had also brought two armoured cars armed with machine guns, however the vehicles were stationed outside the main gate as they were unable to enter the Bagh through the narrow entrance.

The Jallianwala Bagh was bounded on all sides by houses and buildings and had few narrow entrances, most of which were kept permanently locked. The main entrance was relatively wider, but was guarded by the troops backed by the armoured vehicles. General Dyer ordered troops to begin shooting without warning or any order to disperse, and to direct shooting towards the densest sections of the crowd. He continued the shooting, approximately 1,650 rounds in all, until ammunition was almost exhausted.

Apart from the many deaths directly from the shooting, a number of people died in stampedes at the narrow gates or by jumping into the solitary well on the compound to escape the shooting. A plaque in the monument at the site, set up after independence, says that 120 bodies were pulled out of the well.

The wounded could not be moved from where they had fallen, as a curfew had been declared – many more died during the night.

The number of deaths caused by the shooting is disputed. While the official figure given by the British inquiry into the massacre is 379 deaths, the method used by the inquiry has been subject to criticism.[by whom?] Officials were tasked with finding who had been killed during July 1919, three months after the massacre, by inviting inhabitants of the city to volunteer information about those who had died. This information was likely incomplete due to fear that those who participated would be identified as having been present at the meeting, and some of the dead may not have had close relations in the area. Additionally, a senior civil servant in the Punjab interviewed by the members of the committee admitted that the actual figure could be higher.

Since the official figures were likely flawed considering the size of the crowd (15,000-20,000), number of rounds shot and period of shooting, the politically interested Indian National Congress instituted a separate inquiry of its own, with conclusions that differed considerably from the Government’s. The casualty number quoted by the INC was more than 1,500, with approximately 1,000 killed.] Despite the Government’s best efforts to suppress information of the massacre, news spread elsewhere in India and widespread outrage ensued; however, the details of the massacre did not become known in Britain until December 1919.

As per regimental diaries kept by the Gorkha Battalion adjutants in the British Indian Army, the plan to attack the gathering in Amritsar was claimed to have been triggered by the news of a mob attack on a British school teacher Sherwood on April 9, which was later shown to be merely an excuse used by an incensed Dyer who commanded a brigade in nearby Jalandhar and the Lt Governor of Punjab Michael O’Dwyer who were convinced that they faced an imminent threat of mutiny in Punjab on the scale of 1857.

Back in his headquarters, General Dyer reported to his superiors that he had been “confronted by a revolutionary army”.

In a telegram sent to Dyer, British Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, Sir Michael O’Dwyer wrote: “Your action is correct. Lieutenant Governor approves.”

O’Dwyer requested that martial law be imposed upon Amritsar and other areas; this was granted by the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford, after the massacre. The “crawling order” was posted on Aug 19 under the auspices of martial law.

Dyer was messaged to appear before the Hunter Commission, a commission of inquiry into the massacre that was ordered to convene by Secretary of State for India, Edwin Montagu, during late 1919. Dyer said before the commission that he came to know about the meeting at the Jallianwala Bagh at 12:40 hours that day but did not attempt to prevent it. He stated that he had gone to the Bagh with the deliberate intention of opening fire if he found a crowd assembled there.

“I think it quite possible that I could have dispersed the crowd without firing but they would have come back again and laughed, and I would have made, what I consider, a fool of myself.” — Dyer’s response to the Hunter Commission Enquiry.
Dyer said he would have used his machine guns if he could have got them into the enclosure, but these were mounted on armoured cars. He said he did not stop the shooting when the crowd began to disperse because he thought it was his duty to keep shooting until the crowd dispersed, and that a little shooting would not do any good. In fact he continued the shooting till the ammunition was almost exhausted.

He stated that he did not make any effort to tend to the wounded after the shooting: “Certainly not. It was not my job. Hospitals were open and they could have gone there.”

The Hunter Commission did not award any penal nor disciplinary action because Dyer’s actions were condoned by various superiors (later upheld by the Army Council). However, he was finally found guilty of a mistaken notion of duty and relieved of his command.

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JALLIANWALA BAGH MASSACRE, involved the killing of hundreds of unarmed, defenseless Indians by a senior British military officer, took place on 13 April 1919 in the heart of Amritsar, the holiest city of the Sikhs, on a day sacred to them as the birth anniversary of the Khalsa. Jallianwala Bagh,. a garden belonging to the Jalla, derives name from that of the owners of this piece of land in Sikh times. It was then the property the family of Sardar Himmat Singh (d.1829), a noble in the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), who originally came from the village of Jalla, now in Fatehgarh Sahib district of the Punjab. The family were collectively known as Jallhevale or simply Jallhe or Jalle, although their principal seat later became Alavarpur in Jalandhar district. The site, once a garden or garden house, was in 1919 an uneven and unoccupied space, an irregular quadrangle, indifferently walled, approximately 225 x 180 meters which was used more as a dumping ground.

In the Punjab, during World War I (1914-18), there was considerable unrest particularly among the Sikhs, first on account of the demolition of a boundary wall of Gurdwara Rikabgang at New Delhi and later because of the activities and trials of the Ghadrites almost all of whom were Sikhs. In India as a whole, too, there had been a spurt in political activity mainly owing to the emergence of two leaders Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi (1869-1948) who after a period of struggle against the British in South Africa, had returned to India in January 1915 and Mrs. Annie Besant (1847-1933), head of the Theosophical Society of India, who established, on 11 April 1916, Home Rule League with autonomy for India as its goal. In December 1916, the Indian National Congress, at its annual session held at Lucknow, passed a resolution asking the British government to issue a proclamation announcing that it is the aim and intention of British policy to confer self government on India at an early date.” At the same time India having Contributed significantly to the British war effort had been expecting advancement of her political interests after the conclusion of hostilities. On the British side, the Secretary of State for India E.S Montagu, announced, on 20 August 1917; the policy of His Majesty’s Government, with which the Government of India are in complete accord, is that of the increasing association of Indians in every branch of administration and the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India …” However, the Viceroy of India Lord Chelmsford, appointed, on 10 December 19l7, a Sedition Committee, popularly known as Rowlett Committee after the name of its chairman, to investigate and report on the nature and extent of the criminal conspiracies connected with the revolutionary movement in India, and to advise as to the legislation necessary to deal with them. Based on the recommendations of this committee, two bills, popularly called Rowlett Bills, were published in the Government of India Gazette on 18 January 1919. Mahatma Gandhi decided to organize a satyagrah, non-violent civil disobedience campaign) against the bills. One of the bills became an Act, nevertheless, on 21 March 1919. Call for a countrywide hartal or general strike on 30 March, later postponed to 6 April 1919, was given by Mahatma Gandhi.

The strike in Lahore and Amritsar passed off peacefully on 6 April. On 9 April, the governor of the Punjab, Sir Michael Francis O’Dwyer (1864-1940), suddenly decided to deport from Amritsar Dr Satyapal and Dr Saif ud-Din Kitchlew, two popular leaders of men. On the same day Mahatma Gandhi’s entry into Punjab was banned under the Defence of India Rules. On 10 April, Satyapal and Kitchlew were called to the deputy commissioner’s residence, arrested and sent off by car to Dharamsetla, a hill town, now in Himachal Pradesh. This led to a general strike in Amritsar. Excited groups of citizens soon merged together into a crowd of about 50,000 marching on to protest to the deputy commissioner against the deportation of the two leaders. The crowd, however, was stopped and fired upon near the railway foot-bridge.

According to the official version, the number of those killed was 12 and of those wounded between 20 and 30. But evidence before the Congress Enquiry Committee put the number of the dead between 20 and 30. As those killed were being carried back through the streets, an angry mob of people went on the rampage. Government offices and banks were attacked and damaged, and five Europeans were beaten to death. One Miss Marcella Sherwood, manager of the City Mission School, who had been living in Amritsar district for 15 years working for the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society, was attacked. The civil authorities, unnerved by the unexpected fury of the mob, called in the army the same afternoon. The ire of the people had by and large spent itself, but a sullen hatred against the British persisted. There was an uneasy calm in the city on 11 April. In the evening that day, Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer (b. 1864, ironically at Murree in the Punjab), commander 45th Infantry Brigade at Jalandhar, arrived in Amritsar. He immediately established file facto army rule, though the official proclamation to this effect was not made until 15 April. The troops at his disposal included 475 British and 710 Indian soldiers. On 12 April he issued an order prohibiting all meetings and gatherings. On 13 April which marked the Baisakhi festival, a large number of people, mostly Sikhs, had poured into the city from the surrounding villages. Local leaders called upon the people to assemble for a meeting in the Jallianwala Bagh at 4.30 in the evening. Brigadier-General Dyer set out for the venue of the meeting at 4.30 with 50 riflemen and two armored cars with machine guns mounted on them. Meanwhile, the meeting had gone on peacefully, and two resolutions, one calling for the repeal of the Rowlett Act and the other condemning the firing on 10 April, had been passed. A third resolution protesting against the general repressive policy of the government was being proposed when Dyer arrived at about 5.15 p.m. He deployed his riflemen on an elevation near the entrance and without warning or ordering the crowd to disperse, opened fire. The firing continued for about 20 minutes where after Dyer and his men marched back the way they had come. 1650 rounds of .303-inch ammunition had been fired. Dyer’s own estimate of the killed based on his rough calculations of one dead per six bullets fired was between 200 and 300. The official figures were 379 killed and 1200 wounded.

According to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, who personally collected information with a view to raising the issue in the Central Legislative Council, over 1,000 were killed. The total crowd was estimated at between 15,000 and 20,000, Sikhs comprising a large proportion of them.

The protest that broke out in the country is exemplified by the renunciation by Rabindranath Tagore of the British Knighthood. In a letter to the Governor General he wrote: “… The time has come when badges of honour make our shame glaring in their incongruous context of humiliation, and I for my part wish to stand shorn of all special distinctions by the side of those of my countrymen who, for their so-called insignificance, are liable to suffer degradations not fit for human beings….” Mass riots erupted in the Punjab and the government had to place five of the districts under martial law. Eventually an enquiry committee was set up. The Disorder Inquiry Committee known as Hunter Committee after its chairman, Lord Hunter, held Brigadier-General R.E.H. Dyer guilty of a mistaken notion of duty, and he was relieved of his command and prematurely retired from the army. The Indian National Congress held its annual session in December 1919 at Amritsar and called upon the British Government to “take early steps to establish a fully responsible government in India in accordance with the principle of self determination.”

The Sikhs formed the All India Sikh League as a representative body of the Panth for political action. The League held its first session in December 1919 at Amritsar simultaneously with the Congress annual convention. The honouring of Brigadier-General Dyer by the priests of Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, led to the intensification of the demand for reforming management of Sikh shrines already being voiced by societies such as the Khalsa Diwan Majha and Central Majha Khalsa Diwan. This resulted in the launching of what came to be known as the Gurdwara Reform movement , 1920-25. Some Sikh servicemen, resenting the policy of non-violence adopted by the leaders of the Akali movement, resigned from the army and constituted thc nucleus of an anti-British terrorist group known as Babar Akalis.

The site, Jallianwala Bagh became a national place of pilgrimage. Soon after the tragic happenings of the Baisakhi day, 1919, a committee was formed with Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya as president to raise a befitting memorial to perpetuate the memory of the martyrs. The Bagh was acquired by the nation on 1 August 1920 at a cost of 5,60,472 rupees but the actual construction of the memorial had to wait until after Independence. The monument, befittingly named the Flame of Liberty, build at a cost of 9,25,000 rupees, was inaugurated by Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India, on 13 April 1961. The central 30-ft high pylon, a four-sided tapering stature of red stone standing in the midst of a shallow tank, is built with 300 slabs with Ashoka Chakra, the national emblem, carsed on them. A stone lantern stands at each corner of the tank. On all four sides of the pylon the words, “In memory of martyrs, 13 April 1919”, has been inscribed in Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and English. A semi-circular verandah skirting a children’s swimming pool near the main entrance to the Bagh marks the spot where General Dyer’s soldiers took position to fire at the gathering.

Footnote : On 13th April 1919, a Sikh teenager who was being raised at Khalsa Orphanage named Udham Singh saw the happening with his own eyes and avenged the killings of 1300+ of his countrymen by killing Michael O’Dwyer in Caxton Hall of London. On the 31st July, 1940, Udham Singh was hanged at Pentonville jail, London.

 

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