UK MP wants memorial to Jallianwala Bagh massacre to be built in London
LONDON : British member of Parliament Virendra Sharma has sought a formal commemoration of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of April 13, 1919, that marked the beginning of the end of British rule in India.
Addressing an event here to mark the 99th anniversary of the massacre, the Labour Party member, with roots in Jalandhar, called for a formal memorial in London to the heinous act. He said the massacre should also be included in the curriculum.
Sharma, who represents Ealing Southall, echoed the demand of local community leaders who have been mounting pressure on the government for a permanent memorial.
“It is wrong that this hugely significant event goes practically unremembered in Britain. While the cruel murder of a thousand Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus was the beginning of the end of British rule in India, few here even know it happened. To this day millions across India and Pakistan remember this day.”
“I want the next generation of schoolchildren to learn about the Amritsar massacre and to learn all aspects of colonialism. London, as the centre of the British Empire, is the right place for a formal and lasting monument to what happened,” he said.
“The calls for a memorial have continued to grow and now as we enter the 99th anniversary year, they will only grow louder,” he added.
In March, Sharma had raised the issue in the House of Commons. Sharma had asked British Prime Minister Theresa May: “This year, April 13 represents the 99th anniversary of what happened at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, India, known as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, in which more than 1,000 peaceful protesters were murdered by soldiers under the command of General Dyer.”
“Will the Prime Minister join me in commemorating the massacre and meet me and others who are campaigning for this shameful episode to be remembered across the UK?”
May had replied: “The gentleman has raised a very specific issue and a very specific point. I will be happy to look at the question he has raised and respond to him in writing.”
I want the next generation of schoolchildren to learn about the massacre. London as the centre of the British Empire is the right place for a formal and lasting monument . VIRENDRA SHARMA, India-born MP
Labour Party MP Virendra Sharma (centre), who represents Ealing Southall, echoed the demand of local community.