Remembering Punjab Revolutionary Sardar Udham Singh, Who Swore To Avenge Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

Image Credits: Wikipedia, Wikipedia

The Logical Indian Crew

Remembering Punjab Revolutionary Sardar Udham Singh, Who Swore To Avenge Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

On April 13, 1919, the sight of his friends dying and the all-round carnage had a lasting impact on Udham Singh. After the incident at Jallianwala Bagh, the 20-year-old was filled with hatred for the British government in India.

  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • koo
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • koo
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • koo

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre of Amritsar completed 103 years today. On the festival of Baisakhi on April 13, 1919, British forces led by Colonel Reginald Dyer resorted to indiscriminate firing on a huge gathering of unarmed crowd at Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab's Amritsar, killing hundreds of people and injuring more than 1,000. The massacre marked a turning point in Indian Independence movement.

During the incident, a youth named Udham Singh was also present to witness the entire massacre. After he saw piles of dead bodies of his own people, he vowed to teach a lesson to General Dyer and the then Punjab Governor Michael O'Dwyer.

Who Was Sardar Udham Singh?

According to The Indian Express, Udham Singh was originally named Sher Singh after his birth in 1899 at Sunam in Punjab's Sangrur district. He lost both his parents at a young age and spent most of his childhood at an orphanage, along with his brother.

It is at the orphanage that both of them were baptised into Sikhism and given the name Udham Singh. Throughout his childhood and teenage, he was deeply influenced by the teachings of Sikhism.

What Happened On April 13, 1919?

On April 13, 1919, over twenty thousand unarmed protestors were assembled in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar to celebrate the festival of Baisakhi, and to peacefully protest the arrests. Udham Singh and his companions from the orphanage were serving water to the protestors. British troops under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire on the unarmed people, killing several hundred. The incident became known variously as the Amritsar Massacre or the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.

The sight of his friends dying and the all-around carnage had a lasting impact on him. After the incident at Jallianwala Bagh, the 20-year-old was filled with hatred for the British government in India.

Jallianwala Bagh Revenge

Udham Singh got involved in revolutionary politics and was deeply influenced by Bhagat Singh and his revolutionary group. In 1924, he became engaged with the Ghadar Party, organising Indians overseas towards overthrowing colonial rule. In 1927, he returned to his country on orders from Bhagat Singh, bringing 25 associates as well as revolvers and ammunition. Later, he was arrested for possession of unlicensed arms, including guns, ammunition, and copies of a prohibited Ghadar Party paper called "Ghadr-i-Gunj". He was prosecuted and sentenced to five years in jail.

After his release from prison in 1931, the Punjab police constantly kept an eye on Singh's movements. He made his way to Kashmir, where he was able to evade the police and escape to Germany. In 1934, he reached London, where he got employed as an engineer. There, he privately formed plans to assassinate Michael O'Dwyer. In Singh's diaries for 1939 and 1940, he often misspells O'Dwyer's surname as "O'Dyer", leaving a possibility he may have confused O'Dwyer with General Dyer.

Michael O' Dwyer's Murder

On March 13 1940, Michael O' Dwyer was scheduled to speak at a joint meeting of the East India Association and the Central Asian Society. Singh concealed a revolver inside a book, which had pages cut in the shape of a gun. He purchased this revolver from a soldier in a pub. He then entered the hall and found an open seat. As the meeting ended, Singh shot O'Dwyer twice as he moved toward the speaking platform. One of the bullets passed through O'Dwyer's heart and right lung, killing him almost instantly. Singh was arrested immediately after the shooting.

On April 1 1940, Udham Singh was formally charged with the murder of Michael O'Dwyer and remanded in custody at Brixton Prison. On July 31 1940, he was hanged at Pentonville Prison. Currently, his remains are preserved at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar.

Also Read: Serving Hope! This Ajmer Hotelier Provides Free Food And Stays For Pilgrims During Ramadan


Contributors Suggest Correction
Writer : Tashafi Nazir
,
Editor : Shiva Chaudhary
,
Creatives : Tashafi Nazir