Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Follow us on

HT EDIT-Why Britain must follow the Archbishop’s lead It is the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. But London is yet to say sorry

September 12, 2019 05:08 AM


Why Britain must follow the Archbishop’s lead
It is the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. But London is yet to say sorry
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the principal leader of the Church of England, has said that he was “personally very sorry” for the slaughtering of around 1,000 unarmed Indians by soldiers of the colonial British government at Jallianwala Bagh in 1919. Though the Archbishop’s apology is not the same as a State apology, the fact that it comes from the principal leader of the Church adds moral heft to the demand for an official apology for the massacre.

Britain has refused to do so even though former prime ministers have expressed regret in some form, the latest being Theresa May’s reference to it as a “shameful scar” in British Indian history. Britain can follow its own precedent. It acknowledged its culpability in the crackdown on the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in the 1950s, and the killing of 13 protesters in Northern Ireland on Bloody Sunday in 1972. In 2016, Canada apologised for the Komagata Maru incident (1914), in which hundreds of Sikh, Muslim and Hindu passengers were forced to return to a violent fate in India. France has apologised for its role in criminal slavery in Haiti. This week, Denmark apologised to indigenous children who faced abuse and neglect in orphanages decades ago.

There are two main reasons why Britain is reluctant to formally apologise. One, many academics, such as Priyamvada Gopal of Cambridge University, demand that Britain must expand the scope of an apology. They argue that Jallianwala Bagh was not an isolated incident, but a part of the colonial project, which was violent from start to finish, and which included systematic racism and discrimination. Therefore, Britain and other colonial powers must apologise for the entire colonial project. Second, Britain fears that an apology will open the space for demands for reparation by the descendents of Jallianwala Bagh’s victims. But even without an apology, the legatees of the violence can demand compensation, as the Mau Mau victims did in 2013. It is time to stop the excuses, and say sorry.


Have something to say? Post your comment
More Haryana News
हरियाणा: झज्जर में पुलिस ने निर्माणाधीन मकान से बरामद किए 5 लोगों के शव ‘दुर्गा शक्ति ऐप‘ के लिये हरियाणा पुलिस को एक और सम्मान कल मुम्बई में मिलेगा आईटी उत्कृष्टता पुरस्कार
जजपा के संगठन में विस्तार, 28 नए पदाधिकारियों की महत्वपूर्ण नियुक्तियां
हरियाणा के स्वास्थ्यमंत्री अनिल विज ने प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी के जन्मदिन पर आज अम्बाला छावनीे के निकलसन रोड पर भाजपा कार्यालय के बाहर हजारों लोगों को खाना बांटा
हरियाणा पुलिस की छः सेवाएं सरल पोर्टल के साथ एकीकृत
धरने पर बैठे इंजीनियर छात्रों को दिग्विजय सिंह चौटाला का समर्थन
उकलाना में पत्रकार पर दर्ज हुई एफआईआर पर पूर्व सांसद दुष्यंत चौटाला का ट्वीट
हरियाणा के मुख्यमंत्री मनोहर लाल ने ट्वीट कर PM मोदी को दी जन्मदिन की शुभकामना
GURGAON- रैपिड मेट्रो: अभी रोज हैं 58 हजार सवारियां, घाटे से फायदे में आने के लिए 42 हजार और बढ़ानी होंगी HARYANA कांट्रेक्ट पर होगी सिविल अस्पतालों में डॉक्टरों की भर्ती सरकारी डॉक्टरों की कमी को पूरा करने के लिए स्वास्थ्य विभाग द्वारा तैयार की गई योजना