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Posted at: Apr 14, 2019, 7:05 AM; last updated: Apr 14, 2019, 10:32 PM (IST)THE TRIBUNE COMMEMORATES JALLIANWALA BAGH CENTENARY

A salute to the Jallianwala Bagh martyrs

Region comes together as The Tribune pays tribute to the heroes who impacted history

Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13

We need to raise a memorial to hundreds of freedom fighters who went unrecognised in the annals of history, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said here today, addressing the centenary commemoration of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre organised by The Tribune Trust.

The Tribune played a historical role in awakening the people across North India, before and after the massacre. It faced the wrath of the British Raj for speaking out the truth and reporting extensively on the episode.   

 Capt Amarinder exhorted researchers to make correction in aberrations. He cited the example of the casualty figure of 379 given by the British after the April 13, 1919, carnage. “The actual number is much higher,” he said. “When on an official tour of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, we found there was no record on the hundreds of Punjabis who suffered torture there. I hope Vice Chancellors and researchers help us correct the narrative of our history.”

Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar said the danger to the freedom India had earned after incalculable suffering today came from terrorism, communalism and casteism. “The only tribute that the Indians can pay to the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh firing is to rise above divisive lines of religion, region and caste to build a united India.”

He said The Tribune was the result of a growing awakening after the 1857 revolt. “Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a social reformer, established The Tribune Trust in 1881 in Lahore to contribute his bit to the struggle.” 

The function began with a one-minute silence in memory of the Jallianwala martyrs. 

Himachal Pradesh Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said: “Inspired by The Tribune initiative, Himachal Pradesh will contribute to raising a memorial to freedom fighters at Amritsar. We expect Punjab and Haryana to join in.”

President of The Tribune Trust NN Vohra said the Jallianwala tragedy kindled the fire for freedom that was never extinguished till the country became free. Mentioning martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev and Udham Singh, he said an inspirational environment was set into motion by the Amritsar tragedy. 

The national events that followed saw the emergence of Mahatma Gandhi, who took charge of the situation. He said today’s event was an occasion to remind ourselves about the role of the media which at that point of time were essentially newspapers.

The Tribune Editor Rajesh Ramachandran, in his welcome address, said: “Jallianwala Bagh was an epochal event that changed the course of Indian history. It made Gandhi a Mahatma. Today is also an occasion to remember The Tribune’s scholarly contribution during the freedom struggle. The resolve of the newspaper was best shown by Editor Kalinath Ray, who dared to show the real face of the British rule.”

Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla and Member of Parliament Kirron Kher, Speakers of the Punjab and Haryana Vidhan Sabhas Rana KP Singh and Kanwar Pal Gujjar, Punjab Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, Housing Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Animal Husbandry Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, PWD Minister Vijay Inder Singla, Sports Minister Rana Gurmeet Sodhi and Haryana’s Health Minister Anil Vij also attended the function.

A book “Martyrdom to Freedom: 100 years of Jallianwala Bagh” edited by The Tribune Editor Rajesh Ramachandran, with a foreword by The Tribune Trust President NN Vohra, was released on the occasion. 

Four descendants of the Jallianwala martyrs were honoured — Sunil Kapoor, great grandson of Wasoo Mal; Surinder Singh, nephew of martyr Sunder Singh; Rajender Sharma, great grandson of martyr Amin Chand, and Mahesh Behal, grandson of Hari Ram Behal. 

Managing Director of Rupa Publications Kapish Mehra was felicitated on the occasion. Senior television news anchor Rini Khanna conducted the stage.

The Punjab and Haryana governments were participants with The Tribune in the centenary commemoration.

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