Jallianwala Bagh massacre is an important incident of Indian history and its centenary didn’t receive the attention it deserved, veteran poet-lyricist Gulzar said.
Gulzar was speaking on Saturday at the release of Shahmukhi and Malayalam versions of Khooni Vaisakhi, a book by former ambassador, Navdeep Suri.
The book, which is the translation of a poem on the recollections of Jallianwala Bagh by Suri’s grandfather Nanak Singh, was launched at the Sharjah International Book Fair here.
“Even 150 years of the first war of Independence was marked with a series of programmes but somehow the Jallianwala Bagh incident hasn’t been given the attention it deserves,” Gulzar said.
Suri, who retired as the ambassador of India to the UAE last month, narrated the circumstances under which his grandfather wrote the poem.
The poem Khooni Vaisakhi was banned by the British within days of its coming out, he said.
“It took the family 60 years to find the original manuscript, which was traced to the Yorkshire store of the British Council,” Suri added.
Participating in the discussion, journalist-filmmaker Amna Ehtesham shared a Pakistani perspective on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
“Even 100 years after the incident the tragedy continues to unite India and Pakistan. It was such a poignant moment in history that even the likes of Archbishop of Canterbury apologised for it recently,” Ehtesham said.
The massacre took place at Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab’s Amritsar during the Baisakhi festival on April 13, 1919 when the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire at a crowd staging a pro-Independence demonstration, leaving scores dead.