Amritsar 13 April 1919


It was called a massacre. The reality is quite different. A British officer and 50 Indian soldiers faced a crowd of revolutionaries numbering some 25,000, intent on killing.


Revolutionaries had already murdered civilians and fired buildings in the city. They had been warned that meetings were banned. The crowd, all men, openly defied the authorities to act. The soldiers opened fire.


So what does the evidence show?



For those who know little of the history of the British in India, apart from what they have seen in commercial films or read in novels, Elisabeth Beckett set out to give an account of the events and attitudes which moved British Indians in 1919 to act as they did.


Not least, it explains why Indian soldiers of the Indian Army were ready to carry out the orders of a British Officer on that fateful occasion.

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