Exactly 100 years after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, hundreds of people gathered in St Peter’s church in Wellington to commemorate.
An organiser, Dr Pushpa Wood, said the massacre has been forgiven, however, will never be forgotten.
British High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke called the massacre “a really dark time in British-Indian history.”
She used the same words used recently by British Prime Minister Theresa May to say they “deeply regret the event and the suffering it caused.”
“The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre is a shameful scar in British Indian history,” she said.
But Wellingtonian Kirpal Singh took the podium to request an apology from Britain for the massacre.
He said expressing “regret” is not the same as an “apology” and acknowledging fault.
Mr Singh directed this plea to Miss Clarke, saying “it is never too late, but you have to apologise.”
He said that “if you apologise that means you accept you did something wrong, and Britain did something wrong.”
Almost 100 years prior to the commemoration last Friday, on April 13, 1919, fifty British troops opened fire at Jallianwala Bagh park where thousands of peaceful, unarmed protesters had gathered, killing and wounding more than 1000.
Mr Singh elaborated, saying the massacre was not the act of only one man, and General Dyer, who led the shooting, “did it on the orders of somebody”.
Miss Clarke said that the British Government condemned the actions of Brigadier General Dyer at the time of the massacre, and that earlier Winston Churchill called Dyer’s action “monstrous”.
Mr Singh, a now-retired Chemistry professor, said the act of apologising is “the virtuous thing to do”.