UK Sikh group wants a formal apology from Cameron for Jallianwala


13th April,2016 marked the 97th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Indian Workers’ Association (IWA) has asked Prime Minister David Cameron to repeat his statement regretting the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh incident .

According to PTI, “The Indian Workers Association (IWA) has written to Cameron to repeat his description of the massacre as a “deeply shameful act in British history”, made during his visit to Amritsar in February, 2013, in the House of Commons.”

According to IWA vice-president Harsev Bains “This single action will cost nothing. The effect on the people of India and the Indian diaspora will be of historic magnitude.”

The dreaded Jallianwala Bagh massacre was headed by British Col Reginald Dyer who had ordered soldiers to open fire on thousands of Sikhs who had gathered at the Bagh as part of an anti-Raj rally. This incident has taken the lives of 379 people though actual figures are believed to be much higher.

Cameron had almost apologised when he wrote on the visitor’s book at the memorial site in 2013, while on an official visit to India.

“This was a deeply shameful act in British history, one that Winston Churchill rightly described at that time as ‘monstrous’. We must never forget what happened here and we must ensure that the UK stands up for the right of peaceful protests,” Cameron had written.

He later  said  “I don’t think the right thing is to reach back into history and to seek out things you can apologise for. I think the right thing is to acknowledge what happened, to recall what happened, to show respect and understanding for what happened”.

Indian Workers’ Association (IWA) is an organisation founded in 1938. It fights for the rights of Sikh’s and Indian origin worker’s in UK. The IWA believes that the time has arrived for Cameron to formally apologise for the incident .

  • Chetna Karnani

    Rightly said by Cameron, I believe even though India was suppressed for the longest time in history, one cannot apologise for the acts of past.