National Seminar on ‘Historical Writings on the Jallianwala Bagh at GNDU
Amritsar, March 11: On the centenary year of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919, the Department of History, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar organised ICSSR Sponsored National Seminar on ‘Historical Writings on the Jallianwala Bagh (1919)’. S. Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Cabinet Minister, Punjab Government, was the guest of honour and session was presided by Prof. Dr. Jaspal Singh Sandhu, the Vice Chancellor of the University. The seminar began with two-minute silence in the memory of the victims of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. Prof. Amandeep Bal, Head, Department of History introduced the theme of the seminar. The Chief Guest, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria urged the students to remember the sacrifice of the freedom fighters. He also encouraged the students to value the freedom and rights they have received as independent citizens of India. Prof. Dr. Jaspal Singh Sandhu in his address remembered the whole saga of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and reminded the audience that how this incident was condemned by Winston Churchill in the House of Commons. The inaugural keynote address was delivered by Prof. K.L. Tuteja, former Professor, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra. He spoke on ‘The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and Mahatma Gandhi and his talk were focused on Mahatma Gandhi’s perspective on the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. How the Violence that erupted in Punjab and in some other parts of the country during the course of agitation compelled Mahatma Gandhi to do some introspection about his decision of launching the Rowlatt Satyagraha and came to the conclusion that it was a mistake which seemed to be of Himalayan magnitude. He suspended the movement but the cause of Hindu-Muslim unity remained a major issue of concern for him.
It is important here to note that the Rowlatt Satyagraha further strengthened Gandhi’s popularity as the undisputed leader of the Indians masses in the struggle against the British rule which was quite evident when he visited Punjab in late 1919. Indeed there was massive popular enthusiasm on Gandhi’s arrival in Lahore about which The Tribune wrote: ‘A procession of 10 thousand Hindus and Muslims was formed to receive Gandhi. The rousing reception accorded to Mr. Gandhi was entirely a spontaneous affair, no previous arrangement having been made by any person or organization at Lahore for his reception, thus proving once more the wonderful hold that Mr. Gandhi has on the hearts of the people.’ The Department of History released 22nd volume of the Departmental Journal ‘Journal of Regional History. Prof. Kamlesh Mohan, Emeritus Professor, Panjab University, Chandigarh in her special lecture in the second session emphasised the role of women in Punjab on the eve of the Jallianwala Bagh and after it in Punjab. The vote of thanks was presented by Prof. Radha Sharma.