The Butcher of Amritsar: General Reginald Dyer
On April 13, 1919, General Reginald Dyer marched a squad of Indian soldiers into the Jallianwala Bagh, an enclosed public space in the holy city of Amritsar, and opened fire without warning on a crowd gathered to hear political speeches, leaving over 200 dead. To some, Dyer was the savior of India, responding decisively to threatened insurrection, but to many in India, including Gahndi and Nehru, his action proved the moral bankruptcy of the British Empire. The bitter debate that followed the shootings, the worst atrocity perpetrated by the British in the twentieth century, almost brought down the Liberal Government and was a decisive turning point in India's march to independence. "The Butcher of Amritsar is a definitive account of the massacre and a biography of Reginald Dyer, a man whose attitudes reflected many of the views common in the Raj.
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