The newly-renovated Jallianwala Bagh, which witnessed one of the darkest chapters of India’s freedom struggle, has sparked outrage and criticism against the government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh memorial on August 29. While dedicating the complex virtually, the prime minister stressed that it is a country's duty to protect its history.
However, historians, opposition, celebrities and other people have come together to accuse the government of destroying history in the name of renovation of the Jallianwala Bagh, where more than 1,000 people were killed and hundreds wounded on April 13, 1919 when General Reginald Dyer opened fire on an unarmed gathering of thousands who had assembled there amid nationwide protests against the Rowlatt Act which had extended wartime repressive measures.In the renovated complex, the well into which people jumped during the firing has been covered with a transparent barrier. The narrow, unadorned passage has been covered with sculptures. However, Most of the criticism has been directed towards the daily sound and light show explaining the events at the complex.
Join me as we inaugurate the renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh Smarak today at 6:25 PM. I also invite you to watch the sound and light show. It would display the horrific massacre of April 1919 and instil a spirit of gratitude and reverence towards the martyrs. pic.twitter.com/p2BDHUbXAJ
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 28, 2021
Here is what people have said about the new look of renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh memorial:
I’ve been to Holocaust memorial sites in Europe. At every site, the atmosphere was somber - the purpose of the visit is to understand the diabolical events & remember those that died.
Only a psychopath with zero emotions can do a “light & sound show” where a massacre happened.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) August 30, 2021
The most shocking display of mourning is the Light & Sound show at #JallianwalaBagh where Indians were massacred by General Dyer!— Dr. Shama Mohamed (@drshamamohd) August 30, 2021
Grateful that I visited #JallianwalaBagh before this shameful desecration. When I went, it was packed, but there was a sombre silence in memoriam of those we'd lost. We wept at the sight of the bullet-holes in the plain walls. Can't believe what this clueless govt. has done.— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) August 30, 2021
This is corporatisation of monuments, where they end up as modern structures, losing the heritage value. Look after them without meddling with the flavours of the period these memorials represent. https://t.co/H1dXQMmft7— S lrfan Habib (@irfhabib) August 30, 2021
#JallianwalaBagh history must be kept intact moreover preserve from being touched. Beautification or addition if any , with the main components of monument surely hampers real History .@ASIGoI @major_pawan @VishalcINC @AasReports @abhiwhy— Vaibhav Joshi (@vaibhav397) August 31, 2021
This is the original entrance - the one taken by Dyer. Before and after: pic.twitter.com/fuxkJUPq7J— Kim A. Wagner (@KimAtiWagner) August 28, 2021
Just like the many criminal cases on our politicians that have been dismissed
So with #JallianwalaBagh light n sound show I guess General Dyres crimes also r now to be forgotten
Whats next on the menu...
a roller coaster n giant wheel @ bhopal gas tragedy site— Ma Anand Shiela (@Sam_Ey_Am) August 31, 2021
Insulting our martyrs.
Jallianwala Bagh massacre of Hindus Muslims Sikhs who gathered together for Baisakhi galvanised our freedom struggle.
Every brick here permeated the horror of British rule.
Only those who stayed away from the epic freedom struggle can scandalise thus. https://t.co/KvYbl840qE— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) August 30, 2021
During the August 29 event, PM Modi said the dedication of the renovated complex in the country's 75th year of independence is a matter of inspiration for all. "It is the duty of every country to protect its history. Events of the past teach us and give direction to move forward," he said.
Horrors like the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and the Partition speak of the sacrifices made for India's freedom and should not be forgotten as they inspire to keep the country above all.
"This place will inspire future generations about the journey of our Independence movement, the sacrifices and countless struggles of our ancestors. "What should be our duty towards our nation and how we should keep the country above all in everything we do, the inspiration for this will come from this place," the PM said.
Referring to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the PM said those 10 minutes of April 13, 1919 became the immortal story of India's freedom struggle.(With inputs from PTI)