Jallianwallah centenary reports from Amritsar

Harsh Thakor

April 13th was a landmark or red letter day today in the history of the Indian revolutionary movement when the spirit of the Jallianwallah Bagh martyrs was ressurected.On the occasion of the centenary year of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, thousands of people dipped their blood in memory of the martyrs of this massacre by pledging to liberate the country from the clutches of slavery to the present day imperialism. They assembled under the banner of the Jallianwala Bagh Shatabdi Samaroh Com. Punjab formed by prominent democratic individuals at Amritsar, organised a conference and marched to Jallianwala Bagh to pay their homage.


Over 20000 people congregated today at Ranjit avenue in Amritsar from all sections of society creating the impact of a thunderstorm or reminiscent of a spark turning into a prairie fire.The participants marched in like an army. Speaks volumes of the painstaking work and masssline practiced by leaders and activists.An event of great relevance with Neo-Fascism which is camouflaged as liberal democracy is on the ascendancy.Morally Speakers all asserted that the only road was revolution and not reformism.

I was privileged to participate in the conference and march and greatly impressed with the meticulous preparations by the volunteers.The spirit of the event totally rejected any sectarianism .The wrath expressed by the participants against the ruling classes represent the rage of the oppressed masses of India as a whole with present rulers only carrying on where the British colonialists left.Above all constituted every section of the oppressed masses of Punjab be it peasants,agricultural labour, Students,youth,intellectuals government employees and women.

The first spark of the event was lit by a series of cultural songs from students,youth and peasant cultural activists.They did justice to reverberating the echo of the fallen martyrs a hundred years ago.They included Sujmeet Singh,Gagan Azad,Ajmar Akaliya and Amritpal Banga.

The speakers who addressed the conference includes Kanwaljeet Khanna, Jhanda Singh Jethuke, Manjeet Singh Dhaner, Jagmel,Dr. Parminder, Navsharn, Baldev Saraknama, Kanwalpreet Pannu and Harjinder Singh Tanda. While conducting the proceedings of the conference, Amolak Singh called upon the people to intensify further people's struggle against imperialism and the compradore rulers for the realisation of the unfulfilled aspirations of the martyrs.

The speakers characterised the Jallianwala Bagh massacre as not merely an extreme instance of the cruel and violent nature of the British Raj but also an example of people's heroic resistance to it. It,in fact, proved to be a watershed in our freedom struggle.

Speakers summarised the historical events that preceded the massacre,the nature of the attack and the aftermath.

Then they explained how the rulers after 1947 were all morally of the same character of the colonial Britishers.They explained how today in contrast to the colonial days the rulers camouflaged or disguised he pro-imperialist or anti-people policies.Instances of various attacks on people in recent times were covered to explain the garb the present regime wore of being a democracy which in essence is neo -fascist.The manner in which post 1947 rulers carried on the policies of the British rule was expressed with great subtlety.They narrated the similarities between the laws of the Colonial days to those passed in the house by the common regime.Examples were given of how so many democratic activists were given long sentences being framed as conspirators and so many people's movements were brutally suppressed.

They spoke about how no communal feelings existed 100 years again as today and the people were secular to the core. Today people have fallen victims of communal propaganda which diverts and divides them from their burning issues.

They called on the people to build their revolutionary struggles and reject all the calls or promises of the ruling class parties.They explained the futility of all the ruling class parties who only wish to win votes by making false promises.They gave examples of the genuine anti colonial struggles waged against the British rulers and hoped the people would follow their example.They stressed that only by building revolutionary struggles of their own could the people truly do justice to the martyrs of Jallianwallah Bagh.

They narrated how the peasantry was still enslaved by feudalism in a different form as we all as imperialism of a different variety.The corporate strategy kinder in their view was another version of what the East India company practiced .

They gave vivid examples of how the rulers since 1947 continued the British policy of divide and rule by fostering religious communalism which paved the way for Hindutva fascism. They summarized how the state was whipping up anti-Pakistan hysteria or war jingoism and launching attacks on sections like Adivasis,dalits and Muslim minorities in the name of nationalism. They contrasted it with aa genuine pro-people nationalism .

With great clarity the Speakers related the current economic crisis faced by the Punjab peasantry and its similarities with the colonial days., like money-lending, usury Debts etc.

They emphasized the importance of building the day to day class struggles for economic demands amongst all oppressed sections. Great emphasis was also placed on the oppression launched on the Kashmiri people.

They also passed some important resolutions which were presented by Narayan Dutt. The resolutions demanded immediate scrapping of economic reforms, cessation of repression of Kashmiri people, withdrawal of armed forces and AFSPA from there, repeal of all the black laws and immediate release of all the intellectuals arrested under these laws, withdrawal of armed forces from North Eastern states and tribal areas, cancellation of all the strategic treaties with all the imperialists countries, stopping provocative propagation of sectarian and communal nationalism. The conference also called upon the government to desist from observing military victories of the British Raj and start observing the rebellions of the Indian army against imperialism, and an immediate stop to efforts to transform Jallianwala Bagh into merely a place of tourism.

The conference was attended by a large number of the activists of peasant and worker's organizations and many literary persons.

The event concluded with a one hour march march from Ranjit avenue To Jallianwallah Bagh which shimmered the spirit of the martyrs like a red flame billowing, with the activists shouting slogans vociferously.The manner or degree in which they expressed their wrath over the autocratic policies of today's rulers gave vibrations of them carrying on the mission of the Jallianwallah Bagh martyrs.The slogans represented the aspirations or wrath of the Indian people as whole against the neo-fascism of the BJP govt.led by Narendra Modi.

Organizations that participated were Bharatiya Kissn union (Ugrahan,Punjab Khat Mazdur Union,Naujwan Bharat Sabah,Technical sevicesUnion,Democratic Teachers Front,Punjab Students Union(Shaheed Randhawa), and Bku(Dakaunda).,Lok Morcha and Inquilabi Kendra.

A testimony to the dedication towards practice of massline in a state which has had many a surge of ups and downs in the revolutionary movement be it the turbulent days of 1970s or the era of religious Khalistan movement.Proved the positivity of the Nagi Reddy line which strived not to convert mass organizations or platforms into mere communist revolutionary fronts.It was a culmination of the meticulous and painstaking efforts of all sections of activists in preparing people in different areas of Punjab be it villages, mohallas or industrial areas.The event boosted the unity of all the different exploited sections of the masses which had political significance.

Simultaneously another event was staged by the Punjab Students Union and Naujwan Bhrat Sabha in Company Bagh in Amritsar who resurrected the sacred torch of martyrs of Jallianwallah Bagh on April 13th ,centenary date of the massacre.The speakers adressed issue of imperialism,fake Internationalism and Hindu fascsim in detail.The event wast he culmination of a series of meetings ,rallies and cultural programmes in college campuses and youth arEas all over Punjab.The speakesr resolved to carry out the anti-imperialist mission of Shaheed Bhgat Singh.Over 5000 persons participated in the event.Of great relevance with Hindutva fascism reaching it's helm today and for the need of an organized secular youth nad student movement to defeat it.

The false agenda of nationalism was exposed which was promoting war hysteria and hysteria against Kashmiri people and Pakistan.The gross attacks on minorities and dalits was exposed,particularity on youth.In depth the anti-i imperialist aspect in Jallianwallah Bagh was covered exposing the pro-British role of the Congress.

Programme spoke volumes of the dedication of the PSU-NBS comrades in building a genuine secular revolutionary movement in the campuses and connecting them with the opressed peasantry.No doubt amongst the best sons of our land.They represented the aspirations of the entire student and youth community of India to emancipate itself from the clutches of imperialism.

Speakers included PSU secretary Karamjeet Kotpura , PSU president Ranweer Randhawa,NBS President Raminder Singh and NBS comrade Rupinder Singh.

May 9, 2019

Harsh Thakor