Jallianwala Bagh fame Brig. Gen. Dyer and Walker Hospital, Shimla – proposal to name a ward after Dyer was rejected!!

Above image: ”Brigadier General Reginald Dyer, one of the masterminds of the Amritsar Massacre (1919)  died in 1927. He spent his last years in Long Ashton (near Bristol). Paralysed by a stroke he was  bedridden till hehit the grave. ……….

The daily newspaper The Tribune mentioned (dated  April 06, 2019) that to honor the death of  Jallianwala butcher Reginald Dyer in 1927 in England, Lt. Governor of Punjab Michael O ‘Dwyer formed a committee called ‘Dyer Memorial Committee’. This committee  expressed  their  desire to endow a ward at Walker Hospital, Shimla in his memory. A ward in honor of  a racist Sr. military officer  who had let the seriously wounded natives at the Bagh bleed to painful death by denying them urgent medical aid and ambulance facilities? Naturally, the proposal was rejected.

Following are the most resentful facts of how the British government  treated the mass killer Brig. Gen. Dyer:

Racial superiority and arrogance against the Indians were writ on the face of  men like Dyer. Vellore Mutiny (10 July 1806) induced by in changes in the dress code of Indian sepoys and the great war of rebellion of 1857-58 induced by the introduction of Enfield rifles  with greased (made of pig and cow fat) cartridges are examples.

Till his death Lt. Gov.Michael O ‘Dwyer who loathed Indians was a staunch supporter of Brig. Gen. Dyer and the massacre he masterminded. O’Dwyer  himself  had a painful end at the hand of an assassin; he was shot dead in London in 1940 by Udham Singhwho stalked him all the way to London  to get the ex governor of Punjab caught unawares.

Brig. Gen. Dyer was responsible for the horrible  killing of roughly 1000 innocent unarmed  Indians – men, women and children and wounding equal number on April 13 1919 at the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar. The seriously injured people had no medical aid and faced  imminent death with no medical attention; not even a glass of water. Their cry for help and agonizing pain was overlooked.

Not content with his mass killing this Brig. Gen Dyer in the following days  earned the wrath of the residents  of the narrow Kucha Kaurianwala Street, Amritsar leading to the Bagh. He imposed curfew and asked the people to stay indoors to avoid punishment. An air of of disquietude  and restlessness  descended on the scene there when Dyer made the people crawl without raising their head, if the head pops up, the man is struck with a heavy blow from the lathi.  His innovative Whipping” post targeted younters.  If found trouble making, tied to the post  teenagers had to withstand 30 painful whiplashes. Dyer was remorseless and had  no sympathy for children and women.  As part of his military duty with glee and glow in his eyes  Dyer  killed, wounded and insulted the people with sheer military power.

The Lt. Gov. of Punjab, Michael O ‘Dwyer was yet another perpetrator of this massacre.  Many media reports pointed out that the massacre at the bagh was preplanned by a group of Sr. military officers in collusion with Dyer and the Punjab governor had to issue the orders with hesitation. The onus was on O ‘Dwyer who officially allowed Dyer to commit the most heinous  crime against humanity on the soil of Punjab. Apart, officially he had the media gagged for a short period to buy time  to turn the table on the Indians and get their name tarnished in England.

Benjamin Guy Horniman thenorthlines.com

It was Britisher Benjamin Guy Horniman (1873 to 1948)then editor of the Bombay Chronicle (1913 – 1919) and honest  journalist who took serious efforts and exposed both  Gov. Michael O ‘Dwyer and  Gen. Reginald Dyer for their repulsive and revolting  war crime. Despite  press censorship and gag orders being in force, Horniman was able to sneak out  details and  smuggle photos of the massacre to expose the mass slaughter to the world through The Daily Herald in Britain and proved unequivocally  it was a premeditated  military action .  A section of the English society was shocked  and highly critical of the Crown’s unjust rule in India. His exposé was one of the reasons that resulted in the appointment of The Hunter commission.

The reporter who wrote the article was tried and sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment. The paper had to suspend its publication and Horniman was deported to Britain

When Dyer sailed back to England after his misadventure in Amritsar  he was given a heroic welcome for his patriotic duties.The British  on the conservative side, refused to look at him as a war criminal. The UK then considered him a hero and a saviour of a British nun who was caught in the riots in Amritsar in  April 1919.

On July 8, 1920, British right-wing newspaper The Morning Post (which later merged with the Telegraph) in association with ladies’ association made an appeal for monetary subscription and finally collected and presented a purse of 26000 pounds  to Dyer for his meritorious patriotic act in India .

Surprisingly, one of the contributors to the fund was jungle Story writer Rudyard Kipling; his contribution: was 10 pounds). When Dyer was buried in 1927, Kipling sent a wreath with the inscription: “He did his duty as he saw it.” British historian Wagner says ‘‘it is clear that Kipling was supportive of Dyer”.

Based on the Hunter commission  Gen. Dyer was just  demoted and not punished. To the utter dismay of Indian patriots and freedom fighters his  rank as Brig. Gen. was restored by the government in the later years.

Both  Dyer and O ‘Dwyer were never imprisoned for their war crimes. Nor were any serious  disciplinary actions  taken against them  for human rights violation and letting the seriously wounded people die in the Bagh without any aid.

Conservative politician Lord Salisbury,en.wikipedia.org
In the House of Lords, Dyer found many conservative supporters, the most prominent being Lord Salisbury. The House of Lords voted 129 to 86 in favour of Dyer. I means, the House approved his mass killings.

Neither the British Royal family nor the UK government, as of today,  apologized for this horrendous crime on humanity. Queen Elizabeth, on  her last  visit to Jallianwala Bagh (1997), expressed her regrets. During the visit, the Queen bowed her head and placed a wreath at the memorial. She said, “distressing example” of “some difficult episodes in our past”. She knew  this mass killing took place during the reign of her grandfather, George V, but no apology from the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth and prince Philip’s of England Dailymail.com

As for Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip) who accompanied the queen to the Bagh, as useful got into his business. It was on occasion for him to enthrall the media with his silly gaffes. This time on the way out at the Bagh, upon seeing an information board, Prince Philip stopped to query an official on the number of dead: “Two thousand? It wasn’t, was it? That’s wrong. I was in the navy with Dyer’s son. That’s a bit exaggerated…it must include the wounded. He further saidthat’s wrong and I was in the navy with Dyer’s son”. – an unworthy and remorseless act`

The Archbishop of Canterbury Most Rev Justin Portal Welby,on a visit to the Bagh in September 2019, got the attention of the people by protesting before the memorial as Indians do in the temples before the deities. He could not contain his remorse and said, “Learning of what happened, I recognise the sins of my British colonial history, the ideology that too often subjugated and dehumanised other races and cultures. Jesus Christ calls us to turn away from sin… we have a great responsibility to not just lament this horrific massacre, but most importantly, to learn from it in a way that changes our actions.” Several high officials from the British government visited this memorial, but they’ expressed “deep regret” but none had  felt ashamed the way Welby felt. The visiting padre, head of more than 100 million  Anglicans worldwide was visibly moved.

Way back in the past the Church of England’s Archbishop of Canterbury Randall Davidson not only praised Dyer and called him a ”patriot.”

Army officer Dyer being  malignance personified,  his jiffy action and its repercussions in the wake of the blood-letting incident at the Bagh fastned the  end of the British Empire that had looted India for roughly 200 years and unashamedly treated us an inferior race.

Edwin Samuel Montagu was Secretary of State for India
en.wikipedia.org

Dyer’s case was discussed in the House of Commons in July 1920. The Secretary of State, Montagu said, “Are you going to keep your hold upon India by terrorism, racial humiliation, and subordination, and frightfulness, or are you going to rest it upon the goodwill, and the growing goodwill, of the people of your Indian Empire?” Montagu faced a barrage of criticism from  racial diehards. Austin Chamberlain, a racist, was infuriated.  … A Jew, (Montagu) rounding on an Englishman and throwing him to the wolves—that was the feeling”.

The Jallianwala Bagh  massacre was a turning point in Indian history and it not only  accelerated the freedom struggle and tolled  the first death knell for the downfall of British rule in India but also showcased the  atrocities, brute forces  and racial arrogance of the British Raj that were not widely reported in the world media. It was part of the wily British political strategy.

https://sundayguardianlive.com/opinion/butcher-jallianwala-hero-england

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/when-britain-s-prince-philip-hit-the-headlines-in-india/story-e5XhmCX5UdBHxkcHE9cW2H.html

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/archive/himachaltribune/walker-hospital-a-legacy-of-the-raj-754212

https://sundayguardianlive.com/opinion/butcher-jallianwala-hero-england

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5Wziy2zwCA

https://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090412/spectrum/main4.html

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