Thursday, February 21st 2013 - 01:35 UTC

Cameron describes as “deeply shameful episode” 1919 massacre of Indians by colonial troops

British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the site of a colonial-era massacre in India on Wednesday, describing the episode as “deeply shameful” while stopping short of a public apology.

“We must never forget what happened here” said PM Cameron during his visit to Jallianwala Bagh garden

The Prime Minister during his visit to the Golden Temple

On the last leg of a three-day trip aimed at forging deeper economic ties, Cameron took the bold decision to visit the city of Amritsar and tackle an enduring scar of British rule over the subcontinent, which ended in 1947.

Dressed in a dark suit and bowing his head, he laid a wreath at the memorial to the victims at Jallianwala Bagh where British troops opened fire on thousands of unarmed protesters in 1919.

In a message in the visitors' book, he wrote: “This was a deeply shameful event in British history and one that Winston Churchill rightly declared at the time as 'monstrous'.

”We must never forget what happened here. And in remembering we must ensure that the United Kingdom stands up for the right of peaceful protest around the world.“

He later defended his decision not to say sorry, explaining that it happened 40 years before he was born and ”I don't think the right thing is to reach back into history and to seek out things you can apologize for“.

”I think the right thing is to acknowledge what happened, to recall what happened, to show respect and understanding for what happened,“ The Guardian newspaper quoted him as saying.

The number of casualties at the Jallianwala Bagh garden is unclear, with colonial-era records showing about 400 deaths while Indian figures put the number killed at closer to 1,000.

S.K. Mukherjee, the secretary of the Jallianwala Bagh memorial trust, spent half an hour guiding the British leader around the site, showing him a well into which 120 people jumped to their deaths as well as bullet holes in the walls.

Mukherjee said Cameron had struggled for words but had told him he was ”regretful and this should not happen ever again“ as he left the memorial which has 20,000 visitors a day.

The incident saw soldiers under General Reginald Dyer's command open fire on men, women and children in the enclosed area in one of the most infamous episodes of Britain's colonial rule that helped spur the independence movement.

Cameron said Monday in Mumbai that he wanted Britain to be India's ”partner of choice“, stressing their shared history, democratic values and the 1.5 million Britons of Indian origin as a foundation for a deeper alliance.

Cameron is the first serving British prime minister to visit the site, diplomatic sources said, but not the first senior British public figure.

In 1997 the Queen laid a wreath at a site during a tour of India. But her gaffe-prone husband Prince Philip stole the headlines by reportedly saying that the Indian estimates for the death count were ”vastly exaggerated”.

Earlier in the day Cameron visited the Golden Temple, the most revered place for the Sikh religion, where he walked around bare foot and was photographed wearing a blue cloth covering his head.

29 comments Feed

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1 Marcos Alejandro (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 05:08 am Report abuse
Cameron describes as “deeply shameful episode” 1806/1807/1833/1845 invasions.
2 Stevie (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 05:20 am Report abuse
In 100 years, the UK will describe 2002-2012 as deeply shameful as well
3 Marcos Alejandro (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 05:31 am Report abuse
I describe that blue rag on top of Cameron's head as “deeply shameful episode”
I love this clown Cameron getting on his knees and asking India to help the British economy.
4 Bongo (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 06:28 am Report abuse

Sorry, but I'm not aware of any invasion in 1833 that Cameron should find “deeply shameful”.

I am aware of an invasion in 1982 that Argentina should find “deeply shameful”.

Nothing wrong with asking India to help the British economy. Argentina's economy is beyond help.
5 Redrow (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 08:16 am Report abuse
@ Marcos

So which is it, are Britain arrogant imperialists to who think they are better than everyone else, or, a modern progressive country willing to deal respectfully with neighbours and allies and to recognise the wrongs of the past?

We can't be both. I can tell you for a fact that we are the latter which is why Argentina's continuous use of the words “imperial” and “colonial” are making them look increasingly desperate and merely drawing attention to Argentina's own failure to deal with its past and its current imperial interests in the Falklands, southern islands and Antarctica.
6 LEPRecon (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 09:26 am Report abuse
@4 -Bongo

Wasn't there also a Dirty War where oer 30,000 Argentine were murdered by their own government.

Perhaps Argentina should find that deeply shameful too!

What about the massacre of the indigenous people's of south America. Do the Argentines find that deeply shameful, or do they celebrate it on their money?

Britain acknowledges things that happened in its name in the past, no matter how bad it is.

Argentina refuses to accept that it could've ever done anything wrong, and buries it's head in the sand.

What happened in 1833? Oh yes, the British booted a bunch of murderers and rapists off their territory. And they did it without firing a shot.

That's classy that.

Oh and just when did the Republic of Argentina come into existence? Oh that's right, 1853.

So no Argentine troops could've been expelled in 1833, as there was no such place as Argentina then, was there?
7 Usurping Pirate (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 09:42 am Report abuse
When will Cristina describe as deeply shameful the fact her wealth has increased by 985% in less than 10 years ?
LEPRecon : Don't buy the 30,000 figure put out by the present govt to shame the military . Conadep's figure of just under 10,000 is closer to the truth . In another 10 years it will no doubt go up to 300,000 .
BTW Che Guevara murdered thousands of people during the Cuban revolution , yet he is portrayed as a hero by the present Argentine govt .
8 Tobers (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 11:45 am Report abuse

I agree - 30 000 is an exaggerated number. There is no proof whatsoever to support this number.
9 toooldtodieyoung (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 12:56 pm Report abuse
Oh look all you “La Campora ” trolls!!! Here is a British Prime Minister acknowledging the past and admitting that his country did some bad things whilst being a colonial master.

Are you there “Think-me-not” , “Tito The Clown Troll” , “Marcos Alejandro”??? he is describing the episode as “deeply shameful”....... Yeah? he is big enough to recognise past mistakes.... I don't see “laughing boy” Timerman or Ol' Turkey Neck doing the same thing..... But then again, we all know that Argentina has never made any mistakes has it??? Oh no!! Argentina is a what every country in the entire world aspires too isn't it???

10 Stevie (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 03:10 pm Report abuse
Little does it help to apologize when past mistakes are being followed by new ones. As I said, in 100 years, Britain will be apologizing for “mistakes” made this day.
Instead of apologizing, maybe Britain should stop making “mistakes” instead.
It's not like they don't know what they are doing.
11 Nostrolldamus the 12th (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 03:17 pm Report abuse

Well if that is so then we did not violate any treaty of “1850”. That was a treaty between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and IRELAND, and the United Provinces.

NEITHER exist any longer, so we are in full rights to claim the Falklands.

Right Lepricon, you unthinking twat???
12 Tobers (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 04:17 pm Report abuse

Also why is he showing condolence (he wasn't apologizing)? Nothing to do with the UK trying to suck up to India in order to sell a load of weapons..?
13 reality check (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 05:23 pm Report abuse
Fed up with contemporary politicians apologising for things that has nothing to do with current day Britons. One thing is very certain they are not going to apologise for safeguarding the rights of Falkland Islanders from the current colonial ambitions of a failing South Amercican state, who frankly, do not have much of a history to crow about!
14 Think (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 05:37 pm Report abuse

PM Cameron didn’t apologize for the 1919 Jallianwalla Bagh massacre…..

Or for the 1922 Palchitaria massacre……

Or for the 1930 Qissa Khwani Bazaar massacre….

Or..., or..., or.........

PM Cameron said …:
“This was a deeply shameful event in British history and one that Winston Churchill rightly declared at the time as 'monstrous'.”
Would it be the same Churchil that declared at the time ….:
”I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.”

PM Cameron said also….: ”I don't ”Think” the right thing is to reach back into history and to seek out things you can apologize for“....

Tell you what Mr. Cameron….:
You take your Anachronistic South Atlantic Squatters home to Little Britain and we forget all about history….. deal?
15 reality check (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 06:01 pm Report abuse
Tell you what think.

The Islanders stay on their land, the live their lifes in peace and you leave them alone to do it. Deal?


No, well, In that case little Britian will have no option but to stay just where it is and because little Britian stays where it is, so do you!

Must be frustrating for you, now toodle off and look up some more historic facts for us to treat with the contempt they deserve.
16 Tobers (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 07:12 pm Report abuse
soooo -Think-

When has your government apologized for the Conquest of the Desert and general abuses against the indigenous?

Is it -Conquest- or -Campaign- these days?
17 reality check (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 08:02 pm Report abuse
I am still waiting for the Italians to apologise for burning down our villages and raping my late queens daughters. It's been nearly two thousand years since it happened. These imperialists think they can get away with anything, apologise you bastards!
18 Conqueror (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 08:14 pm Report abuse
@11 Want to try it? So we can wipe you off the face of the planet? I have no problem. Reinforce the Falklands air contingent with 10 squadrons of Tornados and 10 squadrons of Typhoons. That's 240 aircraft. Start with 240 air-launched cruise missiles (Storm Shadow). Back up with 200 submarine-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles. Reload. Do it again. Reload. Do it again. Overflights to “drop” conventional munitions. Waves of 100 aircraft at a time. Want to surrender? No? Launch the Tridents. Did you know that each Trident missile can lift 12 independently-targetable warheads? Did you know that each Vanguard submarine can launch 16 Trident missiles. Let me see now. That's 4 x 16 x 12. Isn't that 768? Reload. Do it again. No argie war criminal deserves to live. There are at least 40 million war criminals in argieland. Should “Argentines” be allowed to leave argieland? Possibly. Subject to psychiatric and psychological testing, fingerprinting, DNA samples, retinal scans, branding and incarceration in labour camps. Should “argies” be allowed to leave argieland? Definitely not. Ex-pat argies? Put a rope with a slip-knot round their necks and fly them “home”. BELOW the aircraft. Just so that they “land” first.
Stick with a truly British tradition. Kill an enemy (argie) every day! Where's the problem. Consider the “things” we encounter here. “Nostril”, “Thick”, “Prat-Hore”, “Mark Android”, Fanny-Burger, “Gustarse”, “Hepatitis”, “DeadDove”, “Sussie_the_Sucking_Slag. are these things ”human“? Scientific evidence says they aren't. Sub-human, retarded, cretinous, moronic, limbless wankers. What loss to the human race? None. Who has the resources to keep them in a ”reservation“ or zoo? No-one. Are they an endangered species we want to retain? No. So let's just get rid. Not as though they'll be missed! Hands up those who want to keep ”argies”? In cages, of course!
19 Stevie (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 08:40 pm Report abuse
Just when one thinks it can't get any better, this guy comes around. Who is this, Chris? Mr. Hyde? Oh, please continue!!
20 lsolde (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 08:44 pm Report abuse
@14 Think,
When is Scandinavia as a whole, Think, going to apologise for the damage they did to England(all of Britain, really)in the 9th & 10th century.
You know, looting & burning churches & castles, murdering & raping, stealing cattle,women & gold.
Just normal for your ancestors Think.
l demand(Argentine word!)full compensation, with a thousand year's interest, Think.
Hopefully that will leave you with the arse out of your pants.
So its alright to castigate the British, but not you.
(How very Argentine)
21 reality check (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 09:06 pm Report abuse
You're in for treat! Conqs is gonna just lurv you to bits.
22 Stevie (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 09:11 pm Report abuse
I'm sure he will, I hope he does. Isn't is wonderful how much fun one can have, and for free?
I can't wait for him to kill me, crush me and my family, eat my intestines, bomb me with his Typhoon. You name it.
23 Think (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 09:14 pm Report abuse
(20) lsolde
You say....:
“When is Scandinavia going to apologise for the looting, burning churches & castles, murdering & raping, stealing cattle,women & gold?”

Raping......? What are you talking about you Silly Squatter Woman ;-)

Albion bints couldn’t wait for those Scandinavian hunks to disembark their longships and “improve the race” on them Isles.....

Where do you ”Think” your blue eyes and flaxen hair come from?
24 briton (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 09:18 pm Report abuse
Any chance to jump up and down and accuse the brits,
Name me any empire that did not have some shame heaped upon it,

We remember culcutter,
We remember Falkland’s
We remember lots of things,

Shame then some others seem to forget their shameful past.

25 reality check (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 09:21 pm Report abuse
You can say that again, my absolute favourite was Guzz. Who would have that he was a Uruguayan expat living in Scandinavia. His theory that the US orchestrated 9/11 has a means to prosecute it's war on Islam, was truly fascinating. Made all the more so, because he actually believed it. Mad as a hatter.
26 lsolde (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 10:28 am Report abuse
@23 Think,
You still have to come up with the money, cousin.
You were condemning the British for things that happened in lndia.
l am condemning you for what your ancestors did in Europe.
You cannot have one without the other.
You cannot cherrypick what suits you & discard what embarrasses you.
Has it ever crossed your miniscule brain, Think that l got my colouring from the Saxons.
Anyway l like most Scandinavians that l've met, but l guess there is always a few bad apples in the barrel of any nationality.
So Think, when can we see an apology to England & France?(& any other country ravaged by your ancestors,Russia, Poland, lreland, etc etc)
And a hefty cheque to compensate all the damage done?
Btw-when are the lcelanders going to return lceland to the lrish?
lrish monks were there before the Vikings arrived.
Of course, they murdered the monks, just like you Argentines murdered the Amerindians.
People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, Think
And l've told you before:- it's not “THEM” lsles, it's “THOSE” or “THESE” Isles.
Pay attention, lad.
27 CaptainSilver (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 10:50 am Report abuse
Methinks Think is Scottish or lives in Scotland.

Anyway Argentineans come from a wonderful country they have wonderful mountains, the Picos are stunning, the Pyrenees are great and as for the Sierra Nevada... Wonder if the cartoneros (tiny remnants of the amerindians the Rg colonialists slaughtered wholesale) are ever going to get an apology from KFC?
Would you say convenient double standards are on display here?
28 screenname (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 08:36 pm Report abuse
...and then India thanked their lucky stars they were not colonised by the Spanish and as near as damn it wiped out.
29 lsolde (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 09:12 pm Report abuse
@25 reality check,
Watch a film on youtube called “Zeitgeist”.
lts an hour long but very thought-provoking.
lts in 3 parts.
The first part is about religion being a load of old rubbish,
The second part is about a 9/11 conspiracy,
The third part is about how bankers rule the world & cause wars & depressions etc for their own reasons.
lf true, then there is a lot of unexplained things about 9/11.
l haven't made up my mind about it yet.
ln fact l am surprised that it hasn't been removed.
So maybe it is fiction, can't know.

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