The centenary commemoration event of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre held in Wellington on Friday, April 12, was marked with a characteristic despondency, and a freshening spirit of acknowledgement to the pain of human loss from an act of violence perpetrated by evil forces of hatred.
Clearly, the mood at the commemorating event was reflective of a nation coping with the pain of experiencing mindless violence at the Christchurch mosque terror attack, served to them based on racial-hatred and extremist ideologies.
The sentiments of acknowledgement of pain from loss of a large number of human lives, regardless of where it happens in the world, were best expressed by a speaker, Denise, who came to stage on an impromptu invitation of the anchor for the event and said, “Before coming to this event I had never heard of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. But today I can feel the pain of people who have experienced the mindless violence.”
The other guest speakers at the event were High Commissioner of India Sanjiv Kohli, British High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke, Wellington Mayor Justin Lester and the former Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand.
However, many other parliamentarians and councillors present in the event such as Kanwaljeet Singh Bakshi, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Nicola Wells and many more were impromptus invited on stage to share their sentiments on the hundredth anniversary of the barbaric killing.
On April 13, 1919, some 50 British-Indian army soldiers began shooting at unarmed civilians who were taking part in a peaceful protest against oppressive laws enforced in the Punjab region.
At least 379 Sikhs were killed, according to the official record, although local residents said in the past the toll was far higher. The massacre took place in the walled enclosure of Jallianwala Bagh, which is still pocked with bullet marks.