Jallianwala Bagh commemorative book to be launched at Lords on 100th anniversary of massacre

British Asia News Network

London, April 4: Author Saurav Dutt, writer of ‘Garden of Bullets: Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh’, will launch his commemorative book detailing the Jallianwala Bagh massacre at a special dinner held on the 100th anniversary of the infamous event at The House of Lords. The event, organised by The Loomba Foundation, will feature prominent guests, speakers and talks by individuals such as Lord Loomba and Lord Desai, accompanied by a film screening of the documentary ‘Remembering the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre – 100 years later’ at The Nehru Centre. 

The events at Jallianwala Bagh on 13 April 1919 were an important turning point in the Indian struggle for Independence. On that day General Reginald Dyer opened fire on an unarmed crowd in Amritsar, killing hundreds and wounding thousands. Saurav Dutt’s book looks at the day of the massacre at Amritsar as well as the events before and after, using the intuitive format of a historical novel to discuss first-hand testimonies and accounts of people who were at the Jallianwala Bagh on that day and who witnessed events in both the periods before and after 13 April 1919 to give a deeper understanding of what some of the root causes and effects were.

Looking forward to the launch, the documentary as well as the inauguration of the partition museum in Amritsar which has opened its exhibition on the history of the Jallianwala Bagh, Dutt said "It is an honour and privilege to launch this labour of love in such prestigious surroundings, among such distinguished hosts, particularly on the day of the centenary; It is both eerie and heartbreaking to think that one hundred years ago this horrific act took place in the country of my birth, followed by many months of martial law in the Punjab which were just as hurtful to the population and equally shameful in objective of dehumanising an entire race. I hope this book encourages younger generations to read up more on what happened and to broaden their understanding of colonialism in the Indian subcontinent; especially for British Indians to understand where their ancestry and history comes from, for I firmly believe that if you don't know where you come from, then you don't know where you are going."

Dutt explained that his book subscribes completely to the fact that the massacre was one part of a much larger system of colonial oppression in Punjab, that lasted for months even years.

Alongside the House of Lords event, The Loomba Foundation will also screen an exclusive documentary on the 100th anniversary and help publicize the Partition Museum exhibition. Housed at the historic Town Hall in Amritsar, the Partition Museum is a memorial to those who lived through the Partition, the largest mass migration in human history. The Museum opened all its galleries to the public on 17th August 2017 and in the last year has become one of the top tourist destinations in Amritsar.

Saurav Dutt’s book ‘Garden of Bullets: Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh’ was released this week.

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