Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre..........

"'I think it quite possible that I could have dispersed the crowd without firing but they would have come back again and laughed, and I would have made, what I consider, a fool of myself." — Brigadier -General Reginald E H Dyer's response to the Hunter Commission Enquiry

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre  took place in the  Jallianwala Bagh public garden in the northern Indian city of Amritsar, and was ordered by General Dyer. On Sunday 13 April 1919 (which happened to be 'Baisakhi'—one of Punjab's largest religious festivals), fifty British Indian Army soldiers commanded by Dyer began shooting at an unarmed gathering of men, women, and children without warning. Dyer marched his fifty riflemen to a raised bank and ordered them to kneel and fire. Dyer ordered soldiers to reload their rifles several times and they were ordered to shoot to kill. Official Government of India sources estimated the fatalities at 379, with 1,100 wounded. Civil Surgeon Dr Williams DeeMeddy indicated that there were 1,526 casualties.The casualty number quoted by the Indian National Congress was more than 1,500, with approximately 1,000 killed On April 10, 1919, there was a protest at the residence of the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar, a city in Punjab, a large province in the northwestern part of the then unpartitioned India. The demonstration was to demand the release of two popular leaders of the Indian Independence Movement,Satya Pal  and Saifuddin Kitchlew, who had been earlier arrested by the government and removed to a secret location. Both were proponents of the Satyagraha movement led by  Gandhi ji. The crowd was shot at by a military picket, killing several protesters. The shooting set off a series of violent events. Later the same day, several banks and other government buildings, including the Town Hall and the railway station were attacked and set afire. The violence continued to escalate, culminating in the deaths of at least five Europeans, including government employees and civilians. There was retaliatory shooting at crowds from the military several times during the day, and between eight and twenty people were killed.
For the next two days, the city of Amritsar was quiet, but violence continued in other parts of the Punjab. Railway lines were cut, telegraph posts destroyed, and government buildings burnt. Three Europeans were murdered. By April 13, the British government had decided to put most of the Punjab under martial law. The legislation restricted a number of civil liberties, including freedom of assembly. Gatherings of more than four people were banned On April 13, the holiday of Baisakhi, thousands of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh (garden) near the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. Baisakhi is a Sikh festival.  During this time people celebrate by congregating in religious and community fairs, and there may have been a large number who were unaware of the political meeting.
An hour after the meeting began as scheduled at 4:30 pm, Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer marched a group of sixty-five Gurkha and twenty-five Baluchi soldiers into the Bagh, fifty of whom were armed with rifles. Dyer had also brought two armoured cars armed with machine guns, however the vehicles were stationed outside the main gate as they were unable to enter the Bagh through the narrow entrance.
The Jallianwala Bagh was bounded on all sides by houses and buildings and had few narrow entrances, most of which were kept permanently locked. The main entrance was relatively wider, but was guarded by the troops backed by the armoured vehicles. General Dyer ordered troops to begin shooting without warning or any order to disperse, and to direct shooting towards the densest sections of the crowd. He continued the shooting, approximately 1,650 rounds in all, until the ammunition supply was almost exhausted.
Apart from the many deaths directly from the shooting, a number of people died in stampedes at the narrow gates or by jumping into the solitary well on the compound to escape the shooting. A plaque in the monument at the site, set up after independence, says that 120 bodies were pulled out of the well.
The wounded could not be moved from where they had fallen, as a curfew had been declared – many more died during the night.
The number of deaths caused by the shooting is disputed. While the official figure given by the British inquiry into the massacre is 379 .Since the official figures were likely flawed considering the size of the crowd (15,000–20,000), number of rounds shot and period of shooting, the politically interested Indian National Congress instituted a separate inquiry of its own, with conclusions that differed considerably from the Government's. The casualty number quoted by the INC was more than 1,500, with approximately 1,000 killed. Despite the Government's best efforts to suppress information of the massacre, news spread elsewhere in India and widespread outrage ensued; however, the details of the massacre did not become known in Britain until December 1919.

Sunday, 16 October 2011


How many of us, have cared to understand the meaning of our National Anthem,that we rhyme on our Independence ,Republic and all our National days and events and stand proud with our head held high

 Our National Anthem ,is one of its kind , which was written not in praise of the country but  in praise of  King George V.The story goes like this......Till 1911,Bengal was the capital of India,In the year 1905  Delhi was declared the capital of India which was a  result, of an agitation started by Indians against Britisher's  proposed plan of division of Bengal .Since the agitation  spread all over India and the situation, became difficult for Britishers to handle ,they invited King George V, to India to supress /calm down Indians.Dr Rabindra Nath Tagore was then, put under pressure to write a welcome song for the King. At that point of time Rabindra Nath Tagore wrote 'Jana  Gana Mana..." now our National Anthem.When George V went back to England he asked for the translation of the song , as he could not follow a word when it was sung in his welcome.And after hearing the translation , he said that he has never been praised like that in his own country,so Rabindra Nath Tagore be called to England , and also ordered to honour him with A Nobel Prize.
Since Gandhi ji did not approve of his writing this song and fear of Gandhi ji's anger forced him to decline the honours, instead he suggested the King , that if he really be honoured then honour him on another book of his poetry named Geetanjali written by him ,to which the King agreed , thus was honoured with a Nobel Prize for the same in 1914. Now it's for us Indians to decide whether we should continue to accept Jana Gana Mana ,as our National Anthem or opt for Vande Matram which is an equally popular patriotic song .......Meaning goes as under.......


Jana Gana Mana,adhinayak jaya hai bharat bhagya vidhata ,                                                                 
Punjab Sindh Gujrat Maratha Dravir Utkal Bangah Vind Himachal    
Yamuna Ganga utkl jal dit ranga,tab shubh naame jaage tab shub 
ashish maage gaye jan ye gatha.Jana Gana Mana adhinayak jaya hai bharat
bhagya vidhata jaya hai jaya hai jaya jaya jaya jaya ho.....
indian citizens consider you a super hero,all the states of india,Punjab,Sindh,Gujrat
,Maharashtra,South india,Orissa,Bengal, all the rivers Yamuna,Ganga are happy and thrilled on your arrival.
  we live chanting  your name and we need blessings from you and we sing songs of you,O super  hero you are great.
please spread the word or share the link if you u do not accept ourNational Anthem any more after understanding the true meaning of it.......

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Verses to remember..........

I wonder how many of us,in this generation have heard the verses of the  poetry mentioned below? i remember having performed this poem on my school stage when i was probably three years old, and often rhyme the words which i remember till date, in my mind and think of those old days.At times wish to go back in pre -independence era and see ,the life style of the people,their behaviour and how they conducted themselves , .Its an overwhelming feeling remembering the past that i often heard from my grand parents and now i look for in books of history. This blog is about Rani (queen) of Jhansi who fought a fearless battle with British. and has been an inspiration for me as well.............
सिंहासन हिल उठे राजवंशों ने भृकुटी तानी थी,     The thrones shook and royalities scrowled
      बूढ़े भारत में आई फिर से नयी जवानी थी    Old India was re-invigorated with new youth
गुमी हुई आज़ादी की कीमत सबने पहचानी थी      People realised the value of lost freedom
दूर फिरंगी को करने की सबने मन में ठानी थी।  Everybody was determined to throw the foreigners out
चमक उठी सन सत्तावन में, वह तलवार पुरानी थी,The old sword glistened again in 1857
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,         This story we heard from the mouth of Bundel bards
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।      Like a man she fought,she was the Queen of Jhansi
     Rani Lakshmi Bhai was the name of an extraordinary woman .who was independent,educated, studied self defence,archery even formed an army of her own,out of her female friends .She was born in varanasi and married Maharaja of Jhansi in 1842,and became the queen of Jhansi She was given the name Lakshmi Bhai after her marriage,her original name was Manikarnika. She gave birth to a son who died four months after he was born,  and,King and Queen of Jhansi adopted a son named Anand Rao,who was the son of Gangadhars cousin.He was later renamed as Damodar Rao.However Raja never recovered from his son's death ,and died in 1953.
Because Anand Rao,was adopted,the East India Company ,underGoverner -General Lord Dalhousie,had an excuse to apply the Doctrine of Lapse, rejecting Rao's claim to the throne. Dalhousie then annexed Jhansi, saying that the throne had "lapsed" and claimed the right to put Jhansi under his protection. In March 1854, she was given a pension of 60,000 rupees and ordered to leave the palace and the Jhansi fort.
In May 1857  the Indian Rebellion started in Meerut which began after rumours that the new bullet casings for the Lee Enfield rifles were coated with pork and beef fat; British commanders insisted on their use and started to discipline anyone who disobeyed. During this rebellion sepoys killed many British soldiers and officers of the East India Company. The agitation spread throughout India. During this chaotic time, the British were forced to focus their attentions elsewhere, and Lakshmi Bai was essentially left to rule Jhansi alone. During this time, she was able to lead her troops swiftly and efficiently to quell skirmishes breaking out in Jhansi. Through this leadership Lakshmi Bai was able to keep Jhansi relatively calm and peaceful in the midst of the Empire’s unrest. Up to this point a little hesitant to rebel against the British but she her hasitation ended when British Troops arrived under Sir Hugh Rose  and laid siege to Jhansi on 23 March 1858. She rallied her troops around her and fought fiercely. An army of 20,000, headed by the rebel leader Tatya Tope,  was sent to relieve Jhansi and to take Lakshmi Bai to freedom. However, the British, though numbering only 1,540 in the field so as not to break the siege, were better trained and disciplined than the raw recruits, and these inexperienced soldiers turned and fled shortly after the British began to attack on 31st March. Lakshmi Bai’s forces could not hold out and three days later the British were able to breach the city walls and capture the city. Lakshmi Bai escaped by jumping from the wall at night with her son and fled from her city, surrounded by her guards, many of them women.

Along with the young Anand Rao, the Rani decamped to Kalpi  along with her forces where she joined other rebel forces, including those of Tatya Tope . The Rani and Tatya Tope moved on to Gwalior, where the combined rebel forces defeated the army of the Maharaja of Gwalior after his armies deserted the rebel forces. They then occupied a strategic fort at Gwalior. However, on the 17th of June 1858. while battling in full warrior regalia against the8th (Kings Royal Irish) in Kotah-ki Serai near the Phool Bagh area of Gwalior, she died. The British captured Gawalior ,three days later. In the British report of the battle, General Hugh Rose commented that the Rani, "remarkable for her beauty, cleverness and perseverance", had been "the most dangerous of all tthe rebells" It is believed her funeral was arranged on the same day near the spot where she was wounded.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Anna VS Mahatma

I do not support the demand of people of Raleigaon(Home town of Anna Hazare,a social activist from India) that Anna be given the title of Mahatma ....i wonder if , im being cynical ! For me and several others Mahatma means Gandhi ,in other words can relate the word Mahatma with Gandhi ji alone. A selfless worldknown leader who participated in freedom struggle and showed us the path to freedom ,a self styled leader who did not follow anyone but was followed by others, a leader with no enemity, who never used the word enemity , and treated an opponent with respect ,a man who never encouraged violence.Its of great importance for the people to understand ,the generation we lost, with last words,of Mahatma Gandhi HEY RAM !! Here's some light drawn on Mahatma's Life.

 Gandhi first employed non-violent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers in protesting against excessive land-tax and discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women's rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, increasing economic self-reliance, but above all for achieving Swaraj — the independence of India from foreign domination. Gandhi famously led Indians in protesting the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, on many occasions, in both South Africa and India.
Gandhi strove to practice non-violence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as means of both self-purification and social protest

This is just a peek into the life of  the great leader, and i wonder how many of Raleigaon people are aware of these facts about Gandhi ji. For me leaders are never made but  born , adorning a Gandhi Topi does not make anyone Mahatma but one has to be chiselled to shine to brilliance. Last but not least Anna has to realise ,Gandhi ji never took the credit of winning a battle for him it was always the victory of the nation.
In my opinion ,it will take Anna few generations  to even come close to what Mahatma Gandhi was!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Hey Raam .........and we lost a generation of our ancestors who made India a proud nation. After years of freedom we still chant Rang De Basanti  and Sarfroshi Ki Tamanna , on every independence day and may be we shall continue to sing the same songs, for years to come. though many of us may not understand a word . A 22 year old boy along with his two frnds , around the same age sacrificed their life for freedom of this country.I often think of the drive and the spirit  they had whcich made them fearless and close to ground realities of life.They are lost , not even in our thoughts any more.Do we the people of India have the same spirit for the love of this country....well in my opinion things have changed drastically ,todays generation is a generation ,unfamiliar with what it is being deprived of freedom of speech and action .Today we are a population of more than a hundred odd crores lost either in  struggle of survival or power. The thought of these freedom fighters, makes me a proud Indian and releases a tingling sensation of happiness in my brain . I am so overwhelmed while writing this blog ,the thought of BAGHAT SINGH,RAJ GURU AND SUKHDEV which i shall always cherish.