Regarding the story “1919 massacre in Amritsar remembered” in the April 14 edition, the U.K. government has just missed the last bus to India and a golden opportunity to heal the wounds of the past.
We Indians have forgiven them, or at least, we should forgive them for our own sake, but we will not or should not forget. The article mentions that “the number of casualties is unclear, with colonial-era records showing about 400 deaths, while Indian figures put the number at closer to 1,000.”
However, we must remember that the Jallianwala Bagh massacre is the symbol of colonial cruelty, and quibbling over the number of casualties serves no real purpose simply because the British have, on other occasions, killed Indians and other colonial subjects in unimaginably greater numbers than the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
Moreover, the number of casualties as per Indian figures has been acknowledged by some British historians themselves. What we Indians now need to do is to spurn with polite sarcasm any official apology from the U.K. government as a post-dated check for the next 200 years to let them atone for 200 years of imperialism in India, while building bridges with the ordinary people of Britain.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.