Law & Governance

Jallianwala Bagh monument gets a makeover to mark 100 years of the massacre

BP World Bureau | Aug 31 2021 12:42:56 PM
Image credits: Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the revamped Jallianwala Bagh after being closed in 2019. The narrow lane which holds historic importance to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that took place a hundred years ago was seen with a new addition of sculptures.

The massacre of Jallianwala Bagh has been an important chapter in India's freedom struggle. The main entrance of the yard was described by historian Kim A Wagner as "a long narrow passage, wide enough for people to pass in both directions, though not so wide as to accommodate vehicles".

The massacre took place at the Bagh on Baisakhi Day, 1919. Troops led by British General REH Dyer cut off the escape for the crowd assembled inside. The narrow passage being the only entrance, there was no escape. The narrow lane had stark brick walls as it was natural for the region.

On Saturday, it was revealed that the tunnel is partially closed to the sky and has a new floor. The walls on both sides had shiny murals of dozens of human figures, symbolising the people who died that day, reported The Indian Express.

Many historians, culture aficionados, and ordinary tourists are disappointed in the new look and it is seen as history being erased. British Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill tweeted: “Our history being erased. Why?”

Historian Kim A Wagner said that he was devastated to hear about Jallianwala Bagh being revamped. He called it a “part of the general Disneyfication of the old city of Amritsar”. He tweeted that "the last traces of the event (the massacre) have effectively been erased."

A senior official of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) told The Indian Express that the revamping project was executed by the Union Ministry of Culture. The official added that the project has been implemented under the guidance of a committee comprising eminent historians.