BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia has written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding a posthumous award for British journalist Benjamin Guy Horniman, who he said “narrated the truth of Jallianwala Bagh massacre by defying brutal British Censorship in 1919”.
“Benjamin Guy Horniman (1873-1948) as an editor of the paper ‘The Bombay Chronicle’ narrated the truth of Jallianwala Bagh massacre by defying brutal British censorship in 1919. He had to undergo a sentence of two years’ rigorous imprisonment. The paper ‘The Bombay Chronicle’ had to suspend its publication and Horniman was deported to Britain,” said Kalia.
He added that Horniman got photographs of the massacre and its aftermath smuggled from India and broke stories in the Daily Herald in Britain to tell the truth of the massacre to the British people.
“He implored British public opinion to question the justification given by General Reginald Dyer. In his book titled ‘Amritsar and Our Duty to India,’ which was published in 1920, he called out the ‘Dyerarchy’ of General Dyer in Punjab, a word that he used for the atrocities committed under Brigadier General Dyer. Comparing the massacre to Congo atrocities and those perpetrated by Germany in France and Belgium, he called it an ‘indelible blot on British rule in India,” said Kalia.
Through his reports and writings, Horniman said that “after the revelations of the Hunter Committee, Great Britain cannot, if she is to maintain her honour before the world, remain quiescent…..she will have to see whether the intention to terrorize the people of Punjab was deliberate and prearranged.”
Kalia said that “bestowing a civil honour posthumously” would be a “befitting reply to those who supported” Dyer.