Garden of Bullets- Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh

  • Mon,3 Dec 2018 11:29:30 AM
British Asia News Network- SL
London: Amritsar Massacre Centenary in 2019 to be marked by commemorative book, highlighting imperial conquest and fight for Indian independence.
Indian author Saurav Dutt is to publish a book to mark the 100th anniversary of a horrific event that proved to be the turning point in the Indian fight for independence from the British Raj.

At least 379 people were massacred and another 1,200 injured after 90 British men, under the orders of Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, opened fire at the crowd gathered at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar on April 13,1919.

The incident is regarded as one of the deadliest attacks in the history of the world and proved to be a turning point in India’s freedom struggle, whose repercussions were felt across generations.

Author Saurav Dutt says “This was a momentous occasion, bringing together the abject racism, brutality and ruthlessness of the British Raj in India; that afternoon and in the events that followed in its wake, typified the true face of British colonialism and its absolute spite of the Indian and their hope for self government and independence.”

The book delves deeply into the mindset of the Indian populace at the time, the British Raj establishment as well as the key players, not least the complex General Dyer who gave the order to fire and who felt as if he ‘would be laughed at’ if he did not demonstrate the forcefulness that earned him the moniker ‘The butcher of Amritsar’.

“It was a charged and highly emotive time,” Dutt continues “and I hope the book will encapsulate the desperation and fortitude of the Indian independence movement as well as the contempt, racism and hatred of the British establishment once they realised that Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs dared to question their authority and sought to create an India for Indians, without British governance and domination.”

There’s no question that reading a book and gaining insightful knowledge is great no matter what the title or when it happens. But what about those books that we read that are so special they alter the course of our lives in some way or change the way we think about the world?

British Asia News spoke to the author Saurav Dutt to get to know him a little better and get a insight into who he is and why he chose to write about the Amritsar massacre.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and what do you do?

I am Indian qualified lawyer, novelist and syndicated political commentator in outlets as diverse as The Times of Israel, The Bengal Chronicle and American Herald Tribune. My passion is writing about the history of the Indian subcontinent and talking about socio-political issues that concern Asians around the world e.g. domestic violence and abuse in South Asia, geopolitical strategy and history. I've been featured on BBC radio, Russia Today, Press TV and Sky News and was interviewed by Baroness Chakraborti about my work on behalf of the Women's Interfaith Network. I've also been nominated for my work in Asian Media and the Arts at the British Indian Awards and Asian Achievers Awards. I work with domestic violence charities and am a human rights campaigner with the WEF.

What inspired you to write imparticularly about this event and the circumstances around i?

I've always been interesting in uncovering the depth of imperialism and colonialism as it impacted the Indian subcontinent and Asia. It's vital that future generations understand all facets of the British Raj and colonialism because it had so powerfully impacted our lives, families, roots and outlook in ways we cannot even comprehend, shaping debate, context and outlook in many complex ways. The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre is also a morality tale, a cautionary tale about being too comfortable with the levers of power, manipulation and control. I feel compelled to write about this so that current and future generations understand why India finally tore away from the arms of British rule and decided, once and for all, that independence-with no strings attached-was the only way forward.
The book is released in Spring 2019 to mark the centenary. You can follow the author on social media here.

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