Jallianwalla Bagh anniversary exposes ‘nationalist’ PM, BJP and ally    

Why couldn’t the Modi Government sanction money for the light and sound programme to continue at Jallianwala Bagh? Why didn’t it get a resolution passed for an apology from Britain?

Jallianwala Bagh (Photo by Pramod Pushkarna)
Jallianwala Bagh (Photo by Pramod Pushkarna)

NH Web Desk

Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur on Saturday found herself at the receiving end of barbs after she marred the solemnity of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre centenary by a bit of political one-upmanship. Reacting to a tweet by the Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh in which he said that an expression of regret by the British Prime Minister was not enough and that an apology was needed, the Union Minister tweeted that the CM should first seek an apology from the ‘Gandhis’ for Operation Blue Star.

The unwarranted jibe invited a swift response from the Punjab CM who asked, “Did you, your husband @officeofssbadal or his father, Prakash Singh Badal, ever apologise for your great grandfather, Sardar Sunder Singh Majithia’s lavish dinner to Gen Dyer on the day of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre? He was later knighted in 1926 for his loyalty and his deeds.

More details of the role of Sardar Sunder Singh Majithia were shared by other Twitter users, who added to the raging controversy on Twitter:

  • While the world protested against the #JallianwalaBaghMassacre, and Mahatma Gandhi returned the title of Kaiser-e-Hind as a protest, Sunder Singh Majithia was officially honored as 'Sardar Bahadur' by the British for his service towards Gen Dyer and the British Raj!
  • Sunder Singh Majithia was the great-grandfather of Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Bikramjit Singh Majithia. Just a day after #JallianwalaBaghMassacre Dyer called a meeting of a very few trusted aides, for defence, and Sunder S Majithia was one of them.
  • Supporter of the British regime, Sunder Singh Majithia went on to publicily hail Gen Dyer after the massacre as a "successful administrator" and said that 'Dyer is a victim' of the conspiracy hatched by mischievous elements who wanted to disturb the peace of the land.
  • Khushwant Singh wrote that as a kid he had a chance to meet Sunder Singh Majithia. He walked up to him with an album for an autograph but looking at the pics of Bhagat Singh, Majithia got furious and calling Bhagat Singh a 'renegade' he flung the album across the hall.

M.B. Rajesh, a member of the CPM and a former MP, tweeted that he had spoken in Parliament and urged the Modi Government to adopt a resolution urging Britain to tender an apology. But the Government paid no heed to his plea.

“I have asked the Indian Govt to pass resolution seeking unconditional apology from the British regime which the ‘nationalist’ Modi Government refused to do.

Rajesh also endorsed British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s stand that Britain must apologise for the massacre.

Rajesh also confided that while the Modi Government spent ₹3000 Crore to install the statue of unity, it had failed to release funds to the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust to sustain the 52-minute light-and-sound show. Ironically, Prime Minister Narendra Modi happens to be the chairman of the Trust.

Rajesh tweeted that even in the centenary year of Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the government had failed to release even “Rs 1 for 3000 martyrs.”

The Prime Minister was too busy campaigning to pay his homage at the Memorial in Amritsar on Saturday. He marked the event with a tweet. It was left to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu to attend a function and release commemorative coin and stamps

British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith visited the Memorial in Amritsar. “The events of Jallianwala Bagh 100 years ago today reflect a shameful act in British-Indian history. We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused. I am pleased today that the UK and India have and remain committed to developing further a thriving 21st century partnership,” Asquith noted in the visitors’ book at the memorial.

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