UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday said that the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy was a shameful scar on British Indian history.
Facing increasing pressure to apologise on behalf of UK for the tragedy in which thousands of innocent and unarmed people were mercilessly shot dead by General Reginald Dyer 100 years ago – on April 13 of 1919, May said that it was an extremely unfortunate incident. “We deeply regret the tragedy and the suffering it caused,” she said.
A day earlier, on Tuesday, the UK’s Foreign Office minister Mark Field had said that while past shameful incidents have to be marked in red, issuing repeated apologies for events in Britain’s colonial past could come with financial implications. He had stressed at the time that relations with India must be based on current dynamics and not be influenced by past incidents even if they were shameful.
And the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy was not just shameful but an outright massacre in which hundreds were killed and thousands were injured. Even after 100 years since it took place, the tragedy evokes emotional sentiments from Indians all around the world.