Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has written to chief minister Amarinder Singh to name the ‘Crawling Street’ near the Jallianwala Bagh after the martyrs. He has suggested that the lane be called ‘Freedom Street’, ‘Shaheedan Di Gali’ or any other name that he finds suitable for this site of great sacrifice. He has also appealed to the chief minister to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build pressure on the UK prime minister to tender an apology for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
In a letter written to Amarinder, a copy of which was released to media, Sidhu wrote: “This is the time of retribution and an apology has never been rendered by the British government for the actions of April 13, 1919…. I request you to write to the Indian and the British governments, seeking an apology from the British Prime Minister for the atrocities. It would go a long way towards bettering people to people contact among our two nations if a strong message of reconciliation is delivered”.
Notably, a British missionary Marcella Sherwood was cycling in the street on April 10, 1919 when she was allegedly attacked.
A crawling order was passed immediately, which required all the Indians to drag themselves on the ground along the street where Sherwood was attacked. “This street is the historical reminder of oppression wherein colonial rulers made Indians crawl. Renaming the street is the minimum we can do in the hallowed memory of the great sacrifice,” he said.
Sidhu also blamed the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, alleging that his letter to the Prime minister seeking Rs 100 crore for the development of the national monument was ignored. “We wanted to have an impressive museum that honours the memory of martyrs and depicts the historical narration of events. Along with voice-over by renowned lyricist Gulzar. We requested historian Kishwer Desai to help us with the project. We also planned a light and sound programme to share with the visitors, the suffering and sacrifice of martyrs by recreating the horrors of the massacre. The Union government failed to seize the moment and lost the occasion,” Sidhu claimed.
Here is the crawling-order being enforced – taken by Sergeant Howgego, who also took the other photos. The image was evidently known at the time since the cartoon appeared in The Star in 1920 – making the explicit comparison between India and Ireland. pic.twitter.com/7UAPIHSIB8
— Kim Wagner (@KimAtiWagner) May 23, 2018