Panel to protest Jallianwala Bagh ‘facelift’ today

Committee members to address crowd from a stage outside venue

Panel to protest Jallianwala Bagh ‘facelift’ today

The Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee (DBYC) will hold a rally in Amritsar tomorrow, in protest against the recent changes made at the Jallianwala Bagh at Amritsar.

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 22

The Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee (DBYC) will hold a rally in Amritsar tomorrow, in protest against the recent changes made at the Jallianwala Bagh at Amritsar.

The rally, which was postponed twice, will be finally held on Saturday outside the Jallianwala Bagh. Farmers' outfits, students’ groups, academic and litereray bodies will participate in the protest.

Also read: The Jallianwala Bagh makeover

Jallianwala Bagh: History massacred or restored?

Jallianwala Bagh: Facelift has erased massacre memories, say historians

The protest will be held at a separate stage outside the Jallianwala Bagh, where members of the committee will address the crowd.

DBYC president Ajmer Singh, general secretary Gurmeet Singh, cultural convener Amolak Singh and other members have also been intimating about the protest.

A group of 50 to 70 persons will set out in a bus from Jalandhar tomorrow, and will be joined by various groups on the way. The members will reach the Bhandari bridge in Amritsar, from where they will march to the Jallianwala Bagh.

The general secretary of the committee said, "We have sent repeated written appeals to the Prime Minister, the President, the Jallianwala Bagh Trust and the district administration. There have been discrepancies in the recent renovation done at the monument. Our demand is to restore the original structure of the Jallianwala Bagh. The march will be our first mark of protest against the changes made."

In a letter written to the PM and the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust on September 8, the committee had sought constitution of a group of prominent historians to ‘set right the wrongs done’ at the monument. It also metioned that ‘rendition of history in the videos had deliberate erasures and inaccuracies’. The committee objected to the use of the terms ‘nationalism’ and avoiding terms ‘freedom struggle’ or ‘anti-colonial movement’.

The objections

  • In its letter to the PM on Sept 8, the Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee stated that the changes in the layout of the Jallianwala Bagh have divested it of the historical heritage and transformed it into a place for recreation
  • The murals displayed on the walls of its entrance remind one of a festival and not of a place, where more than 1,000 Indians were massacred by the British army, when they were raising their voice against the Rowlatt Act
  • The well, in which as many as 200 persons had lost their lives, does not evoke anger and indignation against the British rule, as it has been concealed behind a glass wall, through which, almost nothing is visible in daylight

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