The Amritsar Massacre is one of a series of events across the British Empire that was the result of grievous errors. Today it has become fashionable to weaponize history for modern political advantage, but we should still try to understand how circumstances and events combined to produce the results that they did. – Highly Recommended
NAME: The Amritsar Massacre, The British Empire's Worst Atrocity FILE: R2887 AUTHOR: Vanessa Holburn PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 168 PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Amritsar, religious centre, political unrest, nationalist movement, General Robert Dyer, colonial rule, The Raj, past malefactions, political manipulation, weaponizing history
IMAGE: B2887.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/yxvvbaac LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The Amritsar Massacre is one of a series of events across the British Empire that was the result of grievous errors. Today it has become fashionable to weaponize history for modern political advantage, but we should still try to understand how circumstances and events combined to produce the results that they did. – Highly Recommended The problem with weaponizing history for modern political, or national, advantage is that it ends up rewriting history. The British Empire was surprisingly benevolent with few examples of excess, poor judgement, savagery, human error, malevolence, arrogance and racial dominance. It was also a largely accidental empire that grew primarily on the activities of traders rather than from a desire to force a religion on the reluctant, or to invade, and ruthlessly exploit, a previously sovereign nation. In India the situation was particularly complex because a commercial corporation had been given a monopoly in India and the power to build its own warships and raise its own army, but still required the British Army and Royal Navy to prop it up and eventually replace it. The East India Company had relied on a policy of divide and conquer with its real forces largely made up of native troops and alliances with native princes. Inevitably this led to periods of conflict where allies changed sides and revolts grew, only to be violently suppressed. Towards the end of the British Raj, there were many administrators and soldiers of low calibre enjoying a pampered life and suffering all manner of insecurities. Today we can look back and try to make sense of the past from the present. Calls for apologies are false demands because neither India nor Britain are the same now as they were at the time of Amritsar. India is emerging as a nation of two halves where some Indians are becoming extremely rich but there is still amazing poverty after almost seventy years of Indian home rule. Britain is fighting a war of independence from the oppression of the European Union and forty year of quisling MPs and bureaucrats. Potentially, India and Britain have a very bright and prosperous future together as sovereign nations trading across the world. It is a time to end gesture politics and build on the best of past experiences, understanding the past in perspective. At Amritsar, mistakes and misunderstandings of both sides combined to create a tragedy. It happened against a background of civil disobedience and a fight by some parts of Indian society for independence. Those are always circumstances where terrible acts of violence can occur. The author has reviewed this background, the people and politics involved, and left the reader to decide whether there is any need or merit for contrition. It is an interesting review that casts some new light on an infamous event in history.