The renovation of Jallianwala Bagh, where more than a thousand people died a hundred years ago, making one of the darkest chapters in the history of India; has outraged several people. On social media, this has led to a wave of criticism against government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated four new galleries and opened the renovated memorial after about one and a half years of it being closed for revamp.
A major amount of criticism has been directed at hi-tech galleries that have replaced the gloomy, unadorned passage; through which General Dyer led his men and ordered them to open fire upon the thousands of men and women who were holding a peaceful protest on the day of Baisakhi.
The new-look Jallianwala Bagh memorial that the Prime Minister dedicated to its country on August 28 was a distortion of history of the site where British forces executed Indians on April 13, 1919, said the historians on Monday.
On Saturday, Narendra Modi opened the renovated complex and said that it is the country’s duty to protect its history.
Several people have asserted that the politicians rarely have a sense of history. They have accused the government of destroying history in the name of renovation.
As per the tweet of historian S Irfan Habib, all of this is corporatisation of monuments, wherein these structures end up losing their heritage value. The government should instead, look after them without intruding with the flavours of the period that these monuments present.
We must not forget horrors like the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and the Partition that speak of the sacrifices made for India’s freedom, said PM Modi while inaugurating the complex. He also mentioned in his tweet a preview of the lights that were installed in the complex.
“At a time when we are celebrating Amrut Mahotsav, we should strengthen our nation”s foundation and take pride in it,” said the Prime Minister.
Historian Kim A. Wagner mentioned in his tweet that he was despaired on hearing the news of Jallianwala Bagh, the site of the Amritsar Massacre of 1919, which has been revamped. This means that the last traces of the event have been erased. This is what he wrote of the memorial in his book and described a space that has now itself become a history.
According to the historians, the government has renovated the place and added new features, instead of restoring it. They have tried to make it a place for enjoying with a beautiful garden.