The Amritsar Massacre, 1919: General Dyer in the Punjab (Uncovered Editions)

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9780117024120: The Amritsar Massacre, 1919: General Dyer in the Punjab (Uncovered Editions)

The story of the action taken by Brigadier-General Dyer at Amritsar in the Punjab in 1919. Faced with insurrection in support of Mahatma Gandhi, the British Army declared martial law. Violent rioting in Amritsar brought the Brigadier to take astonishing action, including the shooting of over 300 unarmed people at a public meeting. Regarding the subsequent native obedience as a satisfactory result, he was surprised to find himself removed from active command and he made lengthy representations to Parliament protesting at his treatment. This book contains the report of the Hunter Committee apointed by the Government of India to investigate, Disturbances in the Punjab, published in 1920, and Brigadier-General Dyer's own statement submitted to the Committee.

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Review:

The killing of nearly 400 unarmed Indian protesters in the Punjab city of Amritsar and the degrading martial law which followed is one of the most ignominious episodes in the history of British imperial rule. Graphically recaptured in the film Gandhi, the massacre fuelled post-war Indian (especially Muslim) resentment at British control, and paved the way for the growth of support for Gandhi's independence movement. Determined to find a scapegoat, the British government inquiry into the massacre settled on Brigadier-General Dyer, the officer in charge on the fateful day. This Stationery Office edition of the report of the inquiry, and Dyer's own spirited defence of his actions, reveals the full horror of the military action, the jumpy mind-set of the British commanders, and the precarious position of the British in India. It is one of the best reads in this series, for the facts simply speak for themselves. Miles Taylor

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