Jallianwala Bagh exhibit at National Archives of India till April 13
The National Archives of India on Wednesday inaugurated an exhibition titled ‘Jallianwala Bagh’, which put on display rare documents and reports related to the April 13,1919, massacre British forces.
“The government is celebrating the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, and the National Archives being a keeper of the written heritage of the country, thought it necessary to put out extensive records on the incident that we have in our collection,” said Chandan Sinha, Director-General, National Archives.
“It is extremely important that we do not forget the massacre at Jallianwala Bagh considering it was a crucial turning point in Indian history,” he said.
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre refers to the incident at a public garden in Amritsar when acting-Brigadier General Dyer ordered British soldiers to fire at civilians, leading to the death of more than 400 people.
The exhibition that was inaugurated on the occasion of the 130th foundation day of National Archives will be up for the public to view till April 30, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Curated by National Archives, the exhibition has on display about 40 sets of documents that weave together the story of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre starting from important papers part of the Defence of India Act 1915, which was enacted by the British governor-general in India with the objective of suppressing revolutionary and nationalist activities in the country after the First World War. Other documents on display include the proposed action against Annie Besant and M K Gandhi, General Dyer’s most infamous official statement called the ‘Crawling Order’, the Hunter Committee’s report that investigated the events leading up to the massacre, as well as exhibits on the commemoration of the incident in its aftermath.
Also on display is a makeshift well, symbolising the ghastly moment when many stuck at Jallianwala Bagh died when they jumped into the well located at the centre of the enclosure to escape bullets.
“What we are taught about the Jallianwala Bagh is very meagre information, whereas the incident, including what happened before and after, is a much larger narrative and needs to be looked at very carefully,” said Kishwar Desai, author of the book, ‘Jallianwala Bagh, 1919: The real story’.
“The exhibition put together by National Archives is wonderful because it gives us some unique information about the Jallianwala Bagh and the massacre that took place there. It is particularly important because these are all archival information, making it a rare exhibition,” she added.