Revamped Jalliawala Bagh insult to martyrs: Rahul

Rahul says revamped Jalliawala Bagh memorial insult to martyrs, Captain says it looks nice

A sound and light show was held to depict the events of the day of the massacre

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (L) and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh. Credit: Reuters, PTI File Photo

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday appeared to contradict top Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's "insult to martyrs" comment on the renovated Jallianwala Bagh memorial, as he found the revamped complex "very nice", even as Opposition leaders found fault with the Narendra Modi government project.

Rahul targeted Modi saying that only a person who does not know the meaning of martyrdom can inflict such an insult on the memory of martyrs

Tagging a media report, Rahul tweeted, "only a person who does not know the meaning of martyrdom can inflict such an insult on the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh. I am the son of a martyr - I will not tolerate the insult of martyrs at any cost. We are against this indecent cruelty." In another tweet, he said, "those who didn’t struggle for freedom can’t understand those who did."

Rahul's remarks came following outrage in social media over the changes made at the Jallianwala Bagh memorial complex as part of renovation carried out by the Modi government. Modi had on Saturday dedicated to the nation the renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh memorial.

However, Singh described the renovated memorial as a "tribute to the great martyrs and a symbol of inspiration for the youth" and "an everlasting symbol of non-violent and peaceful struggle for the freedom of India", which stands testimony to "one of the most barbaric acts of violence and State oppression" perpetrated on a group of peacefully assembled people."

Singh was quoted by ANI as saying, "I don't know what has been removed. To me it looks very nice."

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury also described the revamp as "insulting our martyrs".

He said, "Jallianwala Bagh massacre of Hindus Muslims, Sikhs who gathered together for Baisakhi galvanised our freedom struggle. Every brick here permeated the horror of British rule. Only those who stayed away from the epic freedom struggle can scandalise thus."

"The precursor to what to expect when the Central Vista - Modiabad - emerges in New Delhi...Parliament building that redeemed our 'tryst with destiny' reduced to a museum showcasing glory of 'India that once was'. Destroying everything that was built by our secular democratic Republic during the last 75 years," he said in tweets.

Congress' Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi tweeted, "call me a traditional Indian but I am not a fan of installing disco lights on institutions of importance and dignity. Such pomp reduces the gravity and horror of the Jallianwala Bagh Smarak to base entertainment. Similarly the strobe lights on Parliament are also appalling."

Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill claimed the BJP government giving a makeover to the "Jallianwala passage is not to preserve but erase the marks of atrocities committed by General Dyer during British rule...Central vistafication of Jallianwala Bagh passage is ultimate insult to those killed on that fatal day! Shame."

Historian S Irfan Habib called it "corporatisation of monuments, where they end up as modern structures, losing the heritage value. Look after them without meddling with the flavours of the period these memorials represent."

Musician Vishal Dadlani tweeted, "Grateful that I visited Jallianwala Bagh before this shameful desecration. When I went, it was packed, but there was a sombre silence in memoriam of those we'd lost. We wept at the sight of the bullet-holes in the plain walls. Can't believe what this clueless government has done."

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