RE­PEN­TANCE

MEM­ORY Pays trib­utes to those killed in the mas­sacre; pitches for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - Front Page - Sur­jit Singh sur­[email protected]

Arch­bishop of Canterbury Justin Welby pros­trates in front of the Jal­lian­wala Bagh memo­rial in Am­rit­sar on Tues­day. The prin­ci­pal leader of the Church of Eng­land, who is also the head of the Angli­can Com­mu­nion, said the 1919 mas­sacre ‘pro­vokes feel­ing of pro­found shame’.

Am­rit­sar: arch­bishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the head of the Angli­can Com­mu­nion, said on Tues­day he was “ashamed and sorry” as a re­li­gious leader as well as a Chris­tian for the killing of peace­ful peo­ple by the British In­dian Army at Jal­lian­wala Bagh in Am­rit­sar on April 13, 1919.

Ac­com­pa­nied by his wife Caro­line, Welby along with lo­cal Chris­tian lead­ers and oth­ers vis­ited the gar­den to pay trib­utes to those killed in the car­nage.

“It is a feel­ing of pro­found shame to visit this place that wit­nessed such atroc­i­ties a hun­dred years ago. My first re­sponse is to pray for heal­ing of the rel­a­tives, de­scen­dants of the vic­tims besides our re­la­tion­ship with In­dia and its won­der­ful peo­ple. That prayer re­news in me a de­sire to act so that to­gether we may learn from his­tory, root out ha­tred, pro­mote rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and seek the com­mon good glob­ally,” he wrote on the vis­i­tor’s book in the gar­den.

Ear­lier, he bowed his head and closed his eyes be­fore the ‘Amar Jy­oti’, the torch lighted in the mar­tyrs’ mem­ory. He also looked at the bul­lets marks on the walls and other places.

Also, he pros­trated be­fore the mar­tyrs’ memo­rial and of­fered prayers. “I can’t speak on be­half of the British govern­ment as I am not its of­fi­cial. I am a re­li­gious leader, not a politi­cian. But I can speak in the name of Christ. It is a place for sin and re­demp­tion. Be­cause you re­mem­ber what they have done. As re­li­gious leader, I mourn the tragedy we see here,” he told the gath­er­ing.

Asked if he will ask British govern­ment to of­fer an apol­ogy for the mas­sacre, he said, “I have been very clear what I feel and it will be broad­cast in Eng­land.”

Later, he tweeted, “Here, a num­ber of Sikhs – as well as Hin­dus, Mus­lims and Chris­tians – were shot dead by British troops in 1919 (sic).”

“... I recog­nise the sins of British colo­nial his­tory, the ide­ol­ogy that too of­ten sub­ju­gated and de­hu­man­ised other races and cul­tures. Je­sus Christ calls us to turn away from sin and to turn to Him as Lord. We are called to not just re­pent of old ways but to in­ten­tion­ally live in a new way that seeks the King­dom of God here on earth,” he said.

I can’t speak on be­half of the British govern­ment as I am not its of­fi­cial. I am a re­li­gious leader, not a politi­cian. But I can speak in the name of Christ. It is a place for sin and re­demp­tion.

JUSTIN WELBY, Arch­bishop of Canterbury

SAMEER SEHGAL/HT

SAMEER SEHGAL/ HT

Arch­bishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and his wife be­ing show­ered with petals dur­ing a visit to Christ Church Cathe­dral at Ram Bagh in Am­rit­sar on Tues­day; and (be­low) The arch­bishop be­ing hon­oured by Akal Takht act­ing jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh (2R) and oth­ers af­ter pay­ing obei­sance at the Golden Tem­ple.

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