THE MARTYRS OF JALIANWALA BAGH
It was a tragedy that changed a nation forever. It was the turning point in the fight for Indian independence from British imperial rule. One hundred years today, in Amritsar, India, General Reginald Dyer and his soldiers opened fire on a crowd of thousands of unarmed men, women and children. There was no warning. There was no time to escape or call for help. Over ten minutes of continuous gunfire, hundreds perished, thousands more were left to die.
Trapped within the grounds of the Jallianwala Bagh, just a stone’s throw from the holy Golden Temple, thousands of innocent civilians had nowhere to run and nowhere to hide as the bullets came for them. In just a few minutes the ground had turned crimson red as the dead fell to the ground. Others were crushed as they ran for their lives. But there was no way out.
When the dust had settled, when there were no more bullets left with which to kill, the wounded cried for help. But help never came. The Amritsar Massacre energized a country that was now more determined than ever to be free. Freedom movements were created, voices of a nation united. They desired the same thing. Freedom. Self-rule. A free and undivided India.
One of the loudest voices came from a boy who wanted to turn the tragedy of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre to triumph. He grew into one of the most important freedom fighters in the history of India. His name was Bhagat Singh and he, like many others, never forgot the martyrs, never forgot those who died so needlessly at the Jallianwala Bagh. He remains a hero to those who were determined to live within a free India, an India that never had to witness such a massacre again.
Now, we remember the fallen, we remember the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh, we remember those who championed for a free India and would not stop fighting for its reality. Now the Founder’s Award goes to a descendant of such a fighter….