Tuesday, July 02, 2013

M for - Mera bharat mahaan

The great nation of India is peppered with so many a tourist place. Probably the one nation in the whole wide world, that can boast of all kinds of tourists attractions -right from natural scenic beauties to adventurous wonderlands and on top of it all, those fraught with ancient and modern history. This article is about one such place that falls on the latter cadre.
Tears of women have created many an epic world over. Sita's tears destroyed Lanka and in due course the base for entire Ramayana. Draupadi's tears destroyed the entire Kuru dynasty which became Mahabharatha. What was the price of Marcella Sherwood's tears?? Probably the end of British rule in India.
"Bagh" in many languages means garden, specifically one containing fruit and flower bearing trees. The northern side of India boasts of scores of such gardens and this one in Punjab, is the most famous of them all. For there grew, not just flowers and fruits, but the very seed of our Independence from British rule. Everyone knows the birthdate of Indian independence falls on 15th Aug 1947. But if one has to pinpoint the date it was conceived that would be 13th April 1919. Baisakhi is supposedly a holy day for practising Sikhs and a day of joy and happiness. On that fateful day, 94 years ago, thousands of people gathered on Jallinawala bagh to what would've been yet another public meeting to protest the misrule of British, for few days back the ruling General at that time, ordered Indians to crawl on the streets in front of British women. "These people crawl in front of their gods, they need to know that British women are as sacred as their gods and need to worship them too". From any other person on any other context this would've sounded like a true blood feminist statement. Only that the actions that followed were one of the most gruesome in recorded human history. Without any provocation and just to satisfy his ego, he let loose hell on those hapless thousands.
Till date there is no accurate figure on the number of people dead. Sadly and more cruelly, the number of cartridges spent has been well documented. The city of Jerusalem hosts one wailing wall. But every single grain of sand on Jalianwala Bagh cries of the carnage and for those thousands of people who lost their life. Was it that violent mob who attacked Marcella Sherwood and left her to die or was it the sheer act of utter disregard for human life by the British or was it a logistical flaw in the design of that ill-fated garden itself with barely an exit for hosting such a big crowd or was it fear which resulted in stampede that is claimed to have killed more than the bullets themselves. The questions could be numerous as we dig in deep. But one thing is for sure. The moment you step onto that ground, once littered with bullet ridden bodies, whose sands were colored red with the blood of those martyrs, it would be hard to miss the goose bumps and the feeling of sadness that encompasses the entire premise. Even the most neutral of person would feel electrified with patriotic fervor just by standing at that very place which forms the birth ground of Indian Independence.
This 6.5 acre of blood soaked history is located near the Golden temple shrine at Amritsar and is one of the must visit places for those who want a taste of Indian history.


Ramesh said...

One of the most shameful episodes of the British rule in India. One maniac in Dyer was allowed to carry out virtually a mass murder and he really wasn't punished for it.

The British claim of justice and fairplay lies forever in tatters in Jallianwalla Bagh.

Ganesh Puttu said...

a touching post vidyasankar..but we indians have a collective memeory measuring in only seconds..thats why we forget most of our historical incidents- good or bad, i cant say