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The Jallianwala Bagh massacre

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre occurred on 1919, during British colonial rule. British Indian Army soldiers. The Legacy of Jallianwala Bagh.

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre occurred on April 13, 1919, in the city of Amritsar, Punjab region of India, during British colonial rule.

British Indian Army soldiers, under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer, opened fire on a peaceful gathering of thousands of unarmed Indians.

Who gathered in Jallianwala Bagh. public garden, to protest against the British government’s repressive laws.

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre marked a turning point in India’s struggle for independence from British rule. It outraged the Indian people and led to a widespread movement of nonviolent civil disobedience led by Mahatma Gandhi. The incident also sparked international condemnation of British imperialism.

Read also:- Revolt of 1857


18 March 1919:

On 18 March, 1919, the British government passed Rowlatt Act (also known as the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act of 1919).

This Act allowed for speedy trials of offenses by a special court with no appeal,

And authorized the detention of political prisoners without trial for up to two years.

06 April 1919:

In response, Mahatma Gandhi initiated a non-violent Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act on April 6, 1919. However, violent anti-British demonstrations erupted in several cities, particularly in Punjab due to wartime repression.

08 April 1919 – 09 April 1919:

Gandhiji was arrested on April 8, 1919, and without any provocation, two nationalist leaders, Sharfuddin Kitchlew and Dr. Satyapal, were arrested,

on April 9, 1919.

This caused anger among Indian protestors, who came out in thousands to show their solidarity with their leaders.

In due course, the demonstrations became violent, prompting the authorities to enforce martial law and entrust law enforcement in Punjab to Brigadier-General Dyer as a measure to manage any future uprisings.

Read also:- Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1931)

13 April 1919:

On April 13, 1919, on Baisakhi day, a large crowd gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, unaware of the prohibitory orders in Amritsar.

Brigadier-General Dyer arrived on the scene with his troops, surrounded the gathering, and blocked the only exit point.

He then ordered his troops to open fire on the unarmed crowd, resulting in the death of over 1000 men, women, and children.

18 April 1919:

Rabindranath Tagore renounced his knighthood in protest.

Mahatma Gandhi gave up the title of Kaiser-i-Hind, bestowed by the British for his work during the Boer War.

The atmosphere of total violence overwhelmed Gandhi, and the movement was withdrawn by him on April 18, 1919.

A non-official committee was formed by the Indian National Congress. The committee had members Motilal Nehru, C.R. Das, Abbas Tyabji, M.R. Jayakar, and Gandhi, to investigate the shootings.

Congress condemned Dyer’s actions as inhumane and criticized the imposition of martial law in Punjab.


14 October 1919:

On October 14, 1919, the government formed the Disorders Inquiry Committee, also known as the Hunter Commission, to investigate the Jallianwala Bagh shootings.

The committee, chaired by Lord William Hunter, had Indian members and submitted its final report in March 1920, unanimously condemning Dyer’s actions.

However, no penal or disciplinary action was taken against General Dyer.

In March 1922:

the government repealed Rowlatt Act.

  • The Jallianwala Bagh massacre became a turning point in India’s struggle for independence from British rule.


Considered the ‘The Butcher of Amritsar’ in the aftermath of the massacre, General Dyer was removed from command and exiled to Britain.

Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi, as a sign of condemnation, renounced their British Knighthood and Kaiser-i-Hind medal respectively.

In 1922, the British repealed the infamous Rowlett Act.

Rowlatt Act, 1919:

The act, officially known as the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act, 1919, was passed in March 1919 by the Imperial Legislative Council.

The act was passed as per the recommendations of the Rowlatt Committee, which was chaired by a judge, Sir Sidney Rowlatt.

This act authorized the government to imprison for a maximum period of two years, without trial, any person suspected of terrorism.

The act provided s speedy trial of the offenses by a special cell that consisted of 3 High Court Judges. There was no court of appeal above that panel.

This panel could also accept the evidences which were not even acceptable in the Indian Evidences Act.

Read also:- Rowlatt Act & Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

It also placed severe restrictions on the freedom of the press.

Indian leaders and the public widely condemned the act. The bills came to be known as ‘black bills’.

Read also:- Temple Architecture Of India

The Legacy of Jallianwala Bagh, The Legacy of Jallianwala Bagh, The Legacy of Jallianwala Bagh

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