The Amritsar Massacre, The British Empire’s Worst Atrocity

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

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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

ISBN: 1-52674-577-1

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.